The Washington Spirit announced yesterday that they had re-signed winger/forward Cali Farquharson for the 2019 season. As is NWSL custom, terms for the deal were not disclosed. Farquharson, 26, has been with the club since being selected 12th overall in the 2016 NWSL College Draft.
Few players with the Spirit over the last few years have had worse luck with injuries than Farquharson, who has made just 15 appearances over the last 2 full seasons. She was a regularly-used substitute as a rookie only for a torn ACL suffered early in a 2-1 win over Seattle Reign FC that sealed the team’s only home playoff game ever. That injury cost her much of the 2017 season, during which she made 10 appearances (only 3 starts). In 2018, a tibial stress reaction suffered early on kept her sidelined for most of the season. In the end, she played 152 minutes spread across 5 appearances (1 start).
A forward in college, Farquharson has largely spent her time on the left wing as a professional, though she has occasionally played on the right or as a center forward in either a 433 or 4231. Assuming the large majority of players from last year who were offered new contracts re-sign, Washington is still extremely deep at those positions. However, once the World Cup starts seeing players depart, the speedy Farquharson could become quite important to new head coach Richie Burke. Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh appear to be locks for the USWNT roster, while Francisca Ordega is a crucial player for Nigeria. Cheyna Matthews, who seems a solid bet to return to the Spirit despite not yet officially re-signing, just accepted a call-up for Jamaica earlier this month.
At the moment, the Spirit have nine players (Farquharson, Lavelle, Pugh, Aubrey Bledsoe, Whitney Church, Andi Sullivan, Taylor Smith, Mallory Eubanks, and Megan Crosson) under contract, along with five draft picks (Jordan DiBiasi, Samantha Staab, Tegan McGrady, Dorian Bailey, and Bayley Feist). However, the Washington Post’s Steve Goff recently said that Church was likely to be traded to the Houston Dash.
Seven returning players (Ordega, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Ashley Hatch, Tori Huster, Joanna Lohman, Cheyna Matthews, and Arielle Ship) remain unsigned after receiving offers last year, though it would not be a surprise if all seven end up back on the team for 2019. The team has also indicated strongly that they have two international players (both most likely from Australia’s national team) coming in as well.