In these slow winter weeks, any hint at upcoming news is exciting and Merritt Paulson, as he is wont to do, dropped a big one on Twitter today for fans of the Portland Thorns.
@shebainpdx if he is a thorns fan two big trades tomorrow plus signing...— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) January 12, 2014
The tweet has since been deleted.
Coming in the wake of the NWSL Expansion draft, where the Thorns lost fan favorites Meleana Shim and Becky Edwards, the team needs to rebuild their roster. The Thorns have already brought on board defensive midfielder Amber Brooks, but the loss of Shim out wide leaves a large hole to be filled.
Still, there is a possibility that the Thorns could see one of their lost players return. Again, it was Paulson dropping hints on Twitter after the expansion draft.
And just cause you lose a player in an expansion draft, doesn't mean they cannot suit up for you again...ask @brianching :)— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) January 10, 2014
Rumors have also been surrounding the Thorns and their potential signings this off-season with the players most heavily connected to the team being Paul Riley's former star Veronica Boquete and German national team keeper Nadine Angerer.
The Angerer rumors have been fueled in part by the Thorns current lack of a backup keeper. Adelaide Gay, Karina LeBlanc's backup in 2013, was waived by the team at the start of the month. If both LeBlanc, 33, and Angerer, 35, were on the roster, however, the Thorns would find themselves with two star keepers both approaching the tail end of their careers.
If Angerer were to sign with the Thorns, it is possible that LeBlanc could be traded away.
If it occurred, this would mark the second time that an allocated player would be traded within the NWSL, following the swap of Canadian national teamers Melissa Tancredi for Erin McLeod last week between the Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars.