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NWSL: Portland Thorns acquire No. 1 pick; Orlando gets Sonnett, Foord

The Orlando Pride made a splash with their own NWSL offseason news, trading for Emily Sonnett and the rights to Caitlin Foord. Meanwhile, the Portland Thorns get the No. 1 pick in next week's NWSL College Draft.
Emily Sonnett

Orlando, Florida — A few new faces are joining the Orlando Pride. On Tuesday, one day after a busy, chaotic day around the NWSL, the Pride announced a trade with the Portland Thorns. Orlando has picked up the rights to Australian Caitlin Foord and also acquired U.S. Women’s National Team defender Emily Sonnett.

Meanwhile, for the Thorns, they have received Orlando’s No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NWSL College Draft. The draft will be held next Thursday in Baltimore. Sources are indicating that Stanford forward Sophia Smith will declare early for the draft, with Portland eyeing her pick.

“Acquiring not only one, but two players with the domestic and international resumes of Emily and Caitlin, plus additional draft picks for 2020, puts the club in a strong position to continue building for both short and long-term success,” Erik Ustruck, Pride general manager, said. “Emily and Caitlin are two players we have targeted for a while. We are incredibly happy to come to terms on this deal.”

Also, the Orlando Pride have picked up a couple draft picks. Orlando has received Portland’s No. 7 and 14 overall picks in this year’s draft.

“I’m very excited to be able to acquire Emily, a young, World Cup-winning center back, and the rights to Caitlin, one of Australia’s most promising talents, for the Pride,” Marc Skinner, Pride head coach, said. “Adding the No. 7 and No. 14 picks in the draft also, not only gives us two additional assets in the acquisition, but allows us to stay in the draft early on and bolster the roster.”

Pride’s excitement for Sonnett and Foord

Sonnett joins the Pride after spending the last four seasons in Portland. She was drafted by the Thorns with the first overall pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft. Ever since, the Virginia defender made 72 regular-season appearances. She started 71 of those appearances, and totaled six goals and two assists.

Sonnett is a World Cup championing, winning the coveted title in 2019 with the USWNT. Her first appearance for the national team occurred in October 2015. As of now, she has 40 appearances under her belt, which includes three assists.

“Emily is a front-footed defender who isn’t afraid to get into the trenches and has loads of potential to become one of the best center backs in the world,” Skinner said.

Meanwhile, Foord is a member of the Australian National Team. The 25-year-old began her NWSL career with Sky Blue FC in 2013. She remained with the club for two seasons before joining Perth Glory. Then, she returned to Sky Blue in 2015. Foord joined the Thorns in 2018, scoring three goals in 26 appearances.

During the off-season, she features in the Westfield W-League, where she is in her 11th season. Foord has won four W-League championships and currently features for Sydney FC. Foord competed at the World Cup in France last year with Australia. She has scored 17 goals in 77 appearances for the Matildas.

“Caitlin is versatile, able to play both forward and defender, and can bring another level of quality to support the strikers we already have on our team,” Skinner said. “We’re very happy to acquire two players who are proven both in the NWSL and with their national teams.”


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