NWSL – Let’s Talk Trade Deadline

Judging by the reactions of some of my trade deadline twitter musings, I’m guessing there could be a lot of discussion of who might and might not be moving by the end of business on Wednesday. But please NWSL teams, do something and make my 6,700+ words not be in vain!

(Note: I wrote big chunks of this column before the weekend’s results, so there are some last minute notes included to update some things.)

So, who might get moved?

Liz Bogus – SEA – D/F

WHY: Seattle’s out of the playoff chase, and Bogus, at 29, probably isn’t part of this team’s long-term future. The fact that she can play just about anywhere on the pitch should make her an appealing target for anyone searching for bench depth headed into the playoff race.

WHERE: Seems to be more devoted to the attacking side of the game these days, meaning she’d be a nice fit for a Sky Blue FC team probably looking for a little more attacking cover. The fact that she can deputize in what looks like a defense short on numbers might help too.

PRICE: Fourth-round pick or perhaps as part of a more complicated trade utilizing other picks/assets.

Melanie Booth – SBFC – D

WHY: Yes, she’s still technically in the league, though you wouldn’t know it by the fact that she’s been buried on SBFC’s bench all season. Jim Gabarra would probably gladly trade the Canadian in for an asset that could help his struggling side out right away. For contenders, Booth would provide needed left-back depth, while non-contenders would probably take her on just in case her allocated slot gets freed up next season, allowing clubs to use it to rebuild and add some young Canadian talent from what looks like a promising crop.

WHERE: Western New York and FC Kansas City could probably both do with some experienced defensive cover. Considering Washington’s woes, they could also use her straight away, while Boston, Seattle, and Chicago could all do with the potential empty allocation slot.

PRICE: SBFC would almost certainly have to package her with a draft pick or more assets to make a trade for a fellow Canadian work out. Who could help the New Jersey side right away? Jodi-Ann Robinson (WNY), Diana Matheson (WSH), and Rhian Wilkinson (BOS) would probably be among the top options, though as stated before, SBFC would probably have to give up at least one pick to make the deal agreeable. If it’s Matheson, it’d have to be a pretty high pick.

Kiersten Dallstream – SEA – D/FW

WHY: Really, you could fill in the blanks under Liz Bogus’ entry above in many categories for Dallstream. She doesn’t seem likely to usurp Stephanie Cox from a starting role any time soon, and her general upside seems limited despite successfully resurrecting her professional career this year. Full-backs are in short supply though, and it’s not hard to see her being in demand for a side look to boost their depth in that area of the pitch with the bonus that she can also play as a winger if need be.

WHERE: Sky Blue FC needs cover after Caitlin Foord’s injury, while FC Kansas City could use some additional depth now that Merritt Mathias has moved back into the attack, with Dallstream likely a more tested option than Katie Kelly. Western New York needs anybody who can play defense period, while Portland probably wouldn’t mind having another full-back considering Casey Ramirez has struggled with injury since signing with the team. So, in short? Everyone in the playoff hunt.

PRICE: Nothing excessive, probably just a fourth-rounder or a young talent not getting minutes for a contender.

Maribel Dominguez – CHI – FW

WHY: El Dorado’s probably easier to find than a serviceable striker at this point for contenders. Dominguez hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with Chicago, but she’s proven to be serviceable as a starter. She wouldn’t be called upon to be a starter for a contender and could be pretty useful as an impact sub off the bench for a club chasing the game down the stretch.

WHO: Sky Blue FC, Western New York, and FC Kansas City might all have need for a reserve striker to fortify their ranks. It’s just a matter of making things work with the allocations.

PRICE: It’s always tricky when trading allocated players, but each team above probably has something that would work in a trade. Chicago would probably gladly take Mexican youngster Nayeli Rangel as a part of a rebuilding effort, while also maybe getting a late round pick. WNY’s Veronica Perez could be worth a long look down the stretch as a potential aid to the club’s offensive problems, while FCKC’s Teresa Noyola could help free up Lori Chalupny from being the focus of the playmaking in the attack. FCKC also has an open Mexican allocation spot, meaning Chicago could (maybe) get a third or fourth-round pick in exchange for Dominguez while also getting an allocation slot that could potentially turn into Charlyn Corral or Ari Romero in the offseason.

Jo Dragotta – BOS – M/D

WHY: Versatility’s all the rage these days with the league’s roster rules, and Dragotta can play in both midfield (capably) and defense (somewhat more dubiously). She began the season very involved in the Breakers lineup but has seemingly fallen well out of favor as of late, having not played since July 6 (three minutes) and having not even made the matchday squad in the club’s recent away contests. That doesn’t bode well for her Boston career, but you’d have to think some contender would value her as a utility player if the price was right.

WHO: I’m guessing Dragotta will have more value as a reserve central midfielder (in a defensive capacity), meaning FC Kansas City might have some interest, especially if they end up moving Sinead Farrelly. Elsewhere, Portland, Western New York, and maybe Sky Blue FC (more so if Manya Makoski can’t come back quickly) might could show interest.

PRICE: Probably not more than a fourth-round pick, though a swap for a prospect with upside might work as well.

Sinead Farrelly – FCKC – MF

WHY: Relegated to being umpteenth choice central midfielder in KC. Has played a whopping thirteen minutes in the last four matches for the surging Midwest club. Was thought of as a future USWNT player but career is stagnating on the bench here. Doesn’t seem to be in the mix for one of the attacking band midfield spots, instead being asked to act as cover for the club’s deadly defensive midfield duo, which doesn’t necessarily suit her talents. Wouldn’t exactly be shocking to see FCKC stand pat, but she’s the one player on the club with clear value that they might be willing to part with.

