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Washington Spirit announce preseason roster update

The preseason squad is down to 30 as the Spirit gear up for the start of the NWSL Challenge Cup

Kelley Piper / Black and Red United

Just over a month into their preparations for the 2022 NWSL season, the Washington Spirit announced an update to their preseason roster on Wednesday. A squad that initially included 38 players has been pared down to 30, with numerous trialists being let go without — at least for the time being — a contract being offered.

Of the four draft picks who reported for the start of the preseason, Washington still has three (Tinaya Alexander, Lucy Shepherd, and Audrey Harding) in camp. Maddie Elwell is expected to report later this season after completing her studies at Vanderbilt, while defender Jordan Thompson suffered a knee injury in the first week of training and is no longer listed on the team’s preseason roster.

There are two non-roster invitees, to use NWSL’s parlance, that will continue with the Spirit at this stage in the preseason. Amber Brooks, a longtime NWSL veteran who spent last season with OL Reign, has stuck around, as has US Under-17 attacker Jaedyn Shaw. A source tells B&RU that Brooks is likely to end up being offered a contract, while the Washington Post’s Steven Goff has reported that Shaw “seems on course to sign a pro contract” sometime this year.

Trialists Samantha Murphy, Andrea Frerker, Eden Jacobsen, Emma Kershner, Natalie McNally, and Alexis Mitchell are no longer with the Spirit. Murphy, who has prior NWSL experience with the North Carolina Courage, moved on to Icelandic club Keflavík ÍF shortly after the Spirit got to IMG Academy for the Florida segment of their preseason. She was replaced by Kelsey Dossey, an American goalkeeper who spent the last two seasons playing for Espanyol in Spain. After trading Kumi Yokoyama to Gotham FC, the Spirit brought in former Orlando Pride midfielder Abby Elinsky. Neither Dossey nor Elinsky are on the updated preseason roster.

It’s worth noting that, with the Spirit just concluding an international window that saw 11 players called up, the team will probably have to keep an eye out on prospects to offer national team replacement players. In other words, trialists that don’t end up signing abroad could end up appearing again down the road on NTRP deals this summer.

Washington had plans to play two preseason games once they returned from Florida, but a game initially scheduled for tomorrow against an NCAA team has been called off. The Spirit plan to play on March 12, though details (including whether the game would be in the DMV or elsewhere) have yet to be finalized. Washington’s Challenge Cup schedule begins a week later, with a March 19 trip to face Orlando.

The current Spirit preseason roster is as follows:

Goalkeepers (4): Aubrey Kingsbury, Devon Kerr, Sydney Schneider, Nicole Barnhart,

Defenders (9): Sam Staab, Kelley O’Hara, Emily Sonnett, Morgan Goff, Camryn Biegalski, Alia Martin, Karina Rodriguez, Julia Roddar, Amber Brooks*

Midfielders (9): Jordan Baggett, Andi Sullivan, Bayley Feist, Dorian Bailey, Anna Heilferty, Taylor Aylmer, Jaedyn Shaw*, Gaby Vincent, Tori Huster

Forwards (8): Trinity Rodman, Averie Collins, Ashley Sanchez, Ashley Hatch, Tara McKeown, Tinaya Alexander%, Lucy Shepherd%, Audrey Harding%

An asterisk denotes a non-roster invitee. A percent sign denotes a college draft pick.