The Washington Spirit started to make moves for next year with today’s trade that sent Kristie Mewis to the Chicago Red Stars in exchange for either their natural 1st round draft pick or the Seattle Reign’s first rounder (which Chicago hold), whichever is higher. Mewis joined the Spirit this spring and played a key role in the midfield until the arrival of Mallory Pugh and Estefania Banini. Havana Solaun also emerged as a strong attacking midfielder, giving Washington the depth to consider a move. As a result of the trade, Mewis was not at the Spirit’s 2-0 loss at North Carolina this past Saturday.
After the game, Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra described the trade as a move to use extra depth the team currently have to gain assets for the club’s future.
“We’re in a situation where we have some extra depth and we can get good value for players maybe moving to a team that’s got something to play for to get into the playoffs and get some piece or draft pick in the future that will help us next year,” he said. “We’re not giving up on this year and looking towards next year but at the same time you have to take advantage of the assets you have and if someone is interested in a player, they come to us, we’re going to consider.”
The Spirit currently sit in last place with 16 points from 18 games. Despite a recent string of losses, Chicago is in third place and seems set for a playoff run.
Mewis played in 14 games for the Spirit, 10 of them starts. Coming into this weekend’s game she was second on the team in terms of key passes per Opta data. Yet lately, her role was filled by Pugh and Banini, two players that joined later into the season. On the Lifetime broadcast this Saturday, Gabarra said part of the reason the Spirit signed Mewis was that the club wasn’t sure Pugh and Banini would join the team.
Solaun, whose time in Seattle was hampered by injuries, has also become a major force (5 goals, 3 assists) in the Spirit’s midfield. Washington acquired Mewis last November in a trade that sent defender Megan Oyster and two first round draft picks to Boston in exchange for Kassey Kallman, Mewis, and the number one spot in the Distribution Ranking Order. The Spirit used this spot to acquire Mallory Pugh this spring.