Reign FC re-acquire Christine Nairn

Dan Lauletta November 13, 2016 11
Christine Nairn spent three seasons in Washington. Now she's on her way back to Seattle. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Christine Nairn spent three seasons in Washington. Now she’s on her way back to Seattle. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

After three seasons with the Washington Spirit, Christine Nairn is heading back to Seattle Reign FC, the club for whom she launched her professional career in 2013. On Thursday the Spirit traded Nairn and the rights to goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel. In exchange the Spirit receive the rights to Havana Solaun plus the 3rd and 36th picks in January’s draft. The Spirit also acquired the Reign’s second round pick in 2018.

“I’m excited for Christine’s return to the club,” Reign head coach and general manager Laura Harvey said. “We felt it was the right time for Christine to come back to the club as we work towards achieving our ultimate goal. She played a key role in Washington’s success over the past three seasons and believe she can make a similar impact for our club.”

Nairn was the Reign’s first ever college draft pick in 2013 and started every match for the club as a rookie. The Penn State alum was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal inaugural season for the club. She was later traded to the Spirit in a move that help transform the Spirit as one of the returning parts was the discovery rights to Kim Little. Three years later, Nairn is back in Seattle where she will be charged with helping to replace Little who was recently transferred to Arsenal Ladies.

“I am very excited to come back to Seattle for the upcoming season,” said Nairn. “It has been one of the best organizations in the NWSL since day one. In my first year, I made such great relationships with everyone involved, so it makes it a very easy decision to return.”

On Solaun, the Spirit acquire the first piece in what looks to be a rebuilding project with Nairn joining Ali Krieger as regulars to have been traded since the club’s narrow loss in the NWSL Championship. She was a second round pick of the Reign in 2015 but missed the entire season due to a foot injury. Solaun returned to the field in 2016 but struggled to gain playing time in a crowded Reign midfield.

Schiffel was the 34th pick in the 2016 draft by the Spirit but spent the season in Norway.

  • Steglitz49

    Where is Seattle heading? and, how fast?

  • newsouth

    waiting on the press trade.

    • Steglitz49

      You may wait a long time. Caveat emptor, and all that.

    • Bruce

      CRS run the football (not business) side of things as well as anyone. I’d really be surprised if they didn’t retain Press for at least one more year.

  • Steglitz49

    Madalyn Schiffel played this past season for Avaldsnes in Rogaland county in the Westland of Norway. Do we know if she is returning to the US? The good nurghers, all 2958 of them, of Avaldsnes were most pleased with their Madalyn, though, as the Norwegians forswear the letter Y on account of the Vikings not using it, they may have had trouble both spelling and pronouncing her Christian name.

  • guest

    In an open letter to Spirit fans posted on Washington web site, Gabarra tries to make the case that Washington roster moves are just changes and improvements

    “Before making any changes, I evaluate each and every aspect of the club, taking into consideration input from my staff, talking to players, and then create a plan to improve and move forward. Just as was the case a year ago, the plan for the 2017 roster requires changes and improvements. These changes are not taken lightly, and are always difficult. Not everyone completely agrees with these changes as they happen, sometimes even including the owner. But I assure you that the only factors ever used in making these decisions are about how to put the best team on the field every day. I would never make any player trades based on any other factors, and ask for our fans’ consideration as we go through the changes that all NWSL teams go through this time of year.”

    Agree that Krieger to Orlando will help improve Orlando and while Nairn to Settle will not fully replace Little or Winters adding Nairn will help Seattle.
    Havana Solaun may well develop into a NWSL starter level player but on balance Washington without Krieger and Nairn does not appear be an improvement.

    • Steglitz49

      What happened to the age-old advise: “Never apologize; never explain”?

      Under this coach DC played in the final. They lost, admittedly because they were donkeys.

    • mockmook

      The Nairn trade will start to look a lot better once you get Lavelle (or whoever) with that 3rd pick.

      And, I think Solaun may end up surprising on the up side.

      Perhaps the Krieger move will also look much brighter if that Distribution player materializes.

      • JL

        Doubtful that Lavelle falls to 3rd. The consensus top 3 picks are Buchanan, Lavelle, and Jordan, but Buchanan and Jordan are rumored to be exploring overseas options. If that happens, Boston will likely take her #1. If they don’t, WNY almost certainly will.

        • mockmook

          Even if they do go overseas, the Spirit could likely get Gibbons — she’s pretty awesome and incredibly versatile.

  • FlyingSquirrel42

    Gabarra’s letter just seemed like a nothingburger to me. This is just bizarre – as far as I know, the Spirit aren’t in some big financial hole or facing outrageous contract demands. (In fact, wouldn’t the latter basically be impossible under the NWSL’s rules anyway?) Why on earth do you take a team that was 30 seconds from winning the championship and dismantle it? Yeah, I know, it’s just Krieger and Nairn so far, but Dunn has apparently made it known that she’s thinking about going overseas. Unless this is going to be an offseason-only thing, that’s three of the team’s key players, and I vaguely recall hearing that Labbe is rumored to be departing as well.