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The 11 Most Memorable NWSL Trades, No. 10: Thorns trade first-round pick for Mallory Pugh — and don’t get her

Photo Copyright Lewis Gettier for The Equalizer

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. 10 – Portland Thorns FC trade No. 3 overall pick to Boston Breakers for the top spot in the Distribution Ranking Order (DRO); the Breakers also received the No. 4 spot in the DRO (Jan. 15, 2016)

This one has a lot of tentacles to it, and it would probably be higher on this list had its original intent come to pass. The 2016 NWSL Draft began like no other. As go-time approached, a league spokesperson began to alert media that an announcement was forthcoming. The draft then opened with an announcement about the creation of the Distribution Ranking Order and an immediate trade that allowed the Thorns to rise to the top of the priority list. As the morning progressed, it became apparent that the Thorns had traded up to the top spot to sign high school sensation Mallory Pugh, who was expected to go pro.

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