Alternative title: Was the Kate Deines, Merrit Mathias trade the most cold-blooded, revenge-soaked trade in women’s soccer?
Kate Deines announced that she was retiring from professional soccer just a few weeks before the opening of the NWSL season, leaving defending champs FCKC in the lurch. Their backline was already going to be light, since Becky Sauerbrunn will miss most of the season for the World Cup, and without Deines’ presence for the season the Blues are down to just 3 defenders on their roster.
The Reign, on the other hand, can look forward to several good years from 24-yo Merrit Mathias, who has extensive experience in the youth national team and started 18 of 22 games for FCKC in their title-winning year.
This is probably just an unfortunate coincidence for the Blues, but fans might be allowed a little leeway to speculate about Deines’ motives. She is, after all, a lifelong Northwesterner – she was born in PDX, raised outside of Seattle, and played her college ball at the UW. And FCKC did crush Seattle’s dreams by demolishing them in the 2014 NWSL championship game. And Laura Harvey does appear, at times, to be a ruthless, season-wrecking, diabolical soccer genius.
Now all that’s left is to see whether that Sydney Leroux trade pans out for the Reign too. Quite the gamble, that one.