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2020-21 NWSL Transaction Tracker

Looking for National Women’s Soccer League news on who signed where or who got traded? Check back for updates here on all the transactions. Trades and major signings are on top but scroll down past the break for a team-by-team rundown of comings and goings. For our 2019-2020 Transaction Tracker, click here.

HEADLINE MOVES AND ANALYSIS

February 24, 2021

Portland Thorns re-sign Lindsey Horan, Crystal Dunn to three-year contracts
Thorns analysis: Crystal Dunn has yet to suit up for the Portland Thorns, but she is already part of Mark Parsons’ big plans with the club. On Wednesday, the club announced that Dunn, along with her U.S. women’s national team teammate Lindsey Horan, signed a three-year deal with the club. Both players had allocation money involved with the deal. Back in early January, The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf reported about allocation money being used for Horan, in lieu of a U.S. Federation contract. Parsons called both players “key pillars” to the Thorns. “Their role on and off the field is crucial to our identity and the collective goals of the club. I am inspired by their dedication to the team and our vision to take this important step forward as a club,” Parsons said in a press release. — Rachael Kriger

February 23, 2021

OL Reign acquires English GK Karen Bardsley on loan from Manchester City
OL Reign analysis: OL Reign has more than one goalkeeper on their roster. Cosette Morché was the lone goalkeeper throughout this entire offseason. However, the club just added a veteran goalkeeper on their roster, but only until June 30, 2021: English international Karen Bardsley. Bardsley is coming on loan from Manchester City in the FA WSL, and has over 80 appearances for the Lionesses. In the Reign’s release, too, the club announced that once Bardsley returns to England, another “top goalkeeper” will be arriving from Europe. OL Reign head coach Farid Benstiti said that the goalkeeper situation is “tricky” and complicated, but that it will work for the team. Also, Bardsley does not require an international roster spot, since she was born in California and has U.S. citizenship. — Rachael Kriger

February 17, 2021

Pride re-signs Marta to a one-year deal
Pride analysis: The biggest news isn’t the signing itself, but the roster implications. Marta, who has been with the Orlando Pride since 2017, has signed a one-year deal with a club option for 2022. However, the biggest news is that she no longer requires an international spot on the roster, due to receiving her Green Card. Marta, one of the greatest forwards in soccer’s history, will look to resurrect a Pride team that saw improvements in the 2020 Fall Series. — Rachael Kriger

February 4, 2021

North Carolina Courage acquire Carson Pickett in a trade with the Orlando Pride; Pride acquire rights to Jodie Taylor
Courage analysis: As if the North Carolina Courage defensive roster could get any more crowded, it found a way. On the team’s preseason roster, 12 defensive spots were filled. Now, a 13th defender enters the fold: Carson Pickett. A longtime NWSL veteran, Pickett naturally plays left back. The Courage defense is crowded, with Taylor Smith coming back, Merritt Mathias returning from injury and Ryan Williams filling in late last year. Pickett could contend for a starting spot, but the crowded defense will be something to keep an eye out for in North Carolina. — Rachael Kriger
Pride analysis: Yesterday, the Orlando Pride re-signed Sydney Leroux to a three-year contract. There were only three forwards on the Pride’s roster, including Leroux, Alex Morgan and Marta. If there is an Olympics, the latter two will certainly be heading to Tokyo. Jodie Taylor could be an option for England, who qualified under Great Britain, but if she’s not, and she decides to come back from Europe, then she could form a great striker partnership with Leroux. The trade works for both teams.  — Rachael Kriger

February 3, 2021

Pride re-signs Sydney Leroux to a three-year contract
Pride analysis: Sydney Leroux isn’t leaving Orlando. The veteran forward is staying with the Pride, inking a three-year deal with the club through the 2023 season. According to the club, allocation money was used for the deal, too. The Pride only have three forwards on its roster: Leroux, Alex Morgan and Marta. Leroux will be key in 2021 if the Olympics happen, as Marta and Morgan could be on a jet for Tokyo. Leroux is not only a talented striker, but her locker room presence speaks volumes. The Pride made her a priority for all the right reasons. — Rachael Kriger

January 31, 2021

Pride acquires Gunny Jónsdóttir and Erika Tymrak from Kansas City in exchange for Kristen Edmonds, 2nd round pick in 2022
Pride analysis: My colleague Dan Lauletta said it best in this tweet: “I like the Jónsdóttir pickup for the Pride. That is a team desperate in need of exactly what she brings which is bite in the midfield.” Orlando got a great deal in this trade. Not only is Jónsdóttir a veteran midfielder who has found individual success in the NWSL, but she makes those around her better. A great locker room presence and on the field presence is what Jónsdóttir brings to the Pride. As for Erika Tymrak, the Pride confirmed she will return to the NWSL after retiring last January. An NWSL original, Tymrak is a champion that looks to help turn around a struggling Pride team. Meanwhile, in return, Kristen Edmonds is heading to Kansas City, and will likely be a defensive starter. — Rachael Kriger

January  28, 2021

Portland Thorns re-sign Emily Menges to a three-year contract
Thorns analysis: There’s no better right move for the Portland Thorns than this one. Emily Menges has been a Thorn since she began her professional career. She was drafted by the club in 2014 out of Georgetown and has become an impact player of the years. Menges has her name cemented in the Thorns history books, as she’s one of two players to make over 100 appearances for the Thorns. An NWSL champion and NWSL Shield winner, Menges should be on the national team radar. She’s young, an excellent centerback and a key, but yet underrated, part of Portland’s success over the last eight years. Mark Parsons, in a club release, said that Menges will be “critical” in the Thorns plans. — Rachael Kriger
Kansas City signs Australian international Chloe Logarzo through 2023
Kansas City analysis: Chloe Logarzo is coming back to the NWSL. The Australian international has signed through the 2023 season with Kansas City, the club announced on Jan. 28. Logarzo will arrive from Bristol City, where she made eight appearances and scored four goals. Before joining Bristol, she spent time with Sydney FC, the club she began her career with. Her first NWSL stint was in 2019, when she went on loan with the Washington Spirit. Internationally, Logarzo has made 48 appearances for Australia and was on the FIFA Women’s World Cup squad. In a press release, Kansas City coach Huw Williams called her “creative, dynamic and highly competitive.” — Rachael Kriger

