It took until the 4th pick of today's NWSL Expansion Draft before the Portland Thorns lost midfielder Meleana Shim to the newly formed Houston Dash. Minutes later, the Thorns roster was raided again as the Dash took defensive midfielder Becky Edwards with the 8th pick.
Shim came on strong for the Thorns in her rookie season, providing a creative, attacking presence out on the wing that the team otherwise lacked. It was that wide threat that allowed her to score five goals in nineteen appearances with the Thorns, two of which were late-season game winners. A fan-favorite for both her exciting style of play and her personality off the pitch (she is the self-declared "lezziest-lez in the league"), Shim will be missed in Portland.
Becky Edwards' loss will also be felt keenly by Thorns fans, who were eagerly anticipating her return to the side after an early ACL tear caused her to miss out on much of the 2013 season. The Thorns looked like a much calmer, more self-possessed side with Edwards holding down the midfield, a quality that the team never really replicated under Cindy Parlow-Cone.
The Dash, who are operated by the Houston Dynamo and join the Thorns as the only two NWSL sides that are linked to MLS Clubs, got ten picks with which to build their team as a part of the NWSL Expansion draft. The Dash will also have picks no. 2, 10, 19, and 28 in the NWSL College Draft on the 17th, while the Thorns will have picks no. 11, 16, 26, and 34.
- Brittany Bock (Sky Blue FC, M)
- Tiffany MCCarty (Washington Spirit, F)
- Lauren Sesselman (FC Kansas City, D)
- Meleana Shim (Portland Thorns, M)
- Ella Masar (Chicago Red Stars, F)
- Megan Klingenberg (Boston Breakers, D)
- Arianna Romero (Seattle Reign FC, D)
- Becky Edwards (Portland Thorns, M)
- Danesha Adams (Sky Blue FC, F)
- Gabriella Toulouse (Washington Spirit, D)
The Thorns, Washington Spirit, Sky Blue FC each lost two players to the Dash in the draft, while the Western New York Flash avoided losing anyone.