A pair of NWSL trades announced Thursday has a number of players on the move.
First, Sky Blue FC traded the rights to Australian international Caitlin Foord to Seattle Reign FC in exchange for defender Rebekah Stott and forward Katie Johnson. Then, Seattle traded the rights to Foord and a conditional second round pick in the 2020 College Draft to Portland Thorns FC for midfielder Allie Long.
Long is an original member of the Thorns and scored 30 goals and 13 assists while appearing in 100 career games for Portland. She started 17 of her 21 regular season appearances for the Thorns last year, and came on as a substitute in both of Portland’s two postseason matches.
“We are very appreciative of Allie’s contributions to the club over the past five seasons,” Thorns FC general manager and president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson said in a Thorns news release. “She accomplished a great deal during her time in Portland, winning two NWSL Championships and achieving her goal of making it to the national team, and we wish her all the best.”
“Strengthening our midfield with a world-class player like Allie Long is a big step forward for our squad,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a Reign news release. “Allie has been a massively impactful player for Portland over the past five years and we believe she can have a similar impact in our team.”
Foord spent three seasons with Sky Blue FC, but has not appeared in the NWSL since 2015. Sky Blue retained her rights as she spent the last two years playing in Japan and the W-League in Australia. If she returns to the NWSL to join Portland, it would give the Thorns a replacement offensive player after losing Nadia Nadim this offseason. Foord has 10 goals in 57 international appearances for Australia. She would also join her fellow Australian forward Hayley Raso on the Thorns.
“Caitlin is one of the most explosive and exciting players in the world,” Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons said in Portland’s announcement. “She has the ability to create and finish in various ways. Her enthusiasm and tireless work rate on both sides of the ball will bring a new dimension to our team.”
Update: Thursday night, Foord posted on social media about the trade.
— Caitlin Foord (@CaitlinFoord) January 12, 2018
Stott brings a veteran presence to a young defensive line in New Jersey, having represented New Zealand on the international level since 2012. Johnson (4 goals, 2 assists in her rookie 2017 season) joins a large group of forwards on Sky Blue’s roster: Shea Groom, Maya Hayes and 2017 NWSL MVP Sam Kerr. Johnson has represented Mexico at the international level since 2015, but will not require an international spot on Sky Blue’s roster as she has dual citizenship with the United States and Mexico.
“I am really excited about internationals Stott and Johnson coming to Sky Blue FC,” Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy said in Sky Blue FC’s announcement of the trade. “Stott is a proven back in this league, and her ability on the ball and running a defensive line are top level. Johnson is an attacking powerhouse with the movement, awareness and technical ability to be a top forward in this league.”
Long joins her women’s national team teammate Megan Rapinoe in Seattle and a midfield that features NWSL Best XI midfielder Jess Fishlock. The Reign, under new head coach Andonovski, also recently signed English forward and Euro 2017 Golden Boot winner Jodie Taylor.
“Since the league started, Vlatko has been a coach whose style of play is something I have always admired and respected. The fact he is at Seattle with some of the best players in the world is a dream scenario,” Long said in Seattle’s announcement. “I know this is exactly what I need to become the best player I can be. I am excited for the next challenge in my career – the best is yet to come. This team is special and it’s an honor to be a part of it. I can’t wait to make it reign.”