The Washington Spirit have placed Chile national team forward Yanara Aedo on waivers, their second such move this week. Aedo, 24, initially joined the Spirit Reserves in 2015, spending two seasons with the club’s WPSL branch before leaving to play for Valencia CF. In June of last season, Aedo returned, this time getting a contract with the Spirit’s senior team. However, over roughly a full season split between 2017 and 2018, Aedo did not see time in an NWSL match.
With Chile having qualified for next year’s World Cup in France, Aedo is expected to sign abroad:
Much like Proffitt, I’m told Aedo is expected to sign elsewhere. https://t.co/uY0LpGvuCc— Jennifer Gordon (@jgordon1987) June 21, 2018
The move leaves the Spirit with two open roster spots and one free international spot. The latter is a rare commodity in the NWSL, where clubs start with only four apiece. Washington sent their fourth to North Carolina in the deal that brought Ashley Hatch and Taylor Smith, leaving them with just three (the Spirit’s other internationals are Estefania Banini and Francisca Ordega).
Between this move and the choice to waive Morgan Proffitt earlier this week, the possibility of a new signing is certainly something to consider. The NWSL has been buzzing with rumors of a series of trades, with the three-team deal involving Christen Press and Sofia Huerta is considered the beginning of a series of moves rather than the end. Several teams are said to want another international spot, but in eighth place, the Spirit could certainly use a high-end player from abroad.
In terms of how their roster is constructed, it seems likely that a defender would be a priority. While the Spirit have seemed short of forwards lately, it’s largely down to most of their injured players being attackers. No fewer than six attacking players were on last week’s injury report. By comparison, there aren’t six defenders on the roster, period.
However, there’s no guarantee that the solution is to simply sign someone. The Spirit have made sure to keep draft picks Schuyler DeBree and Maddie Huster around to train, and both were signed as national team replacement players earlier this month when Ordega and Aedo were away during the FIFA window.
Furthermore, forward Arielle Ship has recovered from last year’s torn ACL and was cleared to train without any restrictions recently. Ship has been on the Disabled List since the start of the season, which means she hasn’t been occupying a roster spot. To activate her, Washington needed an opening, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one of the open spots go her way.
In the meantime, the Spirit have 20 players on their roster, with Rose Lavelle and Tiffany Weimer not requiring a roster spot for 2018 due to the rules surrounding the Boston Breakers dispersal draft.