The Washington Spirit bolstered their squad today, signing defender/midfielder Line Sigvardsen Jensen. Sigvardsen Jensen, a current member of the Danish national team, was previously with Fortuna Hjørring. At her old club, Sigvardsen Jensen was part of a side that won two of the last three titles in Denmark’s Elitedivisionen, and in last year’s UEFA Women’s Champions League she scored one goal as Fortuna advanced to the Round of 16. Sigvardsen Jensen, who turns 25 next month, has 47 caps for Denmark while also captaining her country at the youth level. Sigvardsen Jensen will join the Spirit once she receives her US visa.
It’s not the first time Spirit head coach Jim Gabarra has brought a player over from Denmark. Danish striker Nadia Nadim joined Sky Blue FC on Gabarra’s watch, and since arriving in the back half of the 2014 NWSL season, Nadim has scored 17 goals across roughly two full seasons for Sky Blue and her current club, Portland Thorns FC. The Spirit would be quite pleased if Sigvardsen Jensen can make that kind of impact.
From a roster perspective, it will be interesting to see where Sigvardsen Jensen pushes for playing time. The Spirit had room to sign her due to the season-ending injury to Laura Del Rio, and the "midfielder" part of defender/midfielder seems to be the important part of questions about what position(s) she can play for Washington. The Spirit are strong at center back, with Megan Oyster and Shelina Zadorsky’s partnership being a big factor in Washington’s outstanding record of just 8 goals conceded in 11 games. Since Zadorsky has joined up with Canada’s Olympic team, Estelle Johnson - a starter last year - has stepped in alongside Oyster without a problem.
In the midfield, however, the Spirit are a bit thin once you get past the regulars. With Diana Matheson also playing for Canada (not to mention often spending time as a forward), the Spirit midfield features Christine Nairn, Tori Huster, and Joanna Lohman. Whitney Church has 4 appearances on the season, but has not entered a game earlier than the 83rd minute in 2016. Church is also a potential right back for the Spirit, while Caprice Dydasco - who has started two straight at right back - played some central midfield while on loan in Australia’s W-League during this past winter.