Spirit land Cuellar in multi-player deal

Dan Lauletta October 25, 2013 15
Renae Cuellar, FC Kansas City

Renae Cuellar (right) and Nikki Marshall were involved in a trade between the two bottom teams from 2013. (Photo Copyright Thad Bell for www.equalizersoccer.com | http://www.tpbphoto.com/)

The Washington Spirit acquired some much-needed scoring punch on Friday in a trade with Seattle Reign FC.  The Spirit acquired Mexican striker Renae Cuellar plus the rights to English discovery player Jodie Taylor.  In exchange the Reign now own the rights to Nikki Marshall and Mexican Alicia Garciamendez.  Third round draft picks were also exchanged with the Reign moving up to the No. 17 overall spot and the Spirit taking the No. 23 overall pick.

“Renae has great potential and brings a lot of important attributes to the Spirit,” Washington coach and general manager Mark Parsons said. “I know she is looking forward to this opportunity and hungry to help the club move forward.”

Cuellar began her NWSL career in Kansas City and scored the first goal in league history.  But an injury helped her fall out of favor and she was traded to Seattle during the season.  After scoring 5 goals in 11 matches for Kansas City, Cuellar did not hit the score sheet in 5 matches in Seattle.

The deal looks like more of a crapshoot for the Reign.  Garciamendez elected to play in Germany rather than join the Spirit where she was allocated.  Marshall spent 2013 in Portland where she started every match but was waived after the season and snatched up the Spirit in the post-season waiver draft.  Soon after that Marshall told Soccerwire she was unsure about playing in the league again.

“Garciamendez and Marshall are extremely talented defenders who could be great additions to our back line,” Reign coach and general manager Laura Harvey said. “We are hopeful we will have the opportunity to add Marshall and Garciamendez to our roster at some point in the future.”

The No. 23 pick was originally held by FC Kansas City.  The Reign acquired it in the trade for Renae Cuellar.

  • nwslfan

    injury? I thought it was constantly being offsides that caused Cuellar to fall out of favor…

  • Steglitz49

    How can Jodie Taylor be a discovery player? She played half a season for Gbg in Sweden where she was scoring like crazy and then just upped sticks and left her team in the lurch.

    • Boston Red

      Discovery Players may be either international or domestic. Players who were eligible for but not selected in the Supplemental Draft may be claimed as Discovery Players.

      That’s all the term means.

      • Steglitz49

        Thank you. Bizarre term, though. Like an “ex-parrot”.

        • Boston Red

          It’s a term stolen from MLS. It basically means “we found her first, so we get first dibs.” It’s designed to keep bidding wars to a minimum.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

    • kernel_thai

      I think Inka Grings was a discovery player…if u can discover a player with 350 club goals u can discover Taylor.

      • Steglitz49

        Verily and forsooth.

  • Silver Frost

    Nikki is going to play in Seattle, the rival of Portland? Ironic.

  • xanthophobe

    “The deal looks like more of a crapshoot for the Reign.”

    Something that is probably accurate for every trade that team has made.

  • kernel_thai

    For a player who was the talk of the league for a month and a half Cuellar has certainly had an interesting journey. Hopefully she fits in at Washington where they need scoring but in the effort to move her a long the Reign took a someday player under contract in Germany, a player just waived talking of retirement and a swap of third round picks. If they get Garciamendez and Marshall the Reign made out. The question is do they feel they made out even if they dont?

  • Ron Bishop

    Cuèllar shows how difficult it can be to fit a talented player into a team.

    • Steglitz49

      Not least if she is Mexican?

      • Ron Bishop

        I don’t know. If you mean the logistics of being an allocated player, then perhaps.

        I meant she seems to work best as a lone striker in breakaway situations. I don’t know many teams that want to build a team around that strategy. It’s seen as putting all your eggs in one basket. I don’t think she plays a wing particularly well – she has speed but doesn’t move laterally with the ball well. She is always looking to go to goal.

        I see her best as a fast sub after the opposing defense has been run down – a role Courtney Jones filled after Cueller was traded from FCKC.

  • snishy

    This deal is full of potential for Seattle, but that is all it is right now. The Reign are seriously banking on some good luck for Marshall to commit and Garciamendez to come back. And I know that they are saying this is for the long term future, but it really seems like Seattle is just gambling on this one. Whether it will be a good business decision? Time will tell.