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Offseason Youth Movement May Lead to Washington Spirit Dynasty

To say that the Washington Spirit had an active and successful offseason may be the understatement of the year. The team which came in dead last in the National Women’s Soccer League in 2017 made very good offseason moves including trades and draft picks, and took advantage of the demise of another NWSL team to become the home of the best collection of young talent in the league.

This week the Spirit added arguably the most exciting young player in the game — not already on the Spirit roster—with the addition of U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Rose Lavelle with the No. 1 overall pick in Tuesday’s NWSL Dispersal Draft.

Lavelle, 22, has scored two goals over the course of her first seven appearances with the senior U.S. national team. After the Boston Breakers made Lavelle the top pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, the University of Wisconsin product netted two goals in 10 games for the Breakers during her rookie season.

The Spirit now have the top draft picks from the 2018 (Andi Sullivan) and 2017 (Rose Lavelle) drafts, and the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft (Rebecca Quinn), as well as the No. 2 draft pick in the 2017 draft (Ashley Hatch). Hatch was named the 2017 NWSL Rookie of the year.

All that young talent and potential without mentioning 19-year-old USWNT phenom Mallory Pugh, who joined the Spirit last year.