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Washington Spirit sign four 2021 NWSL Draft picks

Trinity Rodman, Anna Heilferty, Sydney Schneider, and Mariana Speckmaier are all officially under contract

Jordan Small / Courtesy of Washington Spirit

The Washington Spirit have signed all four of the 2021 NWSL Draft picks that reported for preseason, bringing the club’s roster up to 23 players. Trinity Rodman, Anna Heilferty, Sydney Schneider, and Mariana Speckmaier have all been present in training camp since it began on February 1.

The Spirit all announced the length of all four deals. Rodman’s deal runs through the 2023 season, while Heilferty and Schneider are both on deals through 2022 with a club-held option for 2023. Speckmaier’s contract is for 2021, with a club option for next season.

Rodman, 19, never actually played an NCAA game, after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of Washington State’s 2020 season. Nonetheless, her success at the youth national team level has set her up as one of the league’s most highly-regarded prospects.

A Virginia native, Heilferty trained with the Spirit last summer and impressed veteran players in those sessions, setting her up to be selected in the second round last month. She posted 13 goals and 10 assists in 62 total appearances at Boston University, and has appeared for the U.S. under-18s.

Schneider, the Colonial Athletic Goalkeeper of the Year in 2019, joins the Spirit after three collegiate seasons with UNC Wilmington. Schneider also gained more widespread notoriety as Jamaica’s first-choice goalkeeper at the 2019 World Cup.

Speckmaier had a standout career with Clemson, putting up 25 goals and 29 assists while also spending two seasons playing on the same side as Spirit center back Sam Staab. Though born in the U.S., Speckmaier qualifies to represent Venezuela, and played for them in the Under-20 World Cup in 2016.

Washington’s other draft pick, Tara McKeown, is playing the spring season with the USC Trojans, where she has posted a 2 goals/1 assist stat line while starting all four of their games thus far.

In Washington’s first preseason game of the year, Heilferty started on the left wing, while Rodman (who scored twice in a 6-0 win) and Speckmaier played 30 minutes up front at center forward and right forward, respectively. Schneider has yet to appear, as the team rotated Aubrey Bledsoe and Devon Kerr in goal last week. The Spirit’s next preseason game is tomorrow against a select team from the IMG Academy.

Assuming the Spirit will keep one roster spot open for McKeown, Washington would have room for four more additions (including one more international player). NWSL veteran Morgan Andrews is in camp on trial, while head coach Richie Burke has mentioned that the club may well pursue at least one more signing before the preseason is over. With striker Averie Collins suffering a torn ACL in late January, it is possible that the Spirit add to that number in the coming weeks.