The Washington Spirit officially signed midfielder Havana Solaun yesterday. The Spirit had acquired the NWSL rights to Solaun from the Seattle Reign as part of the trade that saw Christine Nairn go west. In addition to Solaun, the Spirit received the Reign’s 3rd and 36th overall pick in this January’s college draft as well as the Reign’s natural second round pick in the 2018 draft, while trading the rights to goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel to the Reign. The Spirit then flipped that No. 3 pick to the Boston Breakers as part of the deal for winger Kristie Mewis and defender Kassey Kallman.
Solaun, 23, was drafted by the Reign in 2015 but broke her ankle in pre-season and had several surgeries that year to repair it. In 2016, she played in six games for the Reign as well as ninety minutes in a friendly against Arsenal Ladies. She scored the game-winning goal in June against the Houston Dash.
With Nairn’s departure leaving the Spirit short of natural midfielders, Solaun is likely to see much more playing time in 2017. Washington currently has two deep-lying defensive midfielders in Tori Huster and Line Sigvardsen Jensen, and a roving ball-winner in Joanna Lohman. Solaun would likely compete with Diana Matheson - who has played more regularly as one of the wide forwards in Jim Gabarra’s 433 - for playing time as an attacking midfielder.