While the Washington Spirit continue to search for a new head coach for the 2019 season, the roster for next season is being solidified by new general manager, Chris Hummer.
Last week, Hummer announced that the Spirit had re-signed goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe to a new contract. Bledsoe was named the team’s MVP of the 2018 season. Per NWSL policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Bledsoe was acquired by the Spirit via trade from the Orlando Pride last January. The 26-year-old goalkeeper made 21 appearances for the Spirit last season, and set the new NWSL single-season saves record, stopping 108 shots.
“Aubrey was a clear bright spot for the Spirit this season, and re-signing her was a top priority for our club,” said Spirit president and general manager Chris Hummer. “It’s no surprise her services are in demand overseas, and we’re confident her time with Sydney FC is the right opportunity.”
Washington has completed a loan agreement that will send Bledsoe to Sydney FC of the Australian W-League for the duration of the NWSL offseason, before returning ahead of the Spirit’s 2019 season. This will be the Cincinnati native’s second stint with Sydney FC, as Bledsoe was also loaned out to the club from the Pride in November of 2017.
Earlier this week, the Spirit announced a number of other contract moves to keep the core of the team together. The Spirit ex exercised contract options on five players for the 2019 NWSL season. Players whose options were exercised for the 2019 season are: Whitney Church, Mallory Eubanks, Estelle Johnson, Andi Sullivan and Kelsey Wys.
Midfielder Rose Lavelle (USA), forward Mallory Pugh (USA), defender Rebecca Quinn (CAN) and defender Taylor Smith (USA) will remain on the club’s roster as Federation Players.
The club also announced that is has extended new contract offers to the following players: Estefanía Banini, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Caprice Dydasco, Cali Farquharson, DiDi Haracic, Ashley Hatch, Tori Huster, Joanna Lohman, Cheyna Matthews, Francisca Ordega, Arielle Ship and Havana Solaun. Forward Tiffany Weimer has been placed on the NWSL’s Re-Entry Wire.
Top: The Spirit have re-signed goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe.
Next: Forward Mallory Pugh and three other national team Federation Players will remain with the team next season.
Photos by Germantown Pulse