January  27, 2021

Washington Spirit re-signs Kumi Yokoyama to a two-year contract
Washington Spirit analysis: Kumi Yokoyama, according to Washington Spirit head coach, learned a lot and adjusted to the style and competition of the NWSL in 2020. Now, Burke said he is aiming to have “more production” from Yokoyama, and re-signed her to a two-year contract. Yokoyama featured in all nine matches for the Spirit in 2020 at the Challenge Cup and Fall Series. Her first NWSL goal came in the Fall Series finale over Sky Blue FC. The Japanese international brings veteran experience and an eye for goal to Washington. — Rachael Kriger

January  26, 2021

Sky Blue FC re-signs McCall Zerboni to a two-year contract
Sky Blue FC analysis: She’s back and ready to get after it with Sky Blue FC. McCall Zerboni has re-signed with the club on a two-year deal, with a club option for 2023. Zerboni saw limited time on the pitch in 2020. Due to a torn meniscus, she missed the entire NWSL Fall Series. However, when she did feature for Sky Blue, she started all five of her appearances. Zerboni’s impact isn’t just on the pitch in terms of physical play; her leadership is garnered as one of the best in the league. In the club’s press release, Alyse LaHue, Sky Blue general manager, called her the “backbone” of the club. — Rachael Kriger
Washington Spirit sign Swedish international Julia Roddar to a two-year contract
Washington Spirit analysis: After winning the Swedish championship with Göteborg FC, Julia Roddar is heading to the NWSL. Roddar featured over 70 times for Göteborg in the last three seasons. This isn’t her first stint in the U.S., though. She featured in college at the University of Wisconsin, and then at Florida Gulf Coast for three years. At the senior level, Roddar has featured for Sweden seven times and was part of the bronze-medal winning World Cup team last year. Richie Burke, Spirit head coach, was adamant about bringing in another international. This one has experience to her resume, which will be key for a youthful Spirit team. — Rachael Kriger

January 18, 2021

North Carolina Courage sign Ghana WNT captain Elizabeth Addo to a one-year contract
North Carolina Courage analysis: The North Carolina Courage have lost a lot of pieces recently, including the most recent loss of Abby Dahlkemper to Manchester City. There’s no indication to when Sam Mewis is going to return from the same club. The Courage decided to bolster the attack by signing Elizabeth Addo, who is no strange to the NWSL. She formerly played for OL Reign — when the club was known as the Seattle Reign — in 2018. She joins the Courage from Apollon Limassol in Cyprus. Captain of the Ghanaian women’s national team, Addo brings a wealth of experience and goal-scoring abilities to the Courage.  — Rachael Kriger

January 4, 2021

OL Reign acquires Tziarra King in trade with Kansas City; Kansas City acquires Darian Jenkins, rights to Meg Brandt
OL Reign analysis: Tziarra King has a new home in the Pacific Northwest. The second-year striker in the National Women’s Soccer League will look to score goals for OL Reign in 2021 after a trade with Kansas City. Spending her rookie year with the new dissolved Utah Royals FC, King scored twice in the Challenge Cup and Fall Series, totaling 406 minutes of action. Meanwhile, for the new Kansas City club, Darian Jenkins will join the fold. The decision to trade Jenkins was “very difficult” according to Farid Benstiti, who hinted that Megan Rapinoe’s return in 2021 helped to prompt the move. Jenkins didn’t quite find her  footing in Tacoma, so maybe a change of scenery will help her explode in the league. Draft picks were also involved with this trade. OL Reign will receive a second-round selection in 2022, while Kansas City now holds the Reign’s fourth-round pick in the upcoming 2021 draft. — Rachael Kriger

December 29, 2020

Chicago Red Stars acquire Mallory Pugh and Sarah Woldmoe from Sky Blue FC; SBFC receives an international pick in both 2021 and 2022, the No. 4 and 8 overall picks in the 2021 NWSL Draft and a conditional first-round pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft
Chicago Red Stars analysis: Sarah Woldmoe is a starting midfielder in the NWSL. There’s no doubt about that fact. She was a stalwart for Sky Blue FC for six seasons. Wanting to leave and move to the Midwest to be closer to her husband and family, Woldmoe now joins a crowded Chicago Red Stars midfield that include Julie Ertz, Morgan Gautrat, Vanessa DiBernardo and Danielle Colaprico — just to name a few. Meanwhile, Mallory Pugh suited up and featured for 29 minutes for Sky Blue FC after battling through various injuries last season. She’ll be tested under Rory Dames and the Red Stars, looking to combine up top with Kealia Ohai.  — Rachael Kriger

December 24, 2020

Washington Spirit acquires Emily Sonnett; Orlando Pride receives Meggie Doughtery Howard, No. 9 overall 2021 NWSL Draft pick, conditional 2022 or 2023 first-round pick and $140,000 in allocation money
Washington Spirit analysis: It’s a lot to give up for one player, but having that USWNT tag on your name sure does help for Emily Sonnett! After winning the Swedish title in 2020 with Göteborg, Sonnett will be heading back to the NWSL this spring. She didn’t feature for the Orlando Pride in her brief stay with the club. Washington bolstered their already young defense with Sonnett, who can play both outside back and center back. — Rachael Kriger
Orlando Pride analysis: Christmas might have come early for Richie Burke, but it really came early for the Orlando Pride. The Sonnett deal didn’t work out, so the team in Orlando got together and got a ton out of this deal. Having Doughtery Howard brings a solid defensive midfielder to Orlando. That’ll be needed with Alanna Kennedy being picked in the Expansion Draft by Racing Louisville. However, on top of all that, Orlando hauled in the No. 9 overall pick in this year’s draft, a conditional 2022 or ’23 pick and then a heaping pile of allocation money. No matter how Sonnett plays, the winner in this one is the Pride.   — Rachael Kriger

