WASHINGTON SPIRIT TRADE OYSTER
Last week, the Spirit traded center back Megan Oyster and their third and ninth overall picks in the 2017 NWSL College Draft to the Boston Breakers in exchange for Kristie Mewis and Kassey Kallman. The Spirit also exchanged their No. 2 spot in the Distribution Ranking Order (acquired from Orlando Pride) for Boston’s No. 1 spot in the order.
Oyster started every game of her pro career until her stock with head coach Jim Gabarra fell and she was benched in favor of Whitney Church. Oyster, 24, was a key part of the Spirit’s defensive success earlier this season; she could start for almost any other NWSL team so if she wasn’t going to play much, the Spirit could get more in return by trading her.
Neither Mewis nor Kallman had a great 2016 season for the Breakers but both have had good performances earlier in their careers. Mewis is a left-footed midfielder who has 15 caps with U.S. women’s national team. Kallman is a defender and had a rocky 2016 after a pretty good 2015 season with the Breakers.
The way for the Spirit to profit from this trade the most is if their No. 1 spot in the allocation order helps them land a star such as Mallory Pugh. The Distribution Ranking Order is used to distribute the rights to allocated players entering the league. Right now, there is no player publicly known to be entering the league through that process but, if that changes, the Spirit will benefit tremendously.
KELSEY WYS TEARS ACL
Spirit goalkeeper Kelsey Wys tore her right ACL this weekend in a match with Australian side Newcastle Jets. Generally, the timetable for an ACL tear recovery is 6-9 months, making it unlikely Wys will make a full return before the start of next season. With Stephanie Labbé’s return less than certain, it will be important for the Spirit to either guarantee Labbé’s presence for another year or acquire another good goalkeeper.
ROUND THREE OF W-LEAGUE
In other W-League action, Spirit forward Katie Stengel scored a goal and tallied an assist in Western Sydney Wanderers’ 2-1 win against Adelaide United. Stengel scored in the 59th minute and added her assist on the game-winning goal with only six minutes remaining. Due to trades and Wys’ injury, Stengel is now the only Spirit player active in the W-League.
U-20s TIE WITH GHANA, WIN GROUP
The US Under-20 women’s national team had a lackluster tie against Ghana on Monday but nonetheless managed to win their group and advance to the quarterfinals. Ghana scored in the 20th minute but Mal Pugh single-handedly beat several Ghanaian defenders to equalize. With the tie, the team sat level with France but the US won the group on the seventh tiebreaker: fair play (yellow card accumulation). Despite individual brilliance from a few players, the U-20 WWC has so far been pretty lackluster for the US. Canada, however, crashed out the tournament and finished in second-to-last place, just above Papua New Guinea.