WHO: Farrelly’s a player who might make sense for both a contender as a potential final piece to the puzzle or as a part of a more comprehensive rebuilding effort elsewhere. Portland could certainly use all the midfield help they can get, even with Tobin Heath back in the mix, though WNY and SBFC are perhaps more tenuous fits. Of the teams not in the playoff places right now, Chicago and Washington would both likely be more than happy to pick her up, though considering her one-time potential, she’s not going to come cheap.

PRICE: Probably an eye of the beholder thing. If someone sees the potential she showed in Philadelphia in WPS, FCKC could coax someone to cough up a second round pick. If someone wonders why she’s been just a fringe figure here, you might knock that down to a third round pick. More than likely though, FCKC’s going to want a player or two to help their playoff push, and that might price other clubs out of a move when all is said and done.

Anisa Guajardo – BOS – F

WHY: Hasn’t played a minute with Boston. That reason enough?

WHO: Almost assuredly another team out of the postseason picture looking to audition a forward for next season. That’s probably all of the teams currently outside the playoff places besides the Breakers (obviously).

PRICE: It’s all about making the allocations fit, which means getting a Mexican allocation back in return. For Chicago it could be Dinora Garza (if Red Stars are still in the playoff hunt) or Maribel Dominguez (if they aren’t). For Seattle, it could be defender Jenny Ruiz, while Washington could send over either Teresa Worbis or the empty slot that would have been Alina Garciamendez and which could potentially turn into another Mexican allocation going into next season.

Tori Huster – WSH – MF/D

WHY: This was much more likely before Washington lost almost all of its defenders through injury. As someone who’s capable at the very least in the back, Huster might be irreplaceable in the last handful of games for a Spirit side that doesn’t want to be totally humiliated by opponents. If Washington can afford to trade her for a draft pick though, they’re likely to find multiple suitors. Versatile and able to play in midfield or almost anywhere on the backline, Huster probably isn’t going to step into the starting lineup for a contender, but she’s bound to be a coveted asset for her irrepressible energy, making her the perfect player to run at tired legs down the stretch in a game.

WHO: Anyone who might need midfield options off the bench and are deep in the playoff hunt. Hello Portland, Western New York, and Sky Blue FC.

PRICE: A third-round pick might do it, but the Spirit might ask for a player as well to start the audition process for next season. I’m guessing Washington won’t budge unless they get blown away due to their defensive personnel issues though.

Chantel Jones – WSH – GK

WHY: Goalkeepers aren’t exactly the hottest commodity in the league right now, as just about everyone seems to be nicely poised. But the Spirit have a pretty good asset in Jones, who looked very good earlier this year when she got the chance to feature for the club. She’s probably one of the few players on the club who’ll come out of 2013 with their reputation enhanced and could become a starter in the league sooner rather than later. As is, she’s a plus backup, which means she could a tantalizing target for…

WHO: …the Portland Thorns. While Portland will be hoping that nothing happens to the resurgent Karina LeBlanc, if the worst does happen, the club will be in deep trouble. The fact that the team preferred reserve player Cris Lewis to signed backup Adelaide Gay should be extremely worrying, and the club should be in the market for a more proven backup going into the stretch run. Even if she wouldn’t feature this season, Jones could be groomed as LeBlanc’s long-term replacement in Portland.

PRICE: Third round pick perhaps? The Spirit could always ask for a player out of favor in Portland as well such as Nikki Washington or Courtney Wetzel, the latter of whom could help out their defensive crisis.

Ali Krieger – WSH – D

WHY: Really, at this point, there’s no excuse for Washington to not just blow it up and start from scratch. That means pawning off anyone and everyone they can with trade value for assets and picks, and that means making some rather tough decisions. Complicating matters is the restrictive trade rules facing clubs when trying to deal allocated players, while in this case, Krieger’s struggles with concussion symptoms are also a potential non-starter for the club. But, arguably, Krieger’s got the most value of anyone on the team and shuffling her off for players plus picks could make the rebuilding process a little more manageable. At twenty-eight and with a history of serious knee injuries, Krieger’s not going to be the cornerstone the team needs if they’re going to turn into a contender next season, but she’d still be able to help a contender down the stretch. For Krieger, it’s a chance for a fresh start and a shot at a title.

WHO: That’s the big question. You can scratch Portland from the equation and almost assuredly FC Kansas City as well. WNY would likely gladly jump on the opportunity to plug Krieger in at right-back, but the only way that would likely work is if the league allowed Washington to trade the right-back for the Flash’s empty allocation slot, which may not be in the cards. That slot could be huge for the Spirit next year if some players like Whitney Engen and Christen Press among others are looking to come over and are given allocation status. Sky Blue FC is definitely in the market for a right-back now with Caitlin Foord sidelined with a foot injury and Manya Makoski also struggling with a concussion. A Krieger for O’Hara swap would make sense if the Spirit could get a high draft pick in the bargain as well. Krieger would definitely slot in at right-back for SBFC, while Washington could easily shut down the ailing O’Hara and patiently wait for the healthy full-back/forward to try and make an impact next year. Some of the other teams not listed above might be in the mix as well. As with WNY, Boston could send the club’s empty allocation slot (that was Heather Mitts) over and give the Spirit a little more flexibility. Chicago could send over the rights to Amy LePeilbet which could also potentially turn into an empty allocation slot. Seattle could send over the rights to Amy Rodriguez which could also turn into an empty allocation slot. It’s not about begging for a match, it’s about finding the will to make the move and the right price in all likelihood for the Spirit

PRICE: Every scenario probably involves the Spirit getting a pick/player as well, potentially a high one depending on how much the trading club values Krieger. The scenarios are endless and should provide a lot of chat fodder heading into deadline day.