December 21, 2020

Stephanie Labbé signs with FC Rosengärd, leaving the Courage
North Carolina Courage analysis: Stephanie Labbé is leaving the North Carolina Courage after two years back in the NWSL. Labbé has signed with FC Rosengärd in Sweden, electing to leave the U.S. and head overseas. Labbé’s departure leaves two young goalkeepers on the North Carolina Courage roster, Sam Murphy and Casey Murphy, and one veteran, Katelyn Rowland — although only the two Murphy’s have been re-signed. The starting goalkeeper job is Casey Murphy’s to lose. She was brought to North Carolina in a big trade with the Reign, and has the chance to start and excel on one of the most prolific NWSL clubs.  — Rachael Kriger

December 18, 2020

Houston Dash re-signs Sophie Schmidt through 2022, with option for 2023
Houston Dash analysis: Sophie Schmidt has been an integral part of the Houston Dash since her arrival in 2019. The 32-year-old midfielder has  become a regular starter for the reigning Challenge Cup champions. In 2020, Schmidt started nine of 11 appearances, and notably scored a penalty in the Challenge Cup Final against Chicago. Head coach James Clarkson said that Schmidt is an important player “on and off the field” and that he and the club wants to push Schmidt to “new levels.” Her deal is through 2022, with an option for 2023.  — Rachael Kriger

December 16, 2020

Houston Dash acquires Emily Ogle and Gabby Seiler from Portland Thorns; Thorns receives 7th and 37th picks in the 2021 NWSL College Draft
Houston Dash analysis: So far this offseason, the Houston Dash roster has relatively remained intact from their NWSL Challenge Cup winning team, save for CeCe Kizer and Erin Simon being selected by expansion club Racing Louisville. Adding playmakers Emily Ogle and Gabby Seiler brings youth to an already youthful Dash team. Seiler is coming off an ACL injury and made her return in the Challenge Cup. Meanwhile, Ogle got plenty of minutes during this past year’s competitions, starting two of five appearances. — Rachael Kriger
Portland Thorns analysis: The NWSL hasn’t released a list of players signed up for the College Draft yet. However, No. 7 is a pretty high pick. The Thorns also got pick No. 37. Portland has about a month left to scout players for their two picks, which join the picks they already had (12, 22 and 32). Portland now has five picks in the draft, with at least one pick in each round.  — Rachael Kriger

December 7, 2020

OL Reign acquires Ally Watt in trade with North Carolina Courage; Courage acquire Taylor Smith and rights to Jodie Taylor
OL Reign analysis: OL Reign had a hectic time last year scoring goals. As new players were acquainting themselves with each other, and a new coach, the Reign compiled six goals at the Fall Series and one goal at the Challenge Cup. Now, the team has acquired Ally Watt, a forward coming off an ACL injury that robbed her of her rookie season. A determined Ally Watt will be big for the Reign. — Rachael Kriger
North Carolina Courage analysis: Jodie Taylor hasn’t indicated if she will come back to the United States in 2021 or not, but Taylor Smith returning to the North Carolina Courage is a big move. With Merritt Mathias recovering from a torn ACL, Smith will look to secure a starting spot. Also, with Addisyn Merrick being selected by Louisville, the left back spot is wide open.  — Rachael Kriger

December 4, 2020

OL Reign re-signs Shirley Cruz, Sam Hiatt and Kristen McNabb, adds Cosette Morché
OL Reign analysis: Shirley Cruz has familiarity with OL Reign head coach Farid Benstiti, as they were paired together at both Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain. It makes sense to re-sign a player that coach Benstiti is familiar with and can work around. Cruz, captain of the Costa Rican women’s national team, started all four Fall Series matches and four Challenge Cup matches. She made history in the Fall Series when playing against the Portland Thorns, as she and fellow international teammate Raquel Rodriguez were the first Costa Rican internationals to face off in NWSL history… As for Cosette Morché, the former Texas A&M starter is currently the only goalkeeper on the Reign roster. This offseason, the Reign traded Casey Murphy to the North Carolina Courage, while Michelle Betos was picked up in the Expansion Draft by Racing Louisville. Morché will join the Reign after playing in Sweden with Eskilstuna United DFF, where she made 10 appearances and recorded two clean sheets in 2020. Keep your eyes out for more signings, especially at the goalkeeper position. — Rachael Kriger

November 30, 2020

Washington Spirit re-signs Tori Huster to two-year contract
Washington Spirit analysis: When you think of the Washington Spirit, odds are that you’re going to think of Tori Huster. The 31-year-old defender/midfielder has been with the Spirit since the NWSL’s creation in 2013. Huster has recorded 143 appearances, with 135 starts, and has compiled over 11,900 minutes on the pitch for Washington. She’s a veteran presence on a team with a lot of youth. Retaining her for two more years was the smartest move Richie Burke could’ve made this offseason. As good as the youth is on the Spirit roster, there’s no doubt that veteran presence can carry a lot of weight. — Rachael Kriger

November 5, 2020

The NWSL announced protected player lists for the 2020 Expansion Draft. Racing Louisville FC can select up to 18 players.

