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The 11 Most Memorable NWSL Trades, No. 11: Becky Sauerbrunn traded to Portland in first deal for allocation money

Photo Copyright Soobum Im for USA TODAY Sports

The National Women’s Soccer League has completed its 11th year of operation, which makes it a good time to look back at 11 memorable trades that have helped shape the league.

The NWSL is no stranger to blockbuster deals, some of which have lived up to their billing while some have fallen flat (remember Sydney Leroux to the Flash for a first-round pick and the rights to Abby Wambach?). Still others have helped set precedents that live today.

Between now and the end of the year, The Equalizer will bring you one memorable NWSL trade per day.

You can find the entire series here.

No. 11 – Portland Thorns acquire Becky Sauerbrunn from Utah Royals FC in exchange for Elizabeth Ball and $100,000 in allocation money (March 3, 2020)

Sauerbrunn, the cornerstone NWSL center back of the league’s first decade, was moved to Portland, at her request, for Ball and $100,000 in allocation money. (Another $50,000 was added in 2021 under the condition Sauerbrunn was still on the Thorns roster, which she was.) At the time it appeared to be one of those NWSL trades that was heavily lopsided toward the team preferred by the marquee player. In the end, we will never know.

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