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Spirit Draft Three, Fill Needs With Trades and Signings

Spirit v Thorns  2014-2.jpg

By Kevin O’Rourke

It may have been the off-season for on field plays, but Washington Spirit front office was busy making plays to make changes and shore-up the roster for the 2015 campaign. The 2015 version of the Washington Spirit will have many new faces.

On Jan. 16 the Spirit, Germantown’s hometown professional soccer team, took part in the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft in Philadelphia and come home with three draft picks, two more than they expected.

The Spirit, who came within one game of the NWSL championship game last year, have made a number of off-season changes and will begin the 2015 season with a very different team than they had in 2014.

The team drafted three players, defenders Megan Oyster and Caprice Dydasco both from UCLA and Whitney Church from Penn State. The Spirit were to have only one pick in this year’s draft but some wheeling and dealing on draft day got them three picks.

The Spirit traded last season’s top scorer, forward Jodie Taylor to the Portland Thorns in exchange the No. 13 overall pick and two second round picks in the 2016 College Draft. The Spirit selected Chicago native Megan Oyster with the pick. Portland acquired the No. 13 pick from Houston in a separate deal.

The Spirit then traded two 2016 second round picks to FC Kansas City for the No. 19 overall pick in this year’s draft. The Spirit used that pick to select Hawaiian native Caprice Dydasco.

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With the club’s final pick of the draft, the Spirit took Ashburn, Va. native Whitney Church with the No. 30 overall selection.

“Our dream strategy was the three players that we grabbed,” said Spirit Head Coach and General Manager Mark Parsons in a team produced video. “For all different reasons, some because of the needs we have, also because of the talent character and mentality of the players.”

On Thursday, Jan. 22, the team announced the signing of Argentinian forward Estefania Banini, formerly with Colo Colo of the Chilean Women’s Football Championship in Chile. The 24-year-old from Mendoza, Argentina will join the Spirit after