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Friday NWSL trades: Sky Blue continues to wheel and deal

It’s a bit of a gamble, but it could be what Sky Blue needs.

North Carolina Courage v Sky Blue FC

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for more frantic NWSL action!

Draft order shuffles again

A lowkey trade to ease you into things: the Chicago Red Stars traded their 9th overall pick in the 2020 college draft in exchange for Reign FC’s 24th overall pick and their natural first-round pick in the 2021 draft. Considering that the 2020 draft class doesn’t feel super strong, this could be a good long-term play by Chicago, while the Reign try to add some young talent to their roster.

Sky Blue unloads Hailie Mace rights

Sky Blue has been holding a reverse card close, waiting to leverage Mace’s rights, and they finally got a very interesting, if not outright winning, deal for those rights. The North Carolina Courage traded McCall Zerboni and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2021 for the rights to Mace. Zerboni’s minutes have dwindled for the Courage, perhaps inspiring her to search for an out. She has potential as an asset for Sky Blue despite being in the later stages of her career and not seeming to be 100% match fit just yet; Zerboni has a well-earned reputation as a locker room leader and someone you want for her strong mentality and work ethic. For Sky Blue, a team with a relatively green new head coach and a lot to prove after building momentum in 2019, Zerboni could a key puzzle piece. The conditional 2021 pick doesn’t seem like the most Sky Blue could’ve gotten thrown in for Mace’s rights, but accepting that as a sweetener maybe indicates that Mace simply wasn’t going to play for Sky Blue no matter what, making it more important for them to offload her rights.

As ever, we’ll keep updating with any further trades.