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Washington Spirit Make Roster Moves Ahead of Draft; Trade Crystal Dunn



As the Washington Spirit prepare for the 2018 Draft later this week, the team has made some major moves this week, including trading USWNT superstar Crystal Dunn to the North Carolina Courage.

Dunn did not play for the Spirit last season, opting instead to play for Chelsea Ladies in Europe following the Spirit’s 2016 season.

Spirit have acquired U.S. Women’s National Team defender Taylor Smith and 2017 NWSL Rookie of the Year forward Ashley Hatch from the North Carolina Courage in exchange an international roster spot and the NWSL rights to Dunn.

The Spirit has also acquired the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft from the Houston Dash in exchange for forward/defender Lindsay Agnew and the No. 6 pick in Thursday’s draft.


This deal gives the Spirit the No. 1 overall pick and the No. 3 overall pick in the draft. Washington now holds two of the top three selections in the first round. Washington previously acquired the No. 6 pick in a trade with the Chicago Red Stars.

The trade with North Carolina is significant. Smith and Hatch, who have each played their way into the U.S. Women’s National Team player pool in recent years, both had integral roles in helping the Courage capture the 2017 NWSL Shield and advance to the NWSL Championship Final.

Smith led a Courage defense which limited opponents to less than a goal per game, and earned her first seven international camps with the U.S. during 2017.

“Taylor has developed into one of the best right backs in the NWSL,” said Spirit Head Coach and General Manager Jim Gabarra. “She has performed very well both with the national team and the Courage, and has been part of winning teams her entire career. She will be a difference maker for us.”

Hatch, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NWSL Draft, led all rookies with seven goals scored, including three game-winners, over the course of 24 appearances.