This morning the Washington Spirit waived defender Alyssa Kleiner. Kleiner played two seasons for the Spirit, appearing in 35 games. With the amount of additions the Spirit have made this offseason, several more players will need to be waived or traded before the season begins.
Kleiner primarily played left back for the Spirit, a role recent addition and U.S. women’s national team player Taylor Smith and a few draftees can help fill. Kleiner joined the Spirit two years ago in a trade that sent defender Katherine Reynolds to the Portland Thorns. She joined the Thorns in 2015 as an amateur and made eight appearances (four starts). Her stock is high enough at a position that troubles teams league-wide that she can probably end up with another NWSL team this season; one possible destination is the Houston Dash, who have a huge need for defenders.
As for the Spirit, this leaves them, between players under contract and draft picks, with 31 players (possibly 32 if Kassey Kallman re-signs) to sort through before the season. The league roster limit is 20 players, but the dispersal draft necessitated by the Boston Breakers folding has changed things for this coming year. An NWSL team can carry dispersal draft picks without those players counting against a team’s roster, salary, or permitted assistance caps. For the Spirit, those exceptions apply to USWNT midfielder Rose Lavelle, former Spirit forward Tiffany Weimer and defender Elizabeth Wenger (a 2017 draft pick).