November 4, 2020

Jaelene Daniels retires
North Carolina Courage analysis: Jaelene Daniels’ retirement after six seasons in the NWSL leaves the Courage with a big question to answer at fullback. Daniels (nee Hinkle) was the best left back in the NWSL and an integral part of the Courage’s on-field success over the past few years. Between losing Crystal Dunn and, now, Daniels, it is more obvious why Courage head coach Paul Riley spent large part of 2020 experimenting with new systems. The famous box midfield — with attacking width provided by the fullbacks — might be a thing of the past. The ‘but’ there is this: Merritt Mathias should be ready to go for 2021 and will certainly solve at least one side of that fullback equation. — Jeff Kassouf

November 2, 2020

Racing Louisville FC acquires Cheyna Matthews via re-entry wire
Louisville analysis: Cheyna Matthews, a five-year member of the Washington Spirit, didn’t last long on the NWSL re-entry wire. Matthews was picked up by Racing Louisville FC ahead of its inaugural 2021 season. Matthews joins head coach Christy Holly, who called her a player with a “good reputation around the league.” Currently, Matthews is expecting her second child, and will join Louisville sometime in 2021. — Rachael Kriger

October 29, 2020

Portland Thorns sign defender Natalia Kuikka
Thorns analysis: Kuikka arrives in Portland on a two-year deal after the Thorns teased a signing from the Damallsvenskan for most of the year. Kuikka is a Finland international who comes highly rated as one of the best players of the recent season in Sweden with Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC. She won an NCAA title with Florida State in 2018 and is versatile enough to play anywhere on the back line or as a defensive midfielder. Look for the Thorns to build around her as a central defender. International spots aren’t used lightly in the NWSL, so this speaks to the potential the Thorns see in Kuikka, who turns 25 in December. — Jeff Kassouf

October 26, 2020

Racing Louisville FC acquired Savannah McCaskill, Yuki Nagasato, the No. 5 pick in the 2021 draft, and an international roster spot through 2022 in exchange for full roster protection for the Chicago Red Stars ahead of the expansion draft
Louisville analysis: The league’s newest team added its first players, and did it with a bang. Nagasato is a technical marvel capable of both scoring and setting up goals. McCaskill was the No. 2 pick in 2018 but has had a tough go of it, starting when the Breakers went out of business shortly after drafting her. But she seemed to hit a new stride in 2020, her first full season in Chicago. Adding the international spot won’t matter unless they use it but it is a sign the club plans to be aggressive in that market, and the no. 5 pick speaks for itself. Holly engineered a very successful 2017 draft in his only full cycle as coach of Sky Blue. And all they had to do was promise not to take anyone else off the Red Stars in the expansion draft. — Dan Lauletta
Red Stars analysis: At first look this as a lot to give up. And it was. At the same time, the trade allowed the Red Stars to control the narrative a bit in terms of the expansion draft. They also have five federation players meaning they likely would have had to expose Morgan Gautrat, Alyssa Naeher, and Casey Short. It is easy to say any of those three are well worth a trade for McCaskill, Nagasato, and the other traded assets, but this is the direction the Red Stars elected to go. It is also worth noting that with Emily Boyd hurt, Naeher has no viable backup on the roster at the moment. At the end of the day, good teams with depth are going to be hurt by the expansion draft. This was the Red Stars way of trying to ease the hurt as best as possible.— Dan Lauletta

October 22, 2020

In three-way trade, Portland Thorns FC acquire Crystal Dunn from OL Reign in exchange for the Thorns 1st round pick in 2022, an international slot for 2021, and $250,000 in allocation money; OL Reign acquired Dunn from North Carolina Courage in exchange for Casey Murphy and and $140,000 in allocation money
Thorns analysis: For the second time this year a national team player requested a move to Portland, citing personal reasons. And for the second time this year the Thorns were able to make it happen, this time with a little help from their rivals up I-5. The acquisition of Dunn–the earlier move in 2020 was for Becky Sauerbrunn–was too good to pass up. If Dunn performs anything like she has over three years in North Carolina, the Thorns will hardly miss any of the assets they sent to the Reign. It will just be a matter of fitting her in as Dunn is not a prototypical midfielder for the 4-3-3 they team has favored in the last several years. — Dan Lauletta
Courage analysis: There is little chance the Courage actually wanted to move on from Dunn, and it could well spell the end of their run of dominance. But on the positive side is that they acquired the services of Casey Murphy, one of the top young keepers in the United States. And moving on from Dunn means they are down to two federation players (Abby Dahlkemper and Sam Mewis), both of whom they can protect in next month’s expansion draft. But there is no way to avoid it. The 2021 Courage are going to look very different than the 2017-2019 versions did. — Dan Lauletta
Reign analysis: The Courage and Thorns could not agree on terms to get Dunn to her desired locale, so the Reign stepped in and facilitated the move. They basically traded Murphy for a 1st round pick, an international slot, and a net $110,000 in allocation money. As good as Murphy might be or might ever become, that is too good a deal to pass up. In the short term they will need a goalkeeper to compete with Michelle Betos for the starting role.— Dan Lauletta

October 28, 2020

Washington Spirit re-sign seven players to two-year contracts
Washington Spirit analysis: Paige Nielsen, Ashley Hatch, Bayley Feist, Jordan DiBiasi, Tegan McGrady, Dorian Bailey and Sam Staab. Those seven players are staying in Washington with the Spirit, pending the NWSL Expansion Draft and the release of protected players. The Spirit announced the seven re-signings on Oct. 28, keeping these seven core players part of Richie Burke’s plans in the nation’s capital for the next two years, with a club option for a third season. Washington is a young team with a lot of potential. The Spirit took third place in the NWSL Fall Series with two wins, one draw and one loss. Washington has a lot to build on, and re-signing this group of young, core players is the right step. — Rachael Kriger

 

September 30, 2020

Courage sign Jamaican midfielder Havana Solaun to short-term contract
North Carolina Courage analysis: Havana Solaun should be a familiar face for those who follow the NWSL.  She began her career in the NWSL with the former Seattle Reign, and then made her way to the Washington Spirit, where she made 37 appearances in 2017 and 2018. Solaun spent 2019 in Europe, featuring for Klepp IL in Norway. Internationally, she scored Jamaica’s first-ever World Cup goal in 2019 against Australia. Solaun most recently featured in 2020 for Paris FC and then Apollon Ladies in Cyprus. The 27-year-old midfielder will be eligible to play for the Courage on Oct. 4, against the Houston Dash. — Rachael Kriger

 

