The Washington Spirit today announced that midfielder Morgan Proffitt has been waived. Proffitt, 23, was picked up last August off of waivers after the Chicago Red Stars had let her go and made a total of 14 appearances (6 starts) during her time with the Spirit. The defensive midfielder struggled to get on the field for Washington early this season, but of late had seen an uptick in minutes, including starts in the Spirit’s last two games.
It’s unusual to see a player start to break into the lineup only to be cut loose days later, but there is apparently a rationale behind Washington’s choice. Equalizer Soccer’s Jennifer Gordon is reporting that Proffitt is pursuing a move to a team in Europe:
I’ve been informed by the Spirit that Proffitt’s waiver was to allow her to pursue an opportunity in Europe.— Jennifer Gordon (@jgordon1987) June 19, 2018
The timing of this move may appear curious, but there are a pair of plausible explanations. The U.S. transfer window closes tomorrow, and if the Spirit have a player coming in from another league, that move will be coming very soon.
More likely, the open spot on Washington’s roster will go towards a player already in town. Forward Arielle Ship was cleared for full-contact training nearly three weeks ago, and with four forwards and a midfielder/forward on the injury report, it would not be a shock to see her added back onto the active roster. The Spirit could also offer a full contract to 2018 draft picks like Schuyler DeBree or Maddie Huster, who up until last week were on the roster as national team replacement players.
At the moment, though, Washington’s roster sits at 21 players, with Rose Lavelle and Tiffany Weimer extending the normal 20-player limit in the NWSL by virtue of their status as Boston Breakers dispersal draft picks. That includes three players (Andi Sullivan, Rebecca Quinn, and Tori Huster) that can play the anchor midfield role that Proffitt specialized in, which offers a straightforward explanation as to why the team would be willing to let Proffitt go.