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Washington Spirit trade three players to land the third pick in the 2019 NWSL Draft

A new direction for the Spirit

Courtesy of Washington Spirit

As a part of a major NWSL Draft day trade, the Washington Spirit sent defenders Estelle Johnson, Caprice Dydasco, and goalkeeper DiDi Haracic to Sky Blue FC in exchange for the third overall pick. With that pick the Spirit selected Stanford midfielder Jordan DiBiasi. In addition to sending these three players to the New Jersey club, the Spirit also exchanged the 29th overall pick in this year’s draft.

Both Sky Blue and the Spirit are rebuilding after bad seasons, but Sky Blue is in a far worse situation. Sky Blue had a 23-game winless streak last season and matters were even worse off the field, with their players reportedly experiencing extremely poor living and training conditions. The responses from general manager Tony Novo has led to issues with their primary supporters’ group and the general public.

The Spirit’s 2018 season featured a league-record 765 minute scoreless streak, 10-straight losses, and the firing of head coach Jim Gabarra. Going into the draft the Spirit were low on defensive players, something this trade aggravated.

DiBiasi is an attacking midfielder, a role that the Spirit will need during the many international call-ups during this season. She’s a U-23 national team player and was a finalist for collegiate soccer’s top honor, the MAC Hermann Trophy.

On the outgoing side, Johnson, Dydasco, and Haracic were long-time names with the Spirit. Dydasco came to the Spirit in 2015 through the college draft and appeared in all 24 matches for the Spirit in 2018. Johnson also came to the Spirit in 2015 and she was a regular starter during the 2018 season. Haracic, a Virginia native, was a back-up keeper for the Spirit and also made appearances on the Spirit Reserves.