September 10, 2020

Utah Royals FC acquire Michele Vasconcelos from Chicago Red Stars in exchange for $55,000 in allocation money
Royals analysis: The Royals are short on players and likely won’t have Christen Press until after the Olympics, if at all in 2021. In Vasconcelos they have acquired a high-upside, attacking player who was born in Sandy, Utah, the same town where she will now be playing home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium. Vasconcelos is not the type of player a team will build an offense around but she can be a contributor and will be rejoining Craig Harrington, the Royals head coach who was an assistant with the Red Stars before this season. The allocation money may have been earmarked for the Dzsenifer Marozsan/Sarah Bouhaddi signings that never came to pass over the summer. — Dan Lauletta
Red Stars analysis: Vasconcelos was a typical Red Stars product. Drafted in the 2nd round, she missed her rookie season because of what she acknowledged was an unexpected pregnancy. But the Red Stars stuck with her and she became an important bench player for the squad in 2018 and 2019 until a torn ACL cut her season short. Nearly four years after drafting Vasconcelos, the Red Stars have turned the investment into $55,000 in allocation money. What they’ll do with that cash is anyone’s best guess and will ultimately be the determining factor in what kind of trade this turns out to be. — Dan Lauletta

September 9, 2020

Christen Press and Tobin Heath sign with Manchester United
Analysis: The Portland Thorns will retain the rights to Tobin Heath when she returns to the NWSL. The Utah Royals FC will retain the rights to Christen Press when she returns. Press and Heath are among many internationals and NWSL players making the jump overseas to Europe, following her USWNT teammates Sam Mewis, Rose Lavelle and Emily Sonnett. Manchester United is a newer club in the WSL, competing in only the club’s second season in the league.  — Rachael Kriger
Yuki Nagasato makes history
Chicago Red Stars analysis: Yuki Nagasato is making history in Japan. Nagasato is the first woman to sign with a men’s team in Japan, joining Hayabusa Eleven, an amateur men’s club which features in the Kanagawa Prefecture League. Nagasato’s rights will be retained by the Chicago Red Stars. She joined the Red Stars in 2017, and has made 52 appearances since. Her loan in Japan will end prior to the 2021 NWSL preseason.  — Rachael Kriger
Denise O’Sullivan on loan with Brighton & Hove Albion
North Carolina Courage analysis: Denise O’Sullivan, the MVP of the North Carolina Courage last year, will finish the 2020 season on loan with FA WSL club Brighton & Hove Albion. Her loan will last until Dec. 31, 2020. The Irish international parts the NWSL for the remainder of the year with some fond words from head coach Paul Riley. “Brighton will be a great home for her and we wish her all the best for her loan club and country as she continues to identify herself as one of the most gifted and complete midfielders in world soccer,” Riley said. — Rachael Kriger

August 31, 2020

Houston Dash re-sign Rachel Daly to extension through 2023
Dash analysis: The Houston Dash have locked down Rachel Daly through 2023, marking a three-year extension. There is no official indication if allocation money was used to re-sign Daly. Daly was recently crowned a champion at the NWSL Challenge Cup with the Dash, where she scored three goals and provided two assists.  — Rachael Kriger

August 16, 2020

OL Reign acquire Rose Lavelle from Washington Spirit in exchange for 2022 1st round pick, $100,000 in allocation money, and future allocation money based on Lavelle’s playing status in NWSL
Reign analysis: The Reign made this deal knowing Lavelle was likely heading out of NWSL and she has since signed to play for Manchester City. The Reign will retain her league rights and clearly would not have given up a future first-round pick and at least $100,000 in allocation money if they didn’t have full faith of a return to the states sooner than later. Even if their French coach Farid Benstiti ultimately chooses to build outside the draft, first-round picks are valuable commodities. However you break it down, though, a healthy Rose Lavelle has the game to turn any midfield into one of the best in the world, and the final analysis of this trade will come down to how well and how often Lavelle appears for the Reign. — Dan Lauletta
Spirit analysis: The Spirit did well to get a pretty good haul for Lavelle’s rights, and it is one that could help both now and later. Despite a slow start to the allocation money era, we still assume that teams that trade for a pile of it do so with the intent of investing it back in the on-field product. What exactly the Spirit do with this $100,000 is anyone’s best guess, but the club in the age of Steve Baldwin has been far more ambitious than in years gone by. The 2022 draft pick is impossible to put a value on since we don’t know how many teams will be drafting that year and the COVID-19 cancellations of the 2020 college soccer seasons across the country will have untold impact on the player pool. Still, it never hurts to have extra 1st round picks and the Spirit now have the jump on 2022. — Dan Lauletta
Rose Lavelle signs with Manchester City
Analysis: Lavelle not only followed Sam Mewis to Europe she followed her all the way to Manchester City. This will give the English club two-thirds of the starting midfield from last summer’s World Cup final. That could be an invaluable asset for the U.S. as the COVID-enforced wilderness period for the national team enters its sixth month. As for Lavelle, we’re still waiting for her to be healthy enough for long enough to be a weekly force. Perhaps a move to England will be just what she needs to find that. The smart money says she’ll be back in the NWSL sometime after the Olympics. — Dan Lauletta
Racing Louisville FC name Christy Holly head coach
Analysis: The only coaching vacancy to this point was filled early, giving Holly plenty of time to settle in before he is tasked with specifically selecting players both from other NWSL sides and from the world of discovery. Holly was relatively unknown when he got the Sky Blue job in 2016 and coached/coaxed that team to a respectable finish despite working with precious few resources. Things went south in 2017 and officially he stepped down in mid-August. Holly had made good use of the years since latching on with U.S. Soccer where he has helped out at the youth level and served as a scout for the senior team ahead of the World Cup. On soccer grounds, he figures to improve in his second go-round as a head coach. He speaks often about culture which was not well at the end of his Sky Blue tenure, but if he can set Racing on the right course this could turn out to be a sneaky good hire for the league’s 10th team. — Dan Lauletta
Sam Mewis signs with Manchester City
Analysis: With no games on the schedule for club or country and the murkiness of the CBA language in the absence of a standard NWSL season, Mewis jumped at the chance to join English power Manchester City where she will play in the Champions League and likely compete for domestic trophies. The deal is believed to be for one season with an option, which means Mewis would be able to return to North Carolina after the Olympics, or if that doesn’t happen sometime around late June. The Courage are deep in midfield but no one can lose a player as good as Mewis and not feel it. Still, there is a long way until opening day 2021 and the Courage may do some shuffling around since they figure to be the most vulnerable to the expansion draft. The move should be a good one for Mewis since it will get her games in a different environment. Some of those games will be against excellent competition. Note this is neither a transfer nor a loan since Mewis is contracted to U.S. Soccer and not specifically to the Courage. — Dan Lauletta

