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Washington Spirit acquire Australia midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight in trade with Reign FC

Goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme is off to the west coast in the exchange

The Washington Spirit added to an already deep midfield today, trading goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme to Reign FC in exchange for Australia midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight. Kellond-Knight, 28, has 109 caps for Australia and has played in Australia, Denmark, Japan, Germany, Sweden, and signed with the Reign after the conclusion of the 2018 NWSL season.

In a team release, Spirit head coach Richie Burke said “I’m absolutely thrilled to add another World Cup player to our roster for the remainder of the 2019 campaign. Elise is one of those incredibly experienced players with over a century of international caps to her name, a veteran of 3 World Cups with the Matildas and a player who can play in multiple roles for our club,” before emphasizing that while Kellond-Knight was brought in to strengthen the midfield, her versatility as a possible left back could end up being helpful as well.

With Reign FC, Kellond-Knight played 64 minutes in one appearance before departing for the Matildas’ pre-World Cup camp. She’ll join a Spirit side that is very deep in central midfield, but perhaps lacks the experience that Kellond-Knight brings to the table. The Spirit, who came into the day with two free international spots, do not have to make any moves to add Kellond-Knight to the roster.

Prudhomme moves on after winning a roster spot during the preseason. She didn’t make an NWSL appearance for the club, but did make the gameday 18 twice (May 18 against Portland, and June 29 against North Carolina).

In an interesting turn of events, Reign FC making this trade (along with some other moves) ended up clearing the floor for them to sign much of the Spirit’s 2018 draft class just minutes after announcing this trade. Defender/midfielder Rebecca Quinn, who left the Spirit for Paris FC in the offseason, has joined Vlatko Andonovski’s side, as did defender Schuyler DeBree. Quinn played 17 games for the Spirit last year before moving to France’s D1F.

DeBree, selected 11th overall by the Spirit, completed her studies at Duke during the preseason last year, and other than dressing for one game as a national team replacement player, was never signed. She ended up joining AC Sparta Praha for the season, and our attempts to find out whether the team held her rights or not went unanswered. Most likely, though, those rights expired when this year’s preseason ended.

That isn’t the case with Quinn, though. Black and Red United has reached out to the Spirit for comment on that front, as it was previously reported by Steve Goff of the Washington Post that Washington would maintain her NWSL rights.

Update: We have not heard back from the Spirit, but Sounder at Heart’s Susie Rants has more details from Reign FC. Head over there for the full details on Quinn’s NWSL rights.