Twitter is agog this morning with rumors of a brewing trade between the Portland Thorns and Orlando Pride as the Thorns are reportedly looking to snag the top spot in the NWSL Draft. According to reports, Emily Sonnett and Midge Purce could be on the way out as the Thorns look to reshape themselves for 2020.
Early news of a potential trade was hinted at this morning by Dan Lauletta of The Equalizer, before being confirmed and adding the names of the Thorns and Pride to the rumor by John Halloran of American Soccer Now.
Can confirm what Dan is saying here. Multiple sources have indicated to me that Portland and Orlando are working on a trade for the No. 1 pick and that *multiple* national team players may be on the move. https://t.co/Yc3j9CzMmE— John D. Halloran (@JohnDHalloran) January 6, 2020
As people began to speculate about the trade, Neil Morris of The Equalizer joined the fray, tweeting that a Thorns’ move to the number one pick in the draft could prompt a player that was otherwise considering staying away to sign with the NWSL. Halloran again added more detail, tweeting that the trade revolves around a “prominent underclassman”.
Both sources did indicate this trade revolves around a prominent underclassman. https://t.co/Co5Q43uVQZ— John D. Halloran (@JohnDHalloran) January 6, 2020
Finally, the Washington Post’s Steven Goff added the last piece to the puzzle this morning, tweeting that Sonnett and Purce were potentially on the move from the Thorns. While both Sonnett and Purce played big roles for the Thorns in 2019, neither is a surprising name to hear. Sonnett remains a regular with the USWNT in a position where the Thorns would rather not consistently lose players, while Purce is at the peak of her trade value to date, having lead the Thorns’ attacking line for much of 2019 and finished among the top goal scorers in the NWSL with 8 tallies in 22 games.
Goff also mentioned UCLA’s Ashley Sanchez and Stanford’s Sophia Smith as two players who could potentially join the NWSL Draft early. Sanchez, 20, has been a key component of the UCLA attack in her three years with the side, scoring 23 goals and notching 42 assists in 69 games played at forward for the Bruins. Smith, 19, played with more of a goal-scoring role with Stanford, tallying 24 times and adding 11 assists in just 33 games played.
After several years spent falling short of the North Carolina Courage, the Thorns seem due for a shake-up and one could certainly be coming soon.