(TUESDAY POST-SCRIPT: Boy, that sure provoked some passionate responses, huh? I floated the Krieger-O’Hara swap on twitter, and certain circles of the internet all but called for my head to join Tiffany McCarty’s on a pike in the row marked “Causes of Washington Spirit Problems/Enemies of the Washington Spirit”. Some clarifications:

-I tweeted that, in effect, Washington was never going to be a contender with Ali Krieger as their best player. Some erroneously equated that to me believing Krieger sucked. No. Krieger is in the same category as the likes of Carli Lloyd, Nicole Barnhart, etc. Fine players who can be great cogs to a title contender but who aren’t going to be the ace on a top team in the league.

-I also tweeted about the perception that Krieger is a “draw” at the gate for the Spirit, mainly based on some fans’ assertions that they’d be done with the franchise if Krieger was indeed traded. Do I think some supporters show up for Spirit matches because of Krieger? Yes. Do I think the number of them that do reaches the point where you could legitimately call her a box-office draw? No, I don’t.

-I think there’s an inaccurate perception that the Spirit have just been unlucky with allocations, injuries, etc. this season and are just a few pieces away from being a contender. I don’t agree with that assessment at all. One win in four months does not equal the product of sheer bad luck. The Spirit have been dealt a bad hand (or two) but exacerbated the problem with poor talent evaluation and naive work in the free agency process. They need a clearout, it’s just a question of whether the management and fans are willing to accept that fact.)

Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall – SBFC – D

WHY: I’m going to go out on a limb and say that nobody expected Lisonbee Cutshall to be behind undrafted rookie Madeleine Thompson on the depth chart at this point of the season when she was taken in the first round of the draft in January. The club might not be so eager to let her go now that Caitlin Foord and Manya Makoski are out injured, but then again, this SBFC club needs proven help now to try and get them over the line come the playoffs.

WHO: Anybody with an eye towards the future, meaning Washington and Seattle in all likelihood. If the BYU alum is healthy enough to take up a post immediately on the Spirit’s makeshift backline, so much the better.

PRICE: It’s not likely that SBFC’s going to be able to recoup their first round pick they spent on Lisonbee Cutshall, and they need players that can help now at any rate. The likes of Liz Bogus, Kiersten Dallstream, Tori Huster, and potentially a mid-round draft pick might be enough for Jim Gabarra’s club. A more cagey swap could involve the team trading for Washington’s equally maligned Tiffany McCarty straight up, though the odds of that happening may have decreased with SBFC’s defensive injury problems.

(TUESDAY POST-SCRIPT: The odds of Lisonbee-Cutshall getting dealt probably declined dramatically after Sunday, as she started and looked competent for the slumping SBFC. I’d guess the Jersey team casts their lot with their first round pick for the rest of the year and hope she’s a solution to some of their problems.)

Diana Matheson – WSH – MF

WHY: Along with Ali Krieger, Matheson has the most trade value on the Spirit and would probably command a low first round or high second round pick that the club so desperately needs to help aid it in its rebuilding process. As with Krieger though, allocation trade rules might hurt the Spirit’s chances of moving Matheson before the deadline. Unlike with Krieger, other clubs may be more willing to part with their Canadians to help facilitate a deal, and given that Matheson is one of the top Canadians in the league, the Spirit would probably get player plus pick(s) in the deal. Matheson’s shown why she’s so deadly as an attacker from midfield in spurts this season, but she can’t carry an offense by herself, as has been so evident at times. If she gets dealt to a contender, she won’t have to.

WHO: Options seem a bit limited though. Portland needs midfield help but aren’t giving up any of their Canadians. FC Kansas City doesn’t need the help and wasn’t going to give up any of the Canadians anyway. That leaves Western New York and Sky Blue FC in the mix. The Flash’s Bry McCarthy and SBFC’s Melanie Booth would make great makeweights in a potential deal (and help out on defense in the short-term) and would also be in a position to net the club more draft picks as well. Of the fringe playoff contenders, Boston probably has a tradable asset in Carmelina Moscato but may not be able to fit Matheson into their gameplan with Lianne Sanderson playing as the central attacking midfielder, while Chicago may hesitate to deal Adriana Leon so soon after acquiring her. A midfield with Chalupny on the left and Matheson in the middle could be tempting though…

PRICE: Canadian international (obviously) plus pick or player or both. Unless they can help out on D immediately, I’m guessing Washington would be more interested in picks. Matheson could fetch a second rounder depending on who else comes into the Spirit with the deal.

(TUESDAY POST-SCRIPT: God, Chris, do you want those Spirit fans to charge at you with pitchforks, or what?)

Alyssa Mautz – CHI – MF

WHY: Has seemingly fallen out of favor despite Red Stars’ notable lack of a consistent offense. Has played marginal minutes for the past month off the Chicago bench. Mautz herself is often a victim of volatile form and some occasionally foul-prone performances, but has a nose for goal and can be the sudden jolt of offense many clubs need from off the bench. She wouldn’t be a starter for a contender, but she’d still be a valuable asset off the bench.

WHO: Mautz would be a good fit for a lot of teams, though you suspect FC Kansas City (already have enough midfielders) and WNY (have pretty much the same thing with Jodi-Ann Robinson) might pass. The likes of Sky Blue FC and Portland would probably think long and hard about a deal, while Boston could do with some punch off the bench in midfield as well. Seattle and Washington might be interested parties, though they’d likely balk at trading away picks, meaning Chicago would probably have to take on a player to make the deal work.