Chicago Red Stars moves

NWSL Draft Picks: Madison Haley (Stanford), Kelsey Turnbow (Santa Clara), Brianna Alger (Wash. State), Channing Foster (Ole Miss), Alissa Gorzak (Virginia)
Nikki Stanton returns to Chicago, signing through the 2021 season
Mallory Pugh and Sarah Woldmoe acquired after a trade with Sky Blue FC
Yuki Nagasato makes history by joining men’s amateur side Hayabusa Eleven (Japan)
Rachel Hill to Linköpings FC (Sweden)
Cassie Miller to Apollon Ladies FC (Cyprus)
Emily Boyd to HB Køge (Denmark)
Makenzy Doniak to HB Køge (Denmark)
Kayla Sharples to Kuopion Pallesuera (Finland)
Analysis: The Red Stars have never been shy about developing their players and this set of loans is indicative of that. Hill will get a much different experience in Sweden as she has in Australia in recent years and Boyd should get a chance to get regular reps at Køge. Sharples showed she had potential but also her inexperience during the Challenge Cup. All of these players are expected back in time for preseason. — Dan Lauletta

Houston Dash moves

Deneisha Blackwood, defender, signs a one-year contract, with a club option for 2022
NWSL Draft Picks: Joelle Anderson (Pepperdine) and Makamae Gomera-Stevens (Wash. State)
Cami Privett and Ally Prisock re-sign with the Dash; Prisock signed through 2022 and Privett through 2021
Annika Schmidt signs a one-year contract, with an option for 2022
Sophie Schmidt re-signs through the 2022 season, with an option for 2023
Emily Ogle and Gabby Seiler traded to the Dash from Portland Thorns FC
Jamia Fields re-signs with the Dash through the 2021 season
Christine Nairn re-signs with the Dash through the 2021 season, with a club option for 2022
Shania Ashouri (FWD) and Jaci Jones (MF) signed to short-term contracts for the NWSL Fall Series
Cece Kizer signs a two-year contract extension through the 2022 season; on loan with Kolbotn IL in Norway for the rest of 2020
Lauren Silver signed to a short-term contract for the 2020 season
Kayla McCoy removed from 23-player roster due to a knee injury suffered in training
Katie Naughton and Megan Oyster re-sign through the 2021 season, with an option for 2022
Rachel Daly signs extension through 2023
Analysis: The Houston Dash currently have 23 players under roster for the 2021 season. The team lost CeCe Kizer and Erin Simon to the NWSL Expansion Draft and Louisville. However, most of the Challenge Cup-winning roster remains intact and powerful. — Rachael Kriger

Kansas City moves

Kansas City acquires defender Kristen Edmonds in a trade with Orlando, along with Orlando’s second-round pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft
NWSL Draft Picks: Kiki Pickett (Stanford), Victoria Pickett (Wisconsin), Lucy Parker (UCLA), Addie McCain (Texas A&M), Alex Loera (Santa Clara) and Brookelynn Entz (Kansas State)
Darian Jenkins joins after a trade with OL Reign, along with the rights to Meg Brandt and a fourth-round selection in the 2021 NWSL Draft
Carly Nelson signs a two-year deal through the 2022 season
Sydney Miramontez and Jaycie Johnson sign one-year deals through the 2021 season
Mariana Larroquette, an Argentinian international, signs through the 2022 season
Kansas City acquires former Utah Royals players, including: Elizabeth Ball, Nicole Barnhart, Katie Bowen, Rachel Corsie, Kate Del Fava, Gunnhildur Jonsdottir, Tziarra King, Lo’eau LaBonta, Taylor Leach, Taylor Lytle, Michelle Maemone, Diana Matheson, Madeline Nolf, Brittany Ratcliffe, Amy Rodriguez, Desiree Scott, Arielle Ship, Abby Smith, Raisa Strom-Okimoto, Michele Vasconcelos, Gaby Vincent and Mallory Weber
Analysis: A few players are making their return to Kansas City, their old stomping grounds, including Desiree Scott, Amy Rodriguez and Nicole Barnhart. Acquiring many of the Utah Royals FC players is going to help the new Kansas City team, but adding on to that roster is even more important. Argentinian international Mariana Larroquette has  big shoes to fill following the first Argentine player in the NWSL, Estefania Banini. — Rachael Kriger

