The North Carolina Courage have acquired the rights to midfielder Heather O’Reilly from Utah Royals FC in exchange for midfielder Makenzy Doniak, the two clubs announced Thursday. North Carolina will also receive Utah’s natural second-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for North Carolina’s natural third-round pick in next year’s draft.
O’Reilly has been signed to a contract and will be added to the roster pending the receipt of her International Transfer Certificate, the Courage said.
O’Reilly spent 2017 and first part of the 2018 playing in England for Arsenal. In four NWSL seasons split between the Boston Breakers and FC Kansas City, O’Reilly has 17 career goals and 16 assists in 47 appearances. Utah acquired O’Reilly’s rights after FC Kansas City ceased operations last November. O’Reilly, of course, starred for the University of North Carolina in her college career.
Doniak is currently out for the 2018 season with a torn ACL suffered on the first day of Courage preseason, after scoring seven goals in 12 games in the W-League this offseason for Adelaide United. She was drafted by the Western New York Flash in the second round of the 2016 NWSL College Draft. In 41 regular season appearances, she has three goals and seven assists.
The Courage also announced that Elizabeth Eddy has been placed on the 45-day disabled list.
“Heather is a massive addition to our squad,” Courage head coach Paul Riley said in a club press release. “Her temperament, work ethic, experience, skill and ability will enable her to make an immediate impact in Courage Country. Excited to finally coach her and I look forward to the positivity, influence and charisma she brings to every locker room. Every team in NWSL is getting stronger and it’s important we continue to grow, move forward and improve our performances. I think Heather adds to our style and culture and I know she will be very popular with our fan base.”
I went to the University of North Carolina as an 18 year old kid with a dream. 15 years later, around the world and back again, I’m playing in this place again and couldn’t be happier. Home. https://t.co/qQTy6Al7EO
— Heather O'Reilly (@HeatherOReilly) June 28, 2018