The Portland Thorns front office has confirmed reports from the Washington Post and the Oregonian that long time Thorns midfielder Allie Long will be leaving for the Seattle Reign in exchange for the rights to Australian international Caitlin Foord and a second round draft pick in 2020.
Seattle acquired the rights to Caitlin Foord from Sky Blue for Katie Johnson and Rebekah Stott. Foord last played three seasons in the NWSL for Sky Blue, earning second XI honors in her first season before leaving the league in 2015. After that, she was named Asian Women’s Footballer of the year in 2016 for her performances with the Australian Women’s National team as they began to catch the eyes of the world.
Currently playing with Emily Sonnett at Sydney FC in the W-League, Foord is a talented and tenacious winger who can play across the front line and at fullback. She has a wide range of skills — she can exploit space in behind through running, dribble through teams, press hard when without the ball, and deliver excellent crosses from all ranges. She’s hugely experienced despite only being 23: she won young player of the tournament at the 2011 Women’s World Cup and has 60 caps for the Mathildas.
Allie Long, who has been with the club since the inaugural season and was all time top scorer until last season, will certainly be missed. However, failing to nail down a starting spot in such a talented midfield last season would have been difficult for her, especially with her spot in the national team ahead of the 2019 World Cup in question. It will be more than a little weird to see her line up for Seattle.
Foord joining the team means that three of the Thorns’ international spots will be taken by Australian wingers, but with more deals reportedly in the works from Portland, the roster looks far from set. Merritt Paulson suggests that the team will announce the next trade tomorrow:
The other trade is for a nwsl center midfielder. Hopefully announce tomorrow but thats all i can say now— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) January 11, 2018
Emily Sonnett has a suggestion for what that next trade might be:
Plot twist pic.twitter.com/Ohc8kUCYIi— Emily Sonnett (@emilysonnett) January 11, 2018