PRICE: Much depends on how in or out Chicago still is in the playoff race. If they’ve still got a reasonable chance of stealing a berth, the Red Stars might gladly accept some defensive cover or perhaps a forward that could compete for a starting spot. If they’re close to elimination, a draft pick, probably fourth round, or young talent might be enough.

(TUESDAY POST-SCRIPT: OK, I’m guessing Mautz is very much back in favor now thanks to Sunday’s heroics. At the very least, her trade value likely became unwieldy for opposing teams, and with Chicago still clinging to the playoff picture, I’m guessing she’ll stay a Red Star.)

Bry McCarthy – WNY – D

WHY: Has played all of one game for the Flash in her rookie season. Looks decreasingly likely to be retained in the Canadian allocation pool for next season and appears to be in desperate need of a switch to reignite her professional career.

WHO: This one’s tough. It’s difficult to see a contender making a move for McCarthy, and there may not be many options elsewhere either. Boston doesn’t seem likely to trade one of their Canadians for an unproven commodity, while Chicago probably wouldn’t see giving Adriana Leon away in exchange as fair market value. Seattle might be willing to part with the equally out of favor Emily Zurrer, while Washington would probably gladly take on McCarthy and a high draft pick for Diana Matheson.

PRICE: See above. The fact that McCarthy might get dropped by the Canadian federation and her allocation slot might open up could well make her attractive for the Flash to keep if nobody comes close to meeting their potential price.

Tiffany McCarty – WSH – FW

WHY: The unfortunate scapegoat for many of Washington’s problems in the wake of a horror show of a season, there are few crying out for a brand new start than McCarty. While her long-term prospects in Washington don’t exactly look rosy, giving up on a first-round pick, especially at forward, probably isn’t going to happen (see: Rodriguez, Amy), no matter the struggles. McCarty deserves a club that won’t be using her as a stand-in full-back and that isn’t going to ask her to carry the load herself up front. Washington would probably like to recoup as much of their investment as possible.

WHO: There are a lot of clubs out there that could use a reserve forward with upside to use off the bench down the stretch. WNY and FC Kansas City could probably do with one more threat off the bench, though whether either will be willing to meet a potential asking price from Washington remains uncertain. Sky Blue FC is probably desperate for a little more offensive cover given Lisa De Vanna’s balky hamstring and Kelley O’Hara’s injury problems. The real wild card might be Boston, who themselves might be in the market for one more forward and who might see McCarty as a natural compliment to Sydney Leroux down the line.

PRICE: This is the tricky part. Washington’s unlikely to get a first-rounder back for McCarty at this point, and trading her for a lower round draft pick would provide for some humiliating optics. It means any deal involving McCarty will probably have to involve a player or player plus pick swap. The deal that would seemingly make the most sense on paper would be a trade for SBFC’s Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall, which would probably be fair value and at least help out Washington’s defensive crisis.

Carmelina Moscato – BOS – D

WHY: Went from sitting on Chicago’s bench to sitting on Boston’s. Provides good defensive cover at center-back, but really, is that what a club wants out of an allocated player? Considering how fragile the Breakers’ defense has looked for much of the season, I’m not sure the club will move Moscato in any event, but her allocation status could make her interesting bait for Boston if they want to push all their chips to the middle of the table and make a run for Diana Matheson. Then again, Boston may just well hold onto Moscato in case she loses her allocation status, freeing up a space for the Breakers to add a young Canadian talent next year.

WHO: Honestly, there’s less of an incentive for Boston to strip the team for parts now that they’re still hanging out on the fringes of the playoff race. The only way Moscato gets moved in all likelihood is as a part of a package deal to bring Diana Matheson over from Washington. Moscato would almost certainly be welcomed with open arms by a Spirit side desperate for defenders who aren’t converted players from other positions.

PRICE: It’s probably less an issue of who’d come the other way as much as it is an issue of who or what would come with Moscato to Washington in exchange for Matheson.

Teresa Noyola – FCKC – MF

WHY: This team has a whole lot of midfielders already, and it’s difficult to see Noyola breaking into an attacking band that features Erika Tymrak, Lauren Holiday, and Merritt Mathias. The Mexican international seems like a player better suited for a game right from the beginning instead of being an impact sub, but that’s the role she’s going to play most often in KC. FCKC’s likely looking for some depth in defense and up top, so if they can find a trade partner that can flip a Mexican allocated player for Noyola, they might just jump on that opportunity. Noyola finding a situation where she can play consistent major minutes would likely be beneficial for her as well.

WHO: Tough one. A swap for Chicago’s Maribel Dominguez makes a lot of sense, especially now that the Red Stars might need to replace an injured Lori Chalupny. Beyond that though, it’s hard seeing a trade going down unless FCKC can trade Noyola for a vacant Mexican allocated slot from another team and get another player in the bargain.

PRICE: Has to be a swap for an allocated Mexican player or a vacant Mexican allocation slot (probably). In the latter case, it’s difficult to see FCKC being interested in going the draft pick route though, so a player would likely have to be included in any such swap.

Stephanie Ochs – WSH – MF/FW

WHY: It’s all about assets for the Spirit, who are going to need a lot of draft picks to undo the damage done by this wretched season. The problem is, there’s not a lot of players here with much trade value, with Ochs probably being one of the few that would garner attention from other teams in the league. Ochs has not benefitted from being shuttled around from the wing to center forward and back this year but has shown brief glimmers of potential here, and other coaches are probably quick to remember her performances at U23 level and in WPSL Elite action last year. Unlikely to be thrust right into the starting lineup for a contender, Ochs could still provide width and offensive thrust late in a game off the bench for a team chasing a title this year.

