USWNT Icons Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris Sent To Gotham FC In Huge NWSL Trade

The NWSL’s wild offseason continued Monday with the announcement of a major trade featuring two USWNT stars. NJ/NY Gotham FC announced Krashlyn is heading to the Big Apple, confirming the rumor Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris would leave the Orlando Pride.

Krieger and Harris, who were married in 2019 and earlier this year adopted a baby, were acquired by Gotham in exchange for two draft picks and $50,000 in allocation money, which honestly doesn’t feel like enough for two USWNT greats, even if they are on the tail ends of their careers.

Krashlyn changing clubs is a massive move not just for the clubs involved but the entire league. Before their arrival, Gotham announced Sunday goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan was sent to the San Diego Wave for allocation money and protection in the upcoming expansion draft. Sheridan was nominated for NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year, but would’ve faced tough competition for the starting job with USWNT keeper Harris. 

Both Krieger and Harris were members of the 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cup winners. Krieger, 37, has 108 career USWNT caps while Harris, 36, has 25. They were also teammates with the Washington Spirit and Tyresö in Sweden. 

The blockbuster move was first reported by the Athletic on Friday. As we said at the time, there were a large number of moves as NWSL clubs tried to protect themselves from the expansion draft, which will be Dec. 16. Both Angel City and San Diego will pick players from each other NWSL club that has not negotiated immunity. 

The trade window shut on Friday afternoon, but teams were not required to make the moves public, hence why we’re only now learning of some of the transfers. The trade window will reopen on Dec. 17, a day before the 2022 NWSL draft. 

In other news Monday, Chicago announced it had signed USWNT players Tierna Davidson, Casey Krueger, Alyssa Naeher and Mallory Pugh to multi-year contracts, which means they will not be USWNT players paid by U.S. Soccer Federation. Lynn Williams went on loan from the N.C. Courage to play for Melbourne Victory in the A-League until Jan. 7. The Courage also brought in midfielder Brianna Pinto from Gotham, and Angel City made its second official signing, adding defender Mary Alice Vignola from the Spirit. 

Additionally, OL Reign sent a draft pick to Angel City in exchange for $25,000 in allocation money and an agreement from the LA club to not pick an OL Reign forward in the expansion draft. 

Many of these offseason moves have involved oddly specific terminology such as allocation money and certain types of draft picks, prompting this pair of tweets, the reply coming from 2019 NWSL Rookie of the Year Bethany Balcer, whose only monetary prize that year was a $50 gift card to Chipotle.

It’s a busy time for NWSL fans, even if the season ended a couple of weeks ago. It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out when the league kicks off the 2022 season next year. 

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