Between the NWSL College Draft, Heather O’Reilly leaving the NWSL, and other trades, it was a busy week for women’s soccer. Last Thursday, the Boston Breakers dominated the first round but FC Kansas City and Sky Blue FC made some of the best picks. Later in the week, O’Reilly signed an 18-month contract with Arsenal Ladies FC.
Boston used its No. 1 overall pick to select Rose Lavelle, a Wisconsin midfielder who is currently in training camp with the U.S. women’s national team. With the third pick, the Breakers added Morgan Andrews, who recently won the NCAA title with University of Southern California. With the No. 2 pick, the North Carolina Courage selected Ashley Hatch. Hatch fits the team’s mold of powerful target forwards.
The Washington Spirit drafted three players: Lindsay Agnew, Meggie Dougherty Howard, and Cameron Castleberry. Agnew, a forward out of Ohio State, is a Canadian youth international. She holds US citizenship as well and consequently won’t take up an international roster spot. Agnew had a breakout senior season for the Buckeyes, scoring 10 goals after only marking eight in the previous seasons combined. With the No. 29 overall pick, the Spirit selected Dougherty Howard, a former Spirit Reserves player and four-year starter with the Florida Gators. With its final pick, the Spirit selected UNC product Cameron Castleberry. Castleberry is another midfielder draftee and either played as a winger and as an attacking midfielder during her time at UNC.
Heather O’Reilly departs NWSL
Former USWNT midfielder Heather O’Reilly is leaving FC Kansas City for Arsenal Ladies FC, Arsenal announced on Wednesday. The midfielder is the third prominent NWSL player join a European side. Per ESPN’s Graham Hays, O’Reilly signed an 18-month contract. O’Reilly first debuted for the USWNT as a 17-year-old and earned over 200 caps in her time with the national team. She was an integral part of the Breakers and was traded to FCKC ahead of the 2015 season.
Sky Blue FC signs Daphne Corboz
Former Georgetown midfielder Daphne Corboz signed with Sky Blue FC, the club announced today. Corboz was drafted by Sky Blue in 2015 but chose to play for Manchester City instead. Corboz scored 47 goals for the Hoyas and is Georgetown’s all-time leading scorer. Her sister, Rachel, currently plays for Georgetown.
Orlando Pride trade for Alanna Kennedy
The Orlando Pride traded Samantha Witteman to the North Carolina Courage in exchange for Australian center back Alanna Kennedy. Kennedy, 21, will help the Pride bolster its backline as the team looks to improve upon its inaugural season. Pride head coach Tom Sermanni formerly coached the Australian women’s national team and has signed several Australian internationals.
Thorns announce preseason tournament
The Portland Thorns announced it will host a preseason tournament featuring NWSL teams and the U.S. U-23 national team. The tournament will run from March 26 to April 1. It will feature the Thorns, U-23s, Houston Dash, and Chicago Red Stars.