WHO: Sky Blue FC certainly look to be in the need for some offensive inspiration, and they’d probably cough up the asking price given their alarming slide over the past month. WNY and FC Kansas City could probably use with one more attacker in the mix, but neither may be willing to fork over what Washington will likely ask for for the former #1 pick in the Supplemental Draft. Boston and Chicago (especially Chicago) could use with another offensive face, but I’m not sure either are confident enough in their playoff hopes to pay the price Washington will likely demand for Ochs.

PRICE: I’d expect Washington to haggle a little more than with some of their other likely trading block prospects, as giving up so early on a #1 pick in any draft, even a supplemental one, would be an awfully hard pill to swallow. It’ll probably be a second round pick or bust, though the Spirit might want to get a defender back for their troubles as well.

Kelley O’Hara – SBFC – D/FW

WHY: It’s been a lost year for the USWNT left-back, who has had to deal with an unsettled role and injuries in her first season with SBFC. O’Hara’s been mostly ineffective on the pitch when she’s made it there this year for her club, and the shifting between forward and defense probably hasn’t helped in that regard either. But it’s the injuries that have been deadly for the most part lately, and O’Hara’s been shelved over the past few weeks. Jim Gabarra has said that the club hopes O’Hara will be back for the playoffs, but that sounds like an optimistic assessment at best. SBFC needs help now if they’re going to stay in the fight for the title, and though it might seem a bit drastic, they might just see what they could get to help them in the short-term if they throw O’Hara up on the block. For her part, O’Hara looks in desperate need of a fresh start, as her time in New Jersey has not been a success in the least.

WHO: It’s highly unlikely a contender is going to take a big risk in bringing O’Hara in considering her injury status, so it’ll probably be a club looking to rebuild for next season. Seattle’s not about to part with any of their active USWNT’ers, and SBFC probably isn’t going to be interested in draft picks right now, so that doesn’t look like a possibility. That leaves Washington, who’d probably be eager to have a player with O’Hara’s potential going into next season. The Spirit have to be thinking long-term and could swap Ali Krieger for O’Hara and a high pick, shut O’Hara down for the season to get her healthy and then decide on a role for the Stanford alum as they rebuild.

PRICE: O’Hara and picks for Krieger straight up seems like the only feasible scenario if SBFC wants to move O’Hara before the deadline. Washington might ask for a high draft pick and/or player back though, as they’re taking on a player who might not play another minute this season.

Veronica Perez – WNY – MF/FW

WHY: On the whole, WNY’s probably just fine with attacking midfield players, with the likes of Carli Lloyd and McCall Zerboni in the starting lineup and Sarah Huffman, Jodi-Ann Robinson, and Ingrid Wells as capable reserves. With Victoria DiMartino’s injury and Adriana still likely feeling some of the effects of Spain’s EURO 2013 campaign, WNY could probably use one more forward for depth. Another experienced defender to spell the club’s back four, which has played almost every minute this year, would come in handy as well. Perez is valuable herself, but she might also have enough value to net the Flash one final missing piece of the puzzle that could net another title.

WHO: The allocation math obviously has to work out, with WNY getting another Mexican (or an empty allocation slot) in return. Considering WNY probably doesn’t want to give up a player for nothing in the short-term, the former scenario looks more likely. Maribel Dominguez is a possibility, though Chicago may not want to rock the boat too much as they hang around the playoff race. Seattle’s Jenny Ruiz would be capable cover at full-back, though WNY would surely demand more in return as well. Beyond that…it looks doubtful.

PRICE: If someone gets creative and goes the empty slot route, WNY could get someone else unexpected in return. Options then could include players like Portland’s Nikki Washington or Courtney Wetzel.

Nayeli Rangel – SBFC – MF

WHY: Rangel looks like one of the best prospects for the future for the Mexican WNT, but SBFC isn’t in the future business right now. The Jersey club has to arrest their alarming late season slide if they want to be anything but first round fodder in the playoffs, and for that, they really need veteran hands on deck. Rangel’s upside makes her a perfect fit for rebuilding clubs. Of course, it’s like for like as for as allocated player trading goes, meaning SBFC could be in for a tough time if they want to move Rangel for a veteran.

WHO: The name that really makes the most sense at this point is Maribel Dominguez…but with Chicago doggedly hanging around the postseason picture, the odds of that happening may have dropped considerably. A switch for Veronica Perez might be a possibility, but it doesn’t seem likely that WNY would want to trade for a youngster and/or help out a potential title rival.

PRICE: If SBFC’s asking for a veteran back, whoever trades for Rangel will probably have to cough up a late round draft pick with her to make things agreeable.

Jodi-Ann Robinson – WNY – MF/FW

WHY: You could probably make the same argument for trading Robinson as you could with trading Veronica Perez that I stated above. The Flash are pretty set with attacking midfielders and might see an opportunity to fortify their forward or backline if something tempting comes up. Of course, the same problems with finding a suitable trading partner for Robinson also crop up, as the club will have to take on a Canadian allocation to make the deal work.

WHO: Players WNY could target in exchange include SBFC’s Melanie Booth, Boston’s Carmelina Moscato, and Seattle’s Emily Zurrer, with all three clubs probably willing to acquire a little more punch in the offensive half of the pitch in exchange for a seldom used player. Robinson’s probably more highly valued than all of the above, so WNY would probably get another player or a draft pick in addition as a kicker in the deal to balance things out.

PRICE: Would probably be worth a fourth round pick if teams didn’t have to go like-for-like in the allocated player trades. As is, someone will probably have to pay WNY back with an additional player pick if they’re to land the Canadian super sub.

