Jordan Angeli – MF – Boston Breakers (Santa Clara) – It’s all a question of health. If the knee injuries haven’t taken too much of a toll, and if she’s still the player she was with Boston, Angeli will make this team without too much trouble. Of course, Angeli hasn’t played competitively in almost three calendar years thanks to said knee injuries, meaning she still has to prove she can still hack it at this level. A Spirit midfield needing some bite and experience certainly could use her talents.
Madeline Barker – MF – Georgia – Right-winger did little for first three seasons of her collegiate career before scoring eight goals as a senior. Efficiency numbers were really bad though, which probably blunts the impact of her breakthrough season. Battling for a spot as an attacker, but there are about nine or ten other seasoned pros in the way, making her odds of making it here pretty low.
Jordan Clark – MF – Karlsruhe (GER) (Akron) – Last seen with a club being relegated from the third tier of the German league. Yikes. Was an above average MAC midfielder with Akron for four years but has history of knee injuries and a lot of competition for spots in midfield working against her. Size could help but still a longshot to crack this roster.
Gloria Douglas – F – Virginia – Runs like the wind but can’t hit the broad side of a barn in large stretches. Think I’m being hyperbolic? Douglas had three goals on fifty-three shots and put a ghastly thirty-four percent of her shots on target as a senior, though she was trusted enough to be a starter for the Cavs for much of 2013. Spirit aren’t exactly replete with consistent scorers, but it’s hard imagining her not being a long-term project to be developed on the reserve squad.
Adelaide Gay – GK – Portland Thorns (North Carolina) – Won a national title with North Carolina in 2012 and perhaps got an unexpected shot at this level after being picked up by Portland in the preseason. Eyebrows were certainly raised when she was skipped over for starting duty when Karina LeBlanc was away though, and the odds of the former Tar Heel usurping Chantel Jones for the #2 slot here are slim.
Didi Haracic – GK – Loyola (MD) – A familiar face, as she has been the netminder for both the W-League’s D.C. United Women, as well as the Spirit reserve team last season. Had an outside shot of being drafted coming into her senior season at Loyola, but her club suffered through a horrific season that likely scuttled those hopes. Not going to be a star in this league, nor even a top backup probably, but will probably hang around on the reserve team with a chance of a call-up midseason.
Lyndse Hokanson – GK – George Mason – Another local product who spent three years as GMU’s starter in goal. Was good for a bad Mason team this past season in the A10, but good probably isn’t going to see her onto the active roster ahead of Harris and Jones. Local ties probably has her in with a shout of making the reserve team, but I’d be shocked if she comes close to the big club this year.
Meg Morris – MF/D – North Carolina – Strong as an ox despite standing at just 5’2″. Veteran of the youth international game with the U.S. but probably will go down as a player who never came close to reaching her potential in the college game, partly due to conditioning issues. Shockingly, she averaged just over forty minutes a game as a senior despite starting twenty-four matches! That’s not going to fly at this level, but if she gets that sorted out, she’s an intriguing prospect as a flank player.
Kelsey Pardue – MF – Longwood – Another familiar face who was with the reserve side last year, albeit not in as much of an attacking role as she played in with the Lancers in college. Was a consistent producer for the Big South side through four seasons, culminating with two straight years of All-Region Third Team honors after eight goals this past year. Big jump in class though, as this group has a logjam of talent in the attack.
Alexa St. Martin – D – Georgetown – Played as a top reserve for the Hoyas for two seasons before settling in as a center-back for her final two seasons and doing well for herself. Problem is, she’s just 5’4″, so it’s highly unlikely she’ll be playing in the center of defense at this level. Have to think there’s maybe a spot or two up for grabs as a defensive reserve, but she may have to show her viability as a full-back to make it.
Bianca Sierra – D – Auburn – Mexican international center-back got a rough introduction to the very top level against the USWNT late last year. Despite her status as one of Mexico’s top defenders, Sierra, in reality, was just an average SEC center-back for Auburn. Californian won’t count against the international limit should she make it, but despite Spirit’s need for another defender or two, the step up in class might be a bit much for her.
Jennifer Skogerboe – MF – UConn – Another local who featured on the Spirit’s reserve team in the W-League last season, though listed as a defender. Took on a more attacking role collegiately with the Huskies, netting six goals as a junior in a breakout season. Offense dried up this season, and despite being listed as a midfielder in Spirit’s roster release, best bet would probably be to catch on as a reserve defender. All things considered, looks a likelier candidate for the reserve squad again.
Zaneta Wyne – MF – GBK (FIN) (New Mexico) – Lobo alum toiled with Finnish strugglers GBK this past year, though she did see significant minutes with the Naisten Liiga side. Enjoyed a solid but unspectacular career collegiately playing in defense and midfield, saving her best season for last in 2011. Probably hoping to catch on as a utility player given her versatility, but Wyne probably faces an uphill battle to make this squad for 2014.
Best Bets: Angeli (if healthy), Morris