North Carolina Courage moves

Courage acquire defender Carson Pickett in trade with Orlando
Diane Caldwell, Irish defender, signs a one-year deal
Courage sign Ghana international Elizabeth Addo to a one-year contract through 2021
Abby Dahlkemper signs with Manchester City; NWSL rights retained by the Courage
Deanne Rose (Florida), Alyssa Malonson (Auburn) and Myra Konte (Vanderbilt)
Merritt Mathias signs one-year contract with club option for 2022
Havana Solaun and Rylee Baisden sign one-year contracts, with an option for 2022
McKenzie Meehan announces retirement from professional soccer after four seasons with North Carolina
Stephanie Labbé has signed with FC Rosengärd in Sweden, leaving Casey Murphy and Sam Murphy as the rostered GKs for North Carolina; Katelyn Rowland has not yet re-signed with NC
Hailey Harbison, Sam Murphy and Ryan Williams re-sign for the 2021 season, with a club option for 2022
Taylor Smith and the rights to Jodie Taylor acquired from OL Reign in exchange for Ally Watt
Havana Solaun signed to a short-term contract through the 2020 season
Ari Romero signs a short-term contract for the 2020 season
Kristina Maksuti signs for 2020 Fall Series (from Germany)
Peyton Perea signs for 2020 Fall Series (from Spain)
Debinha signs extension through 2022, plus one-year option (allocation money used)
Jessica McDonald signs extension through 2021
Lynn Williams signs extension through 2023 (allocation money used)
Sam Mewis signs with Manchester City (England)
Hailie Mace loaned to Kristiandstads DDF (Sweden)
Lindsay Agnew loaned to KIF Örebro (Sweden)
Paul Riley signs extension through 2022
Analysis: Mewis is one of the best in the NWSL and figures to be one of the best in England as she tries to help Manchester City get over a run of seconditis. Mace, however, is an intriguing move. She was superb in limited minutes during the Challenge Cup and is very likely to be in the mix with the U.S. next cycle. In other words, every minute of match play counts. The contract extensions are only good things, including Riley who was going year-by-year when he first went to North Carolina. Recent signing Maksuti could become the first Albanian international to play in the NWSL. — Dan Lauletta

OL Reign moves

OL Reign acquire Karen Bardsley on loan from Manchester City Women through June 30, 2021
NWSL Draft Pick: Jimena López (Texas A&M)
Brazilian youth international Angelina signs three-year contract with the Reign
Tziarra King joins OL Reign after trade with Kansas City
Jasmyne Spencer has re-signed through the 2022 season
Rosie White re-signs for the 2021 season
Nicole Momiki signs through the 2022 season
Leah Pruitt re-signs for three-years
Dani Weatherholt re-signs through 2022
Ally Watt acquired from the North Carolina Courage in exchange for the rights to Jodie Taylor and Taylor Smith
Sam Hiatt re-signs through the 2023 season
Kristen McNabb re-signs through the 2022 season
Cosette Morché signs through the 2021 season, with a club option for 2022
Shirley Cruz re-signs for the 2021 season
Celia Jiménez has joined Olympique Lyonnais on loan through June 2021
Kimberly Hazlett, Sam Hiatt and Miranda Nild sign short-term contracts for Fall Series
Megan Rapinoe has opted out of the NWSL Fall Series
Adrienne Jordan’s deal with OL Reign is over, as she is now with UD Granadilla Tenerife
Darian Jenkins signs extension through 2022, the joins FC Girondins de Bordeaux on loan until February 2021
Alanna Cook loan is officially over, Cook back with Paris Saint-Germain (France) | Aug. 28, 2020
Rose Lavelle rights acquired, signs with Manchester City (England)
Jodie Taylor transferred to Lyon (France)
Rebecca Quinn loaned to Vittsjö GIK (Sweden); signs extension with Reign through 2021
Lauren Barnes loaned to Kristianstads DFF (Sweden)
Nicole Momiki loaned to Linköpings FC (Sweden)
Jess Fishlock loaned to Reading FC (England)
2022 1st round pick, $100,000 in allocation money traded to Spirit
Analysis: Taylor becomes the first OL Reign player to move directly to the mother ship in France and a month in already has a Champions League medal. All of these agreements are scheduled to expire well in advance of 2021 NWSL preseason. As it stands, the agreement only extends until the end of 2020, so Taylor may well be back in the Pacific Northwest and fully battle tested by the time the Reign begin a 2021 season. Rapinoe opting out of the Fall Series should not have come as a surprise but it may be worth starting to think about how much more soccer she has left in the tank. — Dan Lauletta

Orlando Pride moves

Crystal Thomas signed to a one-year deal ahead of the 2021 season
Pride acquire rights to Jodie Taylor from North Carolina Courage
Sydney Leroux re-signs through the 2023 season on a three-year deal
Pride acquires GGunnhildur “Gunny” Jónsdóttir and the rights to Erika Tymrak (who will return to the NWSL in 2021) in a trade with Kansas City.
Phoebe McClernon signs a two-year contract
Jordyn Listro signs a one-year deal
NWSL Draft Picks: Viviana Villacorta (UCLA), Mikayla Colohan (BYU), Kerry Abello (Penn State) and Kaylie Collins (USC)
Marisa Viggiano signs a two-year contract, with a club option for a third season
West Ham United announces the permanent signing of Emily van Egmond
Toni Pressley re-signs on a one-year contract with a club option for 2022
Carrie Lawrence, defender, re-signs a one-year contract, with a club option for 2022
Claire Emslie permanently moves to Everton (England) on an 18-month deal
Pride acquire the No. 9 overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft, a conditional 2022 or ’23 first-round pick and $140,000 in allocation money from the Washington Spirit for Emily Sonnett
Carrie Lawrence (DF), Ally Haran (DF), Zandy Soree (MF), Deneisha Blackwood (MF), Jordyn Listro (MF), Savanah Uveges (MF) and Kate Howarth (FWD) all signed to short-term contracts for the Fall Series
Chelsee Washington (MF) & Brittany Wilson (GK) have signed through the 2021 season, option for 2022
Taylor Kornieck loaned to the Frauen Bundesliga. Club to be announced soon
Emily Van Egmond loaned to West Ham United (England)
Alanna Kennedy and Shelina Zadorsky loaned to Tottenham (England)
Carson Pickett loaned to Apollon (Cyprus)
Emily Sonnett signs with Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC (Sweden)
Erin McLeod loaned to Ungmennafélag Stjarnan (Iceland)
Camila loaned to SE Palmeiras (Brazil)
Ali Riley loaned to FC Rosengård (Sweden)
Jade Moore loaned to Atletico Madrid (Spain)
Erin Greening waived
Analysis: Sonnett joins a growing group of U.S. Soccer contracted players taking advantage of the down time by heading to Europe for what is more than likely something short-term. Like McLeod and Riley, she has yet to play for the Pride having been acquired last offseason before the team was unable to travel to the Challenge Cup due to COVID-19 positives. — Dan Lauletta

