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Nadim sent to Portland; Thorns, Sky Blue swap picks

Nadia Nadim is headed to Portland Thorns FC, who sent the No. 2 pick to Sky Blue and acquired the No. 3 pick. (Photo Courtesy Sky Blue FC/Robyn McNeil)

Nadia Nadim is headed to Portland Thorns FC, who sent the No. 2 pick to Sky Blue and acquired the No. 3 pick. (Photo Courtesy Sky Blue FC/Robyn McNeil)

Nadia Nadim is headed to Portland Thorns FC in a trade announced just two hours before the start of the 2016 NWSL Draft. The Thorns sent the No. 2 overall pick to Sky Blue FC — who is expected to use it on MAC Hermann Trophy winner and Costa Rica international Raquel Rodriguez — and acquired the No. 3 overall pick in 2016 from Sky Blue FC.

Sky Blue also acquired a natural first-round and conditional fourth-round selection from the Thorns in the 2017 NWSL College Draft. Portland also obtained natural second round pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft from Sky Blue FC.

[MORE: Position-by-position NWSL Draft player rankings  |  Sleeper picks]

Nadim burst onto the scene at the end of the 2014 NWSL season, playing her first game for Sky Blue FC on July 6 and tallying seven goals and three assists in six games. But in 2015, Nadim scored six goals in 18 games, going through rough stretches in which Sky Blue FC struggled to find her connecting options.

“Nadia is a dynamic goal scorer, with great personality and intelligence in how she plays,” Thorns coach Mark Parsons said.

Rodriguez tallied six goals and six assists for Penn State in 2015, scoring the game-winning goal in the College Cup final to clinch the Nittany Lions their first-ever NCAA title in women’s soccer. Rodriguez also scored Costa Rica’s first-ever World Cup goal last summer.

The Thorns have made it widely known that they will select University of Virginia defender Emily Sonnett with the No. 1 overall pick on Friday. It is widely believed that Sky Blue moved up to select Rodriguez. Portland, who some thought might take Sonnett’s Virginia teammate, Makenzy Doniak, can still do so with the No. 3 pick.

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