NWSL News of Notes: Ohai to Chicago, Purce and Zerboni to Sky Blue, Sonnett to Orlando, Stengel to Houston, Duffy to Orlando

The first dozen days of January 2020 saw a number of high-profile trades among NWSL teams, as well as some leadership changes.


The most notable trade of the week was Portland gaining the #1 pick in this month’s College Draft from Orlando, in exchange for USWNT defender Emily Sonnett and the prospective rights for Australian international Caitlin Foord, should she return to the NWSL.  [Rumor Alert]  Apparently, Portland is expecting Stanford forward Sophia Smith to declare early, now that they have the overall #1 pick. (Twitter)

Earlier in the week, Houston traded forward Kealia Ohai to Chicago for center back Katie Naughton plus a draft pick.  It is understood that Ohai wanted a fresh start after six years with the struggling Dash.

Trades Summaries:

  • Chicago ↔ North Carolina (03-Jan-2020)
    • Pick #6 of 2020 College Draft → North Carolina
    • Picks #9 and #18 of 2020 College Draft → Chicago
  • Houston ↔ Chicago (06-Jan-2020)
    • Kealia Ohai (Forward) → Chicago
    • Katie Naughton (Center Back) → Houston
    • Pick #18 of 2020 College Draft → Houston
  • Portland ↔ Orlando (08-Jan-2020)
    • Emily Sonnett (Defender) → Orlando
    • Rights for Caitlin Foord (Forward) → Orlando
    • Pick #1 of 2020 College Draft → Portland
    • Picks #7 and #14 of 2020 College Draft → Orlando
  • Portland ↔ Sky Blue (08-Jan-2020)
    • Margaret Purce (Forward/Defender) → Sky Blue
    • Rights for Raquel Rodriguez (Midfielder) → Portland
    • Portland’s “Natural” 1st Round Pick of 2021 College Draft → Sky Blue
  • Utah ↔ Houston (08-Jan-2020)
    • Katie Stengel (Forward) → Houston
    • Pick #22 of 2020 College Draft → Houston
    • Houston’s “Natural” 2nd Round Picks of 2020 and 2021 College Drafts → Utah
  • North Carolina ↔ Sky Blue (10-Jan-2020)
    • McCall Zerboni (Midfielder) → Sky Blue
    • Rights for Hailie Mace → North Carolina
    • North Carolina’s 4th Round Pick of 2021 College Draft (Conditional) → Sky Blue
  • Chicago ↔ Reign (10-Jan-2020)
    • Pick #9 of 2020 College Draft → Reign
    • Reign’s “Natural” 3rd Round Pick of 2020 College Draft → Chicago
    • Reign’s “Natural” 1st  Round Pick of 2021 College Draft → Chicago


On Tuesday, the NWSL officially announced that…

Amanda Duffy will step down as league President on February 15, 2020. Duffy joined the NWSL in 2017 as Managing Director of Operations and became Managing Director in 2018. She was named President of the NWSL in January 2019.

Duffy will remain in the NWSL as the Executive Vice President of Orlando Pride. In her new role, she will head all operations related to the Orlando Pride – both front office and technical – reporting directly to Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão and representing the Pride on the NWSL Board.

Additionally, Laura Harvey has stepped down as head coach of the Utah Royals FC in order to take the head coach position for the Under-20 United States Women’s National Team, which was vacated in December by Mark Carr.


Player Re-Signings:

  • Houston:  Rachel Daly (07-Jan-2020)
    • Notable – Allocation money was used to augment her salary
  • Washington:  Andi Sullivan and Audrey Bledsoe (09-Jan-2020)

Player Signings:

Player Retirements:

Player Departures:

Players Waived:


On Wednesday, the NWSL announced the on-air talents for the live streaming broadcast of the draft.  The coverage will be hosted by Marisa Pilla, with USWNT alumna Lori Lindsey and Jen Cooper (KeeperNotes.com) as analysts, plus retired NWSL player Jordan Angeli as a reporter.

Streaming Details:

  • Date: Thursday, January 16, 2020
  • Time:  11:00 a.m. EST
  • Live Streams:  YouTube as well as Facebook

For a current list of eligible players for the 2020 College Draft, see this Google Sheets spreadsheet.

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