Portland Thorns FC moves

Lindsey Horan and Crystal Dunn re-sign on three-year deals, with allocation money
Thorns re-sign Bell Bixby, Tyler Lussi, Madison Pogarch and Angela Salem to one-year contracts.
Shelby Hogan, goalkeeper, signs a one-year contract
Simone Charley re-signs on a two-year contract through the 2022 season
Britt Eckerstrom, goalkeeper, announces her retirement from professional soccer
NWSL Draft Picks: Yazmeen Ryan (TCU), Sam Coffey (Penn State), Amirah Ali (Rutgers) and Hannah Betfort (Wake Forest)
Tobin Heath signs with Manchester United (England) for 2020-21 season
Celeste Boureille on short-term loan with FC Fleury 91 (France)
Analysis: . Tobin Heath has signed with Manchester City for the current WSL season, joining USWNT international teammate Christen Press in wearing red. On the other side of Manchester are fellow international teammates Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis. Meanwhile, Boureille is looking to help a French team in the hopes of making Champions League — and one day upsetting Lyon. — Rachael Kriger

Racing Louisville moves

NWSL Draft Picks: Emily Fox (UNC), Emina Ekic (Louisville), Taylor Otto (UNC), Kirsten Davis (Texas Tech), Parker Goins (Arkansas) and Emily Smith (California)
Freja Olofsson, a Swedish international and midfielder, signs two-year contract
Racing Louisville selects the following players in the Expansion Draft: Addisyn Merrick (DF), Julia Ashley (DF), Jennifer Cudjoe (MF), CeCe Kizer (FWD), Katie Lund (GK), Alanna Kennedy (DF/MF), Lauren Milliet (FWD), Kaleigh Riehl (DF), Caitlin Foord (FWD; rights), Katie McClure (FWD), Erin Simon (DF), Michelle Betos (GK), Tobin Heath (FWD; rights), Christen Press (FWD, rights)
Racing Louisville trades for Savannah McCaskill and Yuki Nagasato with Chicago Red Stars
Analysis: The sections in the NWSL Expansion Draft were certainly eye-turning for Racing Louisville FC. Instead of looking toward three eligible goalkeepers from the Portland Thorns, the Racing Louisville team scooped up Tobin Heath. Portland has one of the deepest rosters in the NWSL, but with the Heath pick, Louisville was forced to only settle for one player. Meanwhile, another USWNT international was drafted by Louisville: Utah Royals FC forward Christen Press. Time will tell if those two will leave Manchester United and make a return to the United States and to Louisville. — Rachael Kriger

Sky Blue FC moves

DiDi Haracic re-signed through the 2021 season, with a club option for 2022
Megan Hinz, goalkeeper, re-signs through the 2021 season, with a club option for 2022
McCall Zerboni re-signs through 2022, with a club option for 2023
Caprice Dydasco re-signs through 2021, with a club option for 2022
Jennifer Cudjoe re-acquired by Sky Blue at the NWSL Draft
NWSL Draft Picks: Brianna Pinto (UNC), Taryn Torres (Virginia), Delanie Sheehan (UCLA) and Tess Boade (Duke)
South Korean international Sodam Lee has signed a one-year deal, with an option for 2022
Gina Lewandowski re-signs for the 2021 season
Ifeoma Onumonu re-signs for the 2021 season
Nahomi Kawasumi re-signs for the 2021 season
Kenie Wright re-signs for the 2021 season
Mandy Freeman re-signs for the 2021 season
Nichole Baxter re-signs for the 2021 season
Mikaela Howell signed to a short-term contract through the Fall Series
Kaleigh Riehl loaned to Paris FC (France) until February 2021
Evelyne Viens loaned to Paris FC (France) until February 2021
Jennifer Cudjoe signs multi-year extension
Nahomi Kawasumi loaned to INAC Kobe (Japan)
Elizabeth Eddy loaned to Vittsjö (Sweden)
Analysis: Two fairly small-term agreements here highlighted by Kawasumi heading home to Japan for the remainder of 2020. That should help sharpen some of the skills that have made her so good since she burst on the scene here in 2014. Cudjoe’s extension may make her the player who gained the most at the NWSL Challenge Cup.— Dan Lauletta

Utah Royals FC moves

Rachel Corsie signs extension through 2022, on loan with Birmingham City FC (England) until March 5, 2021
Analysis: This agreement gives Jonsdottir an opportunity to play at home in Iceland for the first time since she departed Stjarnan eight years ago. That was likely too good an opportunity to pass up. The question for “Gunny” is whether her somewhat emergency-based use on the back line was the start of a new day for her or simply that, a cameo based on need. Corsie should have her hands full with the improving talent in the FSL.— Dan Lauletta

Washington Spirit moves

Kumi Yokoyama re-signs on a two-year contract
Swedish international Julia Roddar signs a two-year contract
NWSL Draft Picks: Trinity Rodman (Wash. State), Tara McKeown (USC), Anna Heilferty (Boston University), Sydney Schneider (UNC Wilmington) and Mariana Speckmaier (Clemson)
Spirit acquires Emily Sonnett via a trade with the Orlando Pride
Spirit waives Crystal Thomas, Jessie Scarpa, Megan McCool, Jenna Hellstrom, Jaye Boissiere and Brooke Hendrix
Devon Kerr re-signs a one-year deal through 2021, with a club option for 2022
Saori Takarada, a Japanese international, signs two-year contract
Tori Huster re-signed on a two-year contract
Paige Nielsen, Ashley Hatch, Bayley Feist, Jordan DiBiasi, Tegan McGrady, Dorian Bailey and Sam Staab re-sign for two years, with a club option for a third season
Rose Lavelle traded to OL Reign
2022 1st round pick and $100,000 allocation money acquired from OL Reign
Analysis: The Pugh/Lavelle era has ended with both talented but oft-injured tandem having been traded seven months apart. See above for full analysis of this trade. See more analysis on the seven re-signings, which happened on Oct. 28, above. — Dan Lauletta

–Isabella Valeriano Munson contributed to this report