Katie Schoepfer – BOS – F

WHY: OK, the odds on a trade involving Schoepfer have probably declined sharply considering the Breakers are still hanging around the playoff race. Would Boston listen to an offer that blew them away though? Well…Schoepfer’s treaded the line between viable professional forward and impact player for a while now and may have already hit her ceiling, and the club’s other non-Sydney Leroux forward, Kyah Simon, probably has more upside. But the likes of Sky Blue FC and Chicago are probably desperate to add a little more firepower for the stretch run, while WNY and maybe even FC Kansas City might not mind adding an extra forward for depth as they aim for a title. Two goals in seventeen matches isn’t a great or even good return, but the market for forwards is pretty sparse. Desperation could cause a team to temporarily lose their mind…

WHO: See above. SBFC and Chicago seem most likely to force the issue if anyone’s interested, though I’m not totally convinced WNY and FCKC aren’t in the market for perhaps one final piece of the puzzle.

PRICE: I wouldn’t pay more than a fourth round pick, but offense makes things go, so I don’t think Boston would budge unless they get a third round pick. At least. And that might ensure Schoepfer’s still in a Boston shirt at the end of the season.

Nikki Washington – POR – MF

WHY: Seemingly out of favor for the Thorns, Washington hasn’t played in the past three matches while also not even making the subs bench the last two times out. After having been one of the surprises of the last season of WPS, Washington’s been a shell of herself in Portland, and the former Tar Heel has come in for some sharp criticism amidst the Thorns’ fluctuations in form. Worries over her health linger, and may ultimately scuttle a potential deal, but the Thorns may try to move her if they can to solidify the spine of a team that looked very vulnerable down the stretch, with five straight games without a clean sheet with nine goals conceded in that time span.

WHO: Washington might be a player that could be best suited for impact sub duty off the bench if she isn’t totally fit at the moment. That might narrow the list of suitors considerably though. WNY already has Perez and Robinson, and Washington’s game doesn’t fit FC Kansas City’s style. Boston’s been down this road before, and Chicago already has enough volatile attackers to weed their way through. Sky Blue FC needs a jolt of offensive inspiration…but they have defensive issues of their own and probably don’t have much for value that the Thorns want or need right now.

PRICE: I doubt Portland would be interested in picks at the moment, so it’ll probably be a defensive player, either in midfield or on the backline, if Washington goes out the door by the end of deadline day.

Courtney Wetzel – POR – D/MF

WHY: Speaking of players who’ve inexplicably fallen out of favor, there’s the Thorns’ Wetzel, who had more than held her own for the club through international duty, injuries, and drops in form from others. Her reward? Three straight matches without a single minute of action. The fact that Cindy Parlow Cone chose to keep her on the bench despite trying to protect a two goal lead against Chicago late last game is pretty indicative of her place in the pecking order right now. Why? I’ve got no idea. Portland needs to tighten things up in the back, and getting Wetzel back incorporated into the mix would seem like a bright idea. Instead, there’s no guarantee the former Oregon State player will be a Thorn on August 1.

WHO: If Portland does try to move Wetzel, there’ll be plenty of suitors. FC Kansas City would probably consider a deal, with Wetzel providing valuable cover at defensive midfielder and in the rearguard. WNY needs any defensive depth they can get. SBFC could also probably use another defender to combat their injury crisis. Chicago needs a center-back. Badly. Boston is still a bit shaky on defensive depth. Washington needs any defender that can stay off the training table. And hey, while we’re at it, I’m guessing Seattle wouldn’t be averse to adding a player of Wetzel’s skills either. So yeah, that’s everybody else in the league.

PRICE: I’d probably value her as worth a third round pick in the upcoming draft, but really, there’s no reason for the Thorns to be dumping players for picks right now. I’m not sure there’s much on the market matching Wetzel’s value though, so she might just end up staying put.

Emily Zurrer – SEA – D

WHY: Collecting dust on the Seattle Reign bench. Hasn’t played a minute since May 16! Pretty much a bright, shining example of how the league’s trade rules dealing with allocated players can submarine a career. Clearly unwanted by the Reign but can’t be cut and impossibly hard to trade since no other club has felt the need to swap one of their Canadian allocations for her. Desperately needs a new home but doesn’t look likely to get one this season.

WHO: Well, Sky Blue FC doesn’t appear interested in using Melanie Booth anytime soon, so why not swap the seldom used defenders and see if each team can get anything out of their new catch? Elsewhere, WNY might want to add some defensive experience with a swap with Bry McCarthy for many of the same reasons. McCarthy would help Seattle get younger in defense, though the Reign may just decide to hold onto Zurrer and get a new Canadian allocation if she’s dropped from the allocation list at the end of the season.

PRICE: Probably a straight swap in the above two scenarios. In the unlikely event that something else goes down, there’d have to be more picks or players involved in a bigger deal.

16 thoughts on “NWSL – Let’s Talk Trade Deadline

  1. Ivey West

    Chris,

    Great work as always. Count me in as one of the Spirit fans that wasn’t necessarily picking up what you were putting down (@dorv on Twitter).

    I’m less opposed to the idea of a KOH & Picks for Kreigs swap (Mainly because I’m a big KOH fan), but some of the other ideas you’ve floated I’m considerably less sure about. My objections to Matheson are likely fanboyish, so I’ll avoid that question.

    But Huster and Ochs are two of the few bright spots of the whole season. I can see the argument for Ochs … she’s show flashes of great play, but only that. I’d argue that is a by-product of setup in the middle of the field (Which I think is a by-product of a backline that has been the biggest source of our “bad luck”). And Huster has been asked to do everything, and has done it fairly well. She’s truly the one player on this team that if traded, I’d seriously consider continuing to follow this team. She’s the kind of player that you want on your team.

