In the third trade of the off-season, the Washington Spirit sent defender Megan Oyster, their number three and nine overall picks in the 2017 College Draft, and the number two spot in the Distribution Ranking Order to the Boston Breakers. In return, defender Kassey Kallman, midfielder Kristie Mewis and the number one spot in the Distribution Ranking Order are all headed to D.C.
Looking at the move from a personnel standpoint, this trade is the first from the Spirit this off-season that actually seems as if it could really benefit the club. Less than a week after trading away Christine Nairn, a key piece of their 2016 midfield, to the Seattle Reign, Washington acquired a solid attacking presence in Mewis. After starting all 20 games for the Breakers in 2015, injuries limited Mewis to only 14 games this past season. If she can stay healthy in 2017, she could be a great replacement for Nairn in the midfield.
In the second half of the 2016 season, Spirit head coach Jim Gabarra was often faced with the challenge of picking two starting center backs from a pool of four quality players at that position. Often times Megan Oyster fell out of the rotation and only played in four of the final ten games of the year for Washington. Kallman, who played in all 20 games in 2016 for Boston, will bring much needed leadership for the Spirit as both captains from last year’s roster have been traded.
As for draft potential, with the trade, Boston now has seven of the first 16 draft picks in the 2017 College Draft. The Spirit, on the other hand, will not have a pick until number 19, the second to last pick in the second round.
But the real interesting piece of this trade has to be the Spirit’s move into the number one spot in the Distribution Ranking Order.
The Distribution Ranking Order places new federation players onto teams in the NWSL in the order of their position on the ranked list. This means that if a newly contracted US or Canadian International player was to come to the NWSL, Washington would have the first rights to that player due to their position in the order. The move from second to first on the list makes you wonder if the Spirit knows of a player coming to the league that it wants the rights to.
This will be a move to keep an eye on in the near future.