Seattle Reign FC’s offseason rebuild continued Wednesday with the acquisition of forward Danielle Foxhoven from Portland Thorns FC in exchange for forward Jessica McDonald and the rights to defender/forward Rebecca Moros.
Foxhoven was a fixture in Portland’s NWSL championship-winning attack in 2013, primarily off the bench. She scored four goals in 21 games, including two game-winners, and was a fan-favorite in the Rose City after an All-American career at the University of Portland from 2008-11.
“While my experience last season with Portland was great, I am so excited to be embarking on a new adventure with Seattle Reign FC,” Foxhoven said in a statement. “I have nothing but respect for the Seattle Reign team and organization, so I am thrilled to be a part of that in the upcoming season. I look forward to preseason and can’t wait to represent Seattle in our goal of becoming 2014 NWSL champions.”
The trade, as first reported by The Equalizer, gives Portland some defensive cover. Rebecca Moros’ rights were being held by Seattle as a potential discovery player, but the Reign removed those in order for Portland to sign Moros, who will likely fill one of the holes left at fullback by the departures of Nikki Marshall and the retirement of Marian Dougherty. Moros wona 2011 WPS title with the Western New York Flash and has been playing in Japan with champions INAC Kobe Leonessa.
A Thorns representative tells The Equalizer that the team expects Moros to play for them in 2014.
“Rebecca is a very technical outside back who loves to get forward into the attack,” Thorns coach Cindy Parlow Cone said. “After playing consistently the last two seasons in Japan, she will help us continue to play the attacking style of soccer that we want to play.”
Foxhoven now has the chance for more minutes in Seattle, playing alongside recently acquired Sydney Leroux up top instead of off the bench behind U.S star Alex Morgan and Canadian legend Christine Sinclair in Portland.
Despite all of Seattle’s changes, the Reign still need help defensively. They look set with Stephanie Cox and Elli Reed on the outsides,but the middle of the park is still a question mark with several options at center back, a role that was something of a revolving door in 2013.
Portland, meanwhile, has quieted any defensive concerns with the departures of starting fullbacks Marshall and Dougherty. Moros is surely a candidate to start out at fullback — likely on the right — and Casey Ramirez, who only played in four games in 2013 after joining the team mid-season, could be an option on the other side.
Tina Ellertson is set to return, joining U.S. international Rachel Buehler and rookie standout Kat Williamson centrally. Any of those three could slide to the outside if need be.
Additional reporting from Dan Lauletta.
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