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Spirit land Cuellar in multi-player deal

Renae Cuellar, FC Kansas City
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 |

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.


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