With all the news of NWSL expansion and investigation reports, it can be hard to remember that teams are also making moves this offseason. So far, we’ve seen a handful of USWNT players changing teams, either from free agency or trades. Here is a recap of NWSL offseason transactions involving USWNT players so far.
Kelley O’Hara to Gotham FC
O’Hara became the first free agent in NWSL history to sign with a new team when she left the Washington Spirit to sign with Gotham FC in November. The deal was announced at a Men in Blazers live podcast event, which took place in New York City. She is no stranger to the area, as she played for Sky Blue FC, which rebranded to Gotham FC, from 2013-2017. She officially signed a multi-year deal with Gotham on Jan. 25.
Morgan Gautrat to Kansas City Current
Gautrat, who many may know as Morgan Brian from her earlier playing days with the USWNT, left Chicago for Kansas City with former Red Stars teammate Vanessa DiBernardo. She is one of the first free agents signed by Kansas City under the new collective bargaining agreement. Gautrat’s new contract is for two years. Kansas City is looking stacked, thanks to the signings of Gautrat, DiBernardo and Brazilian superstar Debinha.
Lynn Williams to Gotham FC
No one could have predicted Kansas City trading away Williams during the draft, but that’s exactly what happened. Kansas City sent Williams to Gotham FC in exchange for the second overall pick, which they used to select forward Michelle Cooper. The Current acquired Williams via a trade from North Carolina last year. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury kept Williams from making her regular season debut for the Current. Williams was unaware that she was being traded, as she was in New Zealand training with the USWNT at the time.
Emily Sonnett to OL Reign
Another shocking trade during the draft saw defender Sonnett returning to the Pacific Northwest, this time with OL Reign. The Washington Spirit traded Sonnett to OL Reign for the 32nd pick in the 2022 draft and OL Reign’s 2024 first-round pick. Washington then traded away the 32nd pick to acquire the 30th pick, where they drafted Riley Tanner. Like Williams, Sonnett was also training in New Zealand when she got traded.
Emily Fox to North Carolina Courage
Fox is an up-and-coming USWNT player who was drafted first overall by Racing Louisville in 2021. Louisville shocked everyone by trading her away to North Carolina. In return, Louisville received Carson Pickett and Abby Erceg. Fox is no stranger to North Carolina, as she played college soccer at UNC from 2017-2020.
Other players to monitor this offseason
As the NWSL offseason is set to close soon, there are still a couple of big names who are available. Julie Ertz is returning from having a baby and is not signed with a team. She allegedly needs a little more time before coming back and training with a team. Tobin Heath is also available after her contract with OL Reign expired. Fans are speculating that she may go to Angel City FC, but there is no substantial evidence that points in that direction or in any direction at all. We’ll just have to be patient and see what happens with these two players.
Which NWSL offseason move surprised you the most? Let me know in the comments below. I was most surprised by Williams being traded to Gotham FC. Follow me on Twitter and check out Beyond Women’s Sports for more women’s sports coverage. Want to start watching the NWSL and WSL? You can do that here.