The Washington Spirit, just days after confirming that goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe and center back Shelina Zadorsky would return, have re-signed fullback Caprice Dydasco. The 23 year old Hawaiian made major strides last season, starting at right back while Ali Krieger was away with the USWNT during the Olympics before moving to left back for the stretch run. As is typical with NWSL contracts, terms were not disclosed.
A former US under-23, Dydasco started last year’s season opener, but a nervy performance saw head coach Jim Gabarra bring Alyssa Kleiner in at left back for the next eight games. When Krieger left for Olympic duty, Dydasco stepped in at right back and quickly grew in confidence. Even after Krieger returned, Dydasco moved back to the left and remained a fixture in Washington’s lineup. Dydasco didn’t miss a second of the final 990 minutes of the Spirit’s regular season, then played the full 120 minutes in the club’s 2-1 semifinal triumph over the Chicago Red Stars.
Dydasco also started the NWSL final, but saw her consecutive minutes streak broken in cruel fashion. A torn ACL saw Dydasco forced off in the 22nd minute, and that injury will impact her 2017. With the standard 6-9 month recovery time, Dydasco might be able to resume training in April (roughly around the time the season will likely kick off), but she could also be unavailable well into the summer. Still, it sounds like things are going well:
Enjoying the process but on the run already and got to kick the ball around a bit today! #thelittlethings #almostforgothowtokick— Caprice Dydasco (@CapriceDydasco) January 25, 2017
The Spirit will certainly be eager to see her return. Trading Krieger away has left Washington short of natural right backs. Kleiner and Whitney Church will both likely see minutes there, but both appear more comfortable in other positions. Dydasco’s speed and relentless overlapping will be hard to replace, and in a possession-oriented system, that extra width is often crucial in opening up space to break opponents down.