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Nikki Marshall officially a Portland Thorns player again

Nikki Marshall is headed back to Portland in a trade with Seattle. She was waived by the Thorns a week after winning the championship with them. (Photo Copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

It’s official: Nikki Marshall is a Portland Thorns FC player, again.

As first reported Monday night, Marshall has been traded from Seattle back to Portland, where she started every game for the Thorns in their championship-winning 2013 season. Portland gets Marshall and the No. 9 overall pick in the 2014 NWSL College Draft and Seattle gets the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 draft and a second round pick in 2015.

Seattle acquired the rights to Marshall on Oct. 25 via trade with Washington after the Spirit acquired her via waivers in September. The Thorns put Marshall on waivers in what has recently been revealed as a cap decision. Portland wasn’t willing to bring back Marshall on her old salary, but she now has a new, reduced contract.

Paul Riley, named new Thorns coach on Tuesday after last week’s announcement that Cindy Parlow Cone had stepped down, had a clear impact on Mashall’s desire to return to Portland.

[MORE: Why Paul Riley is the right fit for Portland Thorns FC]

“I’m excited about the opportunity to be back in Portland, it was such a great experience for me,” said Marshall. “I’m even more excited play under Paul Riley. Paul and I have had conversations about me playing for him in the past and I’ve always wanted to play for him. I feel like he believes in me as a player, based upon our past conversations and experiences, so I’m thrilled for that opportunity. With Paul and the talent we have on this team, I think we can achieve big things this season.”

Seattle now owns the Nos. 6, 15 and 26 selections in the 2014 NWSL College Draft, which is set to take place in January 2014. In the 2015 NWSL College Draft, Seattle now has picks in the second round (acquired from Portland), third round (acquired from Kansas City) and fourth round.

Thorns FC now hold the No. 9, No. 14, No. 22 and No. 30 selections in the 2014 NWSL College Draft on Jan. 17, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Penn.

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