Major trades have happened around NWSL that highlight 2015 offseason
Chicago, Ill. – In 2016, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) takes on a new look with the addition of the tenth team, the Orlando Pride. To make sure you are up-to-date for the upcoming 2016 season, below you can find all the information about the teams in the league (alphabetical order), including their 2015 NWSL record, offseason trades and what jersey your favorite U.S. Women’s Soccer player will be donning in 2016. Remember, as you read through, that each team and their respective players will be playing at Toyota Park in 2016.
Team: Boston Breakers
2015 Record: 4-13-4 (9th place)
USWNT Players: Whitney Engen, Stephanie McCaffrey (called up for Victory Tour)
Offseason Trade Acquisitions: Whitney Engen (WNYF->CRS), Sinead Farrelly (PTFC), McCall Zerboni (PTFC)
Head Coach: Matt Beard (1st season)
A team that has made drastic changes this offseason, the Breakers are looking to improve upon their 2015 season. Trading U.S. international goalkeeper, Alyssa Naeher, to the Chicago Red Stars for U.S. defender Whitney Engen, the Breakers added a strong presence in the backline. Recent call-up to the USWNT, Stephanie McCaffrey, will look to further improve on a strong rookie season. Under first year head coach Matt Beard, previously with Liverpool Ladies, the Breakers have had a strong offseason with three talented veterans joining the team.
Team: Chicago Red Stars
2015 Record: 8-3-9 (2nd place, lost in semifinals to FCKC)
USWNT Players: Alyssa Naeher, Julie Johnston, Christen Press, Danielle Colaprico (called up for Victory Tour)
Offseason Trade Acquisitions: Alyssa Naeher (Boston)
Head Coach: Rory Dames (6th season)
The Chicago Red Stars finished 2nd place in the NWSL regular season, the best finish in Red Stars history. With a talented rookie class, including NWSL Rookie of the Year and recent U.S. National Team call-up Danielle Colaprico, the Red Stars will look to stay on top in 2016. With one of the biggest trades in the off-season, the Red Stars sent Adriana Leon and Abby Erceg to Western New York Flash in exchange for U.S. defender Whitney Engen. Engen would later be traded to Boston Breakers in exchange for U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, only adding to the strong depth of the Chicago Red Stars.
Team: Houston Dash
2015 Record: 6-8-6 (5th place)
USWNT Players: Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian
Offseason Trade Acquisitions: Amber Brooks (Seattle), Nicki Cross (Spirit)
Head Coach: Randy Waldrum (2nd season)
In one of the most confusing trades of the offseason, the Houston Dash were part of the Orlando/Portland/Seattle/Houston deal. The trade ultimately landed Dash midfielder Amber Brooks, a strong veteran in the NWSL. With the 2015 Expansion Draft, teams were held to only saving 2 USWNT allocated players and Houston had 3, meaning they would not be able to save one. In comes the trade fiasco: Meghan Klingenberg (with Brian and Lloyd being saved) being sent to Seattle (read about Seattle to see next part of Klingingberg’s move around the NWSL) in exchange for Brooks. The Dash have a strong team, with two U.S. midfielders, including FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Boot recipient Carli Lloyd, so do not be surprised to see them push for playoffs in 2016.
Team: FC Kansas City
2015 Record: 9-6-5 (3rd place, 2015 NWSL Champions)
USWNT Players: Amy Rodriguez, Becky Sauerbrunn, Heather O’Reilly
Offseason Trade Acquisitions: Brittany Taylor (WNYF)
Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski (4th season)
Winning both the 2014 and the 2015 NWSL Championships, Kansas City has become the team to beat. Not much has happened in the offseason with FCKC (not much has to happen when you win back-to-back), but one major loss is the retirement of U.S. Women’s National Team central midfielder Lauren Holiday. Kansas City was untouched in the Expansion Draft, so they were able to keep all three of their U.S. internationals. Brittany Taylor, defender from WNYF was acquired in exchange for Becca Moros.
Team: Orlando Pride
2015 Record: N/A
USWNT Players: Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris
Offseason Trade Acquisitions: Alex Morgan (PTFC), Kaylyn Kyle (PTFC), Sarah Hagen (FCKC), Stephanie-Elise Catley (PTFC)
Head Coach: Tom Sermanni (1st season)
Orlando Pride is the newest addition to the league, joining the NWSL for the 2016 season. The team did not disappoint from the start, hiring former U.S. Women’s coach Tom Sermanni, and immediately trading to receive U.S. star Alex Morgan and Canada international Kaylyn Kyle from the Thorns. Another trade with the Portland Thorns would further the development of the Pride, adding Australian international Stephanie Catley. Rebecca Edwards and Kristen Edmonds, who were traded to Orlando in exchange for draft picks from WNYF, make this roster filled with veteran talent. The 2016 Expansion Draft would not disappoint Pride fans. Picking up U.S. goalkeeper and Florida native Ashlyn Harris, Red Stars defender Taryn Hemmings, Jasmyne Spencer and Jamia Fields from WNYF, Camille Levin and Audrey Bledsoe from Sky Blue FC, Maddy Evans from Boston, England international Lianne Sanders from the Thorns and Toni Pressley from Houston. With their acquisitions during the offseason, Orlando Pride will be a team to be reckoned with from the beginning.