    In the sense of “not afraid to throw anything out there” (and also a suggestion that would incur more pitchforks), but I’d consider moving Harris.

    Reply
  2. JB

    Awesome article. I didn’t even realize the trade deadline was coming up, but things could get exciting.

    I was really unhappy with KC’s last trade at the time, but that has turned out well. Noyola is getting about as much time as Cuéllar got right before being traded, though, so I could see her moving on once again.

    Fans in KC were pissed to lose Cuéllar, and I’m sure they would be pissed to lose Farrelly, too. She hasn’t gotten many minutes off the bench in recent weeks, though, and that worries me. Frankly, any changes to “a good thing” right before playoffs worries me.

    I absolutely agree that Washington should start from scratch – popularity be damned. A team like Seattle, who hasn’t had all of their pieces for very long is harder to judge, though. So much is still up in the air about allocations for next year that I think it makes it harder to make these kinds of decisions now.

    Reply
  3. sec

    While I agree that lots of teams have reasons (as you detail) for trades, I’d be shocked to see any major trades, like player of Krieger’s worth. Not because owners are worried that doing so would harm attendance during the final few weeks, but because the owners and GMs aren’t so calculating and cold-blooded as you might think (or want them to be). The only significant moves this season were the Cuellar trade, and the Winters trade, but the latter was made easier by the fact that she’d not yet joined Chicago and had played in Seattle last summer. I just don’t think owners/GMs/coaches have the courage/confidence to make big midseason trades, even if they are “smart” in a strategic sense.

    Also, isn’t there a restriction that prohibits allocated national teamers from being swapped for non-national teamers? And on the notion that WNY might replace their starting right back — that’s kind of a non-starter, don’t you agree? I mean, objectively, they could upgrade with a trade, but realistically, how would that work, to have Sahlen sit on the bench?

    Anyway, the most I see is a losing team getting rid of a non-regular player, like Seattle trading Dallstream (in order to get draft picks) to someone like SBFC (in order to shore up their defensive roster). And I actually think FCKC ought to get an additional defender/defensive midfielder, just to guard in case of injury. I think Portland has experienced such turmoil and uncertainty, that they’ll just stick with what they’ve got at this stage, and hope the team will continue to play better. Heath has helped them a ton, and Shim, Weimer, and Foxhoven are clearly ahead of Washington and Kerr at this point, so they’ll just go with those better players.

    Reply
    1. Chris Henderson Post author

      You really think Sahlen’s ego is big enough that she wouldn’t budge if the team made a move to trade for a right-back that would improve the team decidedly?

      Reply
      1. sec

        I actually don’t think her performance has been glaringly weak, so I doubt she and her husband are scouring rosters looking for possible upgrades for her. So the move won’t be made to replace her. I also think WNY gets a lot better with Adriana’s return. I think WNY is the type of team that, so long as they get in the playoffs, they’ll be dangerous. If Huffman wasn’t hurt so much and if DiMartino had continued developing, instead of getting hurt, they’d have even better flank players and crossing options for Abby/Lloyd.

        Anyway, forgot to say this, but good write-up and analysis in general. Looking forward to your college season stuff – right around the corner.

        Reply
  4. FootyFan

    Samantha Huffman at WNY Flash? You mean Sarah right?

    A very comprehensive look at the league’s “what ifs”. Great work.

    Any thoughts on how the league plans to deal with expansion teams? If they plan on using a system similar to the MLS that could possibly help teams with moving an un-tradeable player although not this week.

    Reply
  5. alex

    Good comprehensive write up.
    Surprised you included Jones but left out Loyden though, hate to see her stay on the SBFC bench. Although teams are pretty much set with GKs, and the allocated player trading is complicated.

    Reply
    1. Chris Henderson Post author

      You pretty much nailed it. Trading allocated players is hard. Trading allocated goalkeepers is going to be nearly impossible.

      Reply
  6. Eba Jones

    Krieger had a major knee injury before the Olympics. She has healed from that and to my knowledge has no knee issues now. So the “history” is a single event. Harris is headed for Sweden and might play there beyond November. Ochs has talent but chart her and you will find she gives the ball away about 70% of the time so there is no bright spot there. D Math is playing hurt. Huster is a hard working player. Keep her and Krieger to anchor the back line, find a scoring threat up front and build from there.

    Reply
    1. ballthief

      Washington mis-position-used several of it’s players under the coaching of Mike Jorden, …Ochs being one, who until the last three games did not play forward, but rather left mid, and because of her tremendous speed, was often dragged back to cover weak defense as well and hasn’t had much chance to prove herself as her natural position of forward, but has shown these last few games under Mark Parson’s leadership. You can’t put in a forward into a defensive position, then bitch when she doesn’t attain the needed attack…no matter how fast she is. I forsee MP wanting to hang onto talent he recognizes and knows *how* to play. Attributes you expect a coach to have, but were sorely lacking in Mike Jorden.

      Reply
    2. Kevin Parker

      It might be more accurate to say “leg injury” rather than “knee injury”. She broke her leg in 2005 and injured her foot in 2008, both of which kept her from playing for extended periods of time.

      Reply
  7. Forgedias

    Looking over your list some of them have some possibilities. What I would of never thought really possible was the trading that has been going on with allocated players. Keelin Winters happened before the season started so I really didn’t count that, but its the trade between KC-Seattle for Cuellar and Noyola that impressed me. And then we got the Boston-Chicago trade that also was a good trade in my book for Moscato and Leon. Leon turned out to be a great trade for Chicago and allowed Boston to pick up another defender for their weak backline. I expected a lot more trades of unallocated players but we got these instead and that has really impressed me that GM’s were able to pull them off.

