Confirming rumors that have been swirling for some time, the Orlando Pride confirmed that they had acquired Ali Krieger in a trade with the Washington Spirit. This is a blockbuster trade for the Spirit, who traded their franchise player - and a very recognizable USWNT veteran - for less in return. News of the trade was first reported by Equalizer Soccer's Dan Lauletta.
In return, the Spirit get Orlando's spot on the Allocation Ranking Order. The Allocation Ranking Order is used when an allocated player (what the NWSL now calls an Unattached Subsidized Individual, or USI) is available for selection and more than one team selects the player. The Allocation Ranking Order is determined by the reverse order of finish the following season. Since the Pride finished ninth, the Spirit possess the second highest spot on the list.
Krieger has 95 caps with the U.S. women's national team, was part of the World Cup-winning 2015 USWNT squad, and played in her first Olympics. For the Spirit, Krieger - who was allocated the team by U.S. Soccer after playing for the Washington Freedom and FFC Frankfurt - led the team since its inception in 2013 and her departure could be detrimental both on and off the field. The Virginia native played 66 games for the Spirit across her four years with the club and scored 4 goals. She was part of the team’s transformation from a last-place finish in 2013 to being seconds away from an NWSL title last month. Krieger also helped lead the squad’s response to the anthem controversy in September.
Krieger’s departure is a key loss, especially since the backline was already dealt a blow with Caprice Dydasco’s ACL injury during the NWSL final. The Spirit recently re-signed Whitney Church, who can play either right back or center back, but the team is suddenly a bit thin defensively.