Team: Portland Thorns
2015 Record: 6-9-5
USWNT Players: Tobin Heath, Meghan Klingenberg
Offseason Trade Acquisitions: Meghan Klingenberg (Orlando), Dagny Brynjursdottir (Boston), Adriana Franch (Orlando)
Head Coach: Mark Parsons (1st season)
New head coach Mark Parsons, formerly the GM and head coach of Washington Spirit, has claimed he is coming into Portland and starting fresh; so far, his words have lived true. U.S. forward (and face of the USWNT) Alex Morgan was sent to Orlando via trade. Orlando then chose U.S. defender Klingenberg in the Expansion Draft with the first overall pick and sent her straight to Portland, following the terms of their trade. Thorns will have a handful of 2016 NWSL College Draft picks, including the overall No. 1 and No. 2 picks of the draft. The Thorns will be built for longevity around this strong 2016 NWSL College Draft class and leadership from 2015 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year Michelle Betos, Tobin Heath and Meghan Klingenberg.
Team: Seattle Reign
2015 Record: 13-3-4 (1st place, finalist in NWSL Championship)
USWNT Players: Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo
Offseason Trade Acquisitions: None
Head Coach: Laura Harvey (4th season)
Reign has won the last two NWSL shields under back-to-back NWSL Coach of the Year Laura Harvey, but have fallen short both years in the NWSL Championship finals. Just like FCKC, Reign did little this offseason in terms of trades, but did sign two internationals (Swedish midfielder Antonia Gӧransson and Netherlands forward Manon Melis). The trade involving Meghan Klingenberg went through Seattle, with Houston sending her to the Reign, but ultimately left her off the protective list for the 2016 NWSL Expansion Draft. The Reign received a big hit when midfielder Megan Rapinoe tore her A.C.L. in practice with the USWNT preparing for their match in Hawaii. The date of return for Rapinoe is unknown.
Team: Sky Blue FC
2015 Record: 5-8-7 (8th place)
USWNT Players: Kelley O’Hara, Christine Rampone
Offseason Trade Acquisitions: None
Head Coach: TBD
Sky Blue FC is under the microscope this offseason, as the league and fans wait for a head coach to be named. Finishing second to last in the 2015 NWSL season, Sky Blue will look to rebound this upcoming season with a young team, but hope the veteran leadership with goalkeeper Brittany Cameron and U.S. internationals O’Hara and Rampone will lead them back to success. Look for Sky Blue FC to rebuild in 2016 under a new head coach.
Team: Washington Spirit
2015 Record: 8-6-6 (4th place, lost in semifinals to Seattle Reign)
USWNT Players: Ali Krieger, Crystal Dunn, Christine Nairn (called up for Victory Tour)
Offseason Trade Acquisitions: None
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra (1st season)
Spirit has placed back-to-back fourth place regular season standings, enough to make it to the NWSL playoffs. No new acquisitions this off-season, but did trade with Boston, gaining two second-round picks in exchange for midfielder Angela Salem. The biggest loss for Spirit will be replacing U.S. international goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, acquired by Orlando in the 2015 Expansion Draft. However, the Spirit have the reigning NWSL MVP Crystal Dunn, U.S. international Ali Krieger and first time U.S. call-up Christine Nairn, so they will look to remain in the top part of the league under new head coach Jim Gabarra.
Team: Western New York Flash
2015 Record: 6-9-5 (7th place)
USWNT Players: Sydney Leroux, Sam Mewis (called up for Victory Tour), Jaelene Hinkle (called up for Victory Tour)
Offseason Trade Acquisitions: Adriana Leon (CRS), Abby Erceg (CRS), Rebecca Moros (FCKC)
Head Coach: Aaron Lines (8th season)
After a successful first season in the inaugural 2013 NWSL season, the Flash have finished in the bottom half of the league the past two seasons. Sydney Leroux, the U.S. international forward, played in only three games in her first season with WNYF, due to U.S. commitment and injury, but will look to be a bigger threat for the 2016 season if she can stay healthy. The Flash gained two internationals from the Red Stars, Erceg and Leon, in exchange for U.S. defender Whitney Engen (now with the Breakers). Joining the Flash for a second stint is defender Moros, who was traded from FCKC for Brittany Taylor.
All these teams will have at least one game against the Chicago Red Stars at newly announced stadium, Toyota Park in 2016. Season Tickets and 10-ticket Flex Packs are currently on sale, so reserve yours today so that you can watch the all your favorite USWNT players right here in Chicagoland! For more information visit here or call 773-697-8699.