    Will we see more, yeah I think we will but it really depends what teams want and what teams are willing to give up.

    Matheson for Booth sounds like the best fit. Right now they are using Sophie Schmidt up top and they NEED to move her back to the midfield and help run the offense. If they pick up Matheson, then Matheson can move up top and can be a wing forward that can help push out wide since with the injury of Foord, they have had problems on the right side doing that. The problem with this is the Spirit Fans, they love Matheson, I would of figured Krieger at the start of the season would of been the most loved by fans, but its most definitely now is with Matheson. Not only does she lead the team is scoring with 7 goals, she is a firecracker on the pitch and puts in 100% and the fans can see this. Right now there are a few players who are not giving that 100% on the Spirit side. Maybe its because they don’t have that confidence anymore of a side that can win, but Matheson doesn’t quit and they love her for that.

    If Skyblue want to get a trade done, then they need to fork over a 2nd round pick to go with Booth. Even then I don’t know if the Spirit management would have the courage to make the trade because they would antagonize a lot of Spirit fans by trading Matheson away.

    If Washington wants more picks, then I think the best bet for them is Stephanie Ochs. She has shown some great flashes. Loves to hold onto the ball and can dribble through defenders. That is special and teams need a player like Ochs. There would be a lot of takers for Ochs, whether or not they would trade a 1st rounder for her is debatable but that is what Washington would demand.

    Nayeli Rangel is a surprise to me, this girl has talent and a lot of technical skill. I don’t know why Lytle would be starting in the midfield over her. Your right that Chicago would be perfect for her. They could use her to strengthen their midfield. For me I would do the trade now instead of waiting. They need help in the midfield. If they have any hopes of passing WNY for the 4th playoff spot, then their midfield has to play better, especially now with Chalupny injured.

    Farrelly is interesting in that she can play the holding midfielder or be an attacking player. She would fit in well with any midfield that she is apart of. It really would depend what Kansas City would want in return, but another defender might be useful since any injury to their backline and then their defense depth would be exposed. They used Buczkowski has a center back when Saurbrunn and Sesselmann had national duties.

    Really any team could use her either to push for the playoffs or to rebuild. I think she has a chance of getting some offers at least.

    Overall a good list of players. What I really want the NWSL to do in the future is change how allocations work and put all allocated players into one pool. Thereby allowing easier trades between teams. What would happen is teams would get a limited number of allocated slots, say 5. And from these slots you get your allocated players, these players can then be traded one for one or even combo into a larger deal. Teams must have at maximum of 5 allocated players, but teams can also go below that in trades. Players that are bench players can be traded more easily and players that haven’t gotten enough playing time can find another team that will give them that time. Because they are allocated players, they would be protected from being waived or cut. So it works out for the teams and players.

    Hopefully a change like this can happen in the future.

    Reply
  8. kernel thai

    The problem I see with trading live bodies for allocation spots is Im not totally convinced the they have guaranteed value for the spot. Both Canadian and Mexican reps have voiced concern about paying players who dont have regular roles. It is quite possible that both will reduce the number players they pay for next season meaning u traded for nothing. The other fuzzy factor is expansion. If they increase the number of teams u cant expect teams to be able to protect all their allocated players. If that is the case, teams might be very happy to have an empty allocation slot/ unwanted player rather than lose a quality player.

    As to the excellent list:
    Washington – as they already traded the #9 pick for Lindsey Taylor I seriously have to wonder if picks mean anything to them. I also dont see either Ochs, Matheson or Krieger going anywhere before the end of the season as attendance is already dropping and they want to avoid free fall. (The mistake with Krieger btw was not finding their best player a more forward role). In the off season the Spirit need to see what the number one pick is worth to the rest of the league. If they can add two decent starters it may be the way to go.

    Portland could use Huster as a sub for Long but u cant assume Cone would use her if she had her.

    Cutshall isnt going anywhere. No one is giving them a scorer for her because if u have one u need them for the playoffs and if ur not in the playoffs its because dont have one. The exception would be an Ochs for Cutshall swap. If Washington would swap Ochs and Huster for Cutshall and the SkyBlue number one pick it helps both teams. Ochs is the forward they have been missing all year and Huster fills in for Foord. Cutshall is the first step in rebuilding the central defense and the Sky Blue pick which may drop to number five will bring them a good player. I could maybe see SkyBlue going for Dominguez tho for Rangel and a pick.

    WNY is more about Lines and his players and I dont see him trading ny of them at this point. That doesnt mean he wouldnt take a player who was thrown at him.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Parker

      I don’t it’s reasonable to say that Spirit attendance is dropping. Yes, attendance at the last three matches has been well below average, but the first two were the team’s first two midweek games, and for the last one the DC area was getting absolutely blasted by a line of thunderstorms right when people would have been thinking about heading to the game.

      Meanwhile, the team is reporting that there are just 10 seats left on the entire home side for the August 10 match against Hope Solo Seattle, and fewer than 100 for the August 18 season finale.

      Reply
      1. sec

        Confused by the “max capacity” statements made by the Spirit regarding the Soccerplex. Last November, it hosted the ACC Men’s Tournament Final, UNC v. Maryland. The attendance exceeded 8,000. (I was there, and it was really packed). There are photos online if you don’t believe me (it was also broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN3.com, though I think the archive is no longer available). Anyway, if they could sell more tickets for the Alex Morgan or Hope Solo games, I don’t understand what’s stopping them.

        Reply

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