Westphal, Ali to SDW for $50K

The long-awaited/dreaded expansion draft occurred this evening and the excitement was palpable..!

Ooooookay, maybe not so much.

So many teams had dealt for protection that the draft itself took maybe twenty minutes of the two hours CBSSN had blocked out for it…

“Who dealt this shit..?”

…and left the CBS talent desperately vamping to fill the time. For Portland fans the most interesting thing that happened was San Diego’s third and fourth picks.

Which weren’t picks at all, but “passes”. Kassouf – who’s been all over this story – immediately linked these to the handshake deal he reported last week and, sure enough, as soon as the transfer window re-opened at the end of the draft the deal was announced.

Portland sends Christen Westphal and the rights to Amirah Ali to San Diego in return for $50,000 in allocation money – and the protection from the draft implicit in one of the “passes”.

As an individual I will miss Westphal, a player who truly grew during her time here. As a Thorns fan I can’t help but think that the new FO of LeBlanc and Wilkinson made good moves to protect the core of the roster.

Now we move on to the NCAA draft this weekend, and the Thorns are slightly better off than they were the last time we visited the event, having nicked the 13th overall – first second round – pick from Angel City as part of the Charley/Lussi deal.

We’ll see what sort of quality remains on the table on Saturday.

I’m not all that excited.

And before we go, a reminder that to the people who own these teams you and I, the fans, are pretty much fungible; OL Reign is returning to Seattle.

I wonder how well this will work when the Reign aren’t paired up with the Sounders. I seriously doubt that they’ll get many crossover fans – the old Queens had five seasons under the Space Needle to draw from the Sounders fanbase and got bupkis.

So tip an empty glass to the poor sods in Tacoma who thought they had a local pro soccer team. The brights lights of the big city were too seductive, and they’ve been dropped like yesterday’s laundry.

John Lawes
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6 thoughts on “Westphal, Ali to SDW for $50K

  1. While it was great to keep outrstarting 11, we are now short on forwards. I dont see how we dont go out and sign at least couple strikers. May that was always the plan?

    1. I honestly don’t see that. Smith and Weaver are the obvious starters, Marissa Everett is still on the roster, and Yazmeen Ryan is an attacking piece capable of playing as a #9 or #10, and my suspicion is that the eventual plan is to move Dunn back to forward.

      The piece we could use is a true Kerr-style striker, bot those are rare as fairies. Could we try and sign one? Sure! I wouldn’t plan around that, tho…

      1. This year’s draft is not going to be as good as the past few years. Unless we select an international at 13, my expectation is a decent depth piece. Miri Taylor is an English Forward who could change that perception for me but someone is going to have take a risk there.

        With Coffey coming in and Moultrie being a part of our plans, I can easily see Ryan fitting up front. Versatile talent. Not sure she is an impact player, but she’s more advanced that Charley was at a similar point in her career and her athleticism pops.

        1. While I think the frontline should be okay the midfield is my biggest headscratcher. Sinc is, frankly, now too slow to be the regular starting ACM. She needs to be a supersub, and hopefully the club can convince her of that.

          Horan didn’t thrive as a dual-8 with Crystal Dunn, and I’m not sure at this point whether that was her, Dunn, or their whole being less than the sum of their parts, and Rodriguez showed moments of achievement but almost as many moments of “WTF?”. I’m still unsure of what Salem’s plans are.

          Ryan and Moultrie are no better than squad players at this point. Like Rocky, moments of promise, moments of “why is this player on the pitch?”. Whether Ryan sits at the top of midfield or moves forward I think depends on how well Wilkinson can rejigger the other midfield pieces. Moultrie? I honestly have no clue. A player that young could make huge strides forward…or plateau. I’d like to see her on loan somewhere (Japan? Australia? Europe?) this offseason to get as much experience as possible…

          I do agree that this is a fairly thin draft year, and with the highest pick well down the first round I’m not expecting much other than decent depth.

  2. I’ll have a full post up, but so far the new FO/coaching team has drafted well:
    1) Got Nasello (F) with the #13 (she was rated #4 by Top Drawer, Henderson had her at #5) so good move to pick her up so late. Henderson says she’s great with the ball at her feet, and “good passer for a winger”. Not sure whether we NEED her as a winger – that’s kind of what Weaver does already – but good value for a second-round pick.
    2) Gabby Provenzano (CB) with #22 (Henderson rated #7 overall, not in the top 30 at TDS). Henderson comments that she “has technical skills pro teams are looking for at CB but jury still out whether she can defend elite level attacking talent).

  3. The final (fourth round) pick netted (F) Natalie Beckman (Top Drawer #17, Henderson #20). Said to be a potential outside back conversion by Top Drawer; Henderson says she put up “video game numbers” but at the power in a fairly noncompetitive league.


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