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Official: Tara McKeown extends Washington Spirit contract

Spirit keeping a good thing going

NWSL: Portland Thorns FC at Washington Spirit Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Spirit are at it again — this time signing forward Tara McKeown to a three-year contract that will keep her in Washington through 2025, with an option for another year.

A University of Southern California alumna, McKeown was drafted by the Spirit as the 8th overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft and quickly became an important player in the team’s attack.

Although she missed the first half of the 2022 season due to injury, McKeown impressed in the remainder of the season. She played in every match after her return and started in all but one. The team relied heavily on her, particular while fellow forwards Ashley Hatch and Trinity Rodman were away playing for the USWNT. Despite playing only 12 games, she was tied for third on the team in goals scored with three, including this first-touch strike against San Diego.

Playing in both striker and left wing positions, McKeown showed obvious growth in both skill and confidence over the course of the season. Her later games were marked by a defensive presence, as she executed an increased number of successful tackles and interceptions to win the ball for her team.

Like her teammates Sam Staab, Anna Heilferty, and Jordan Baggett, McKeown was on the final option year of her contract before entering into a new agreement with Washington this week. That the Spirit wanted to secure McKeown’s return for another three years even when not facing an expiring contract speaks to the value they place on her.

“Tara is a talented player who has impressed the coaching staff with her commitment to wanting to improve and be a leader in this group. I am looking forward to working with her and know she has the ability to keep improving in 2023.” -Mark Parsons; source: Washington Spirit

Congratulations to Tara on the new contract!