Racing Louisville announced today they have acquired forward Savannah McCaskill and midfielder Yūki Nagasato from the Chicago Red Stars. McCaskill and Nagasato become the first players added to the Louisville roster ahead of their debut next season. The deal was finalized ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. Teams have until November 4th at 5:00 pm ET to submit their protected list to the league. The list of unprotected players will be made public by 1:00 pm ET the next day.
The trade with the Red Stars includes the 5th overall pick in the 2021 College Draft and two international slots (in 2021 and 2022). Finally, the trade provides Chicago full roster protection in the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft on November 12.
The acquisition of the two might offer a glimpse into the type of team Holly hopes to build in Louisville. McCaskill has the strength and skill to play an aggressive attacking role and Nagasato has is an elite playmaker and leader on and off the pitch.
“We are proud to have Savannah and Yūki join our club. Both players bring a wealth of talent to our organization and will be influential on and off the field. We feel that they both possess a combination of hunger and experience that’s instrumental as we lay the foundation to what we feel will be a very exciting and talented team for the 2021 NWSL season and beyond,” Louisville head coach Christy Holly said.
A terrific player and an even better human.— Chicago Red Stars (@chiredstarsPR) October 26, 2020
Thank you, Savannah pic.twitter.com/1FSCIsCv8N
McCaskill was selected No. 2 in the 2018 NWSL College Draft by the Boston Breakers and picked up by Sky Blue FC in the 2018 NWSL Dispersal Draft. She made her debut with the U.S Women’s National Team the January before her rookie season and appeared in all three #SheBelieves Cup matches in 2018. McCaskill played in the Australia’s W-League for Sydney FC where she won the 2019 title.
She tallied 3 goals and 3 assists in 34 appearances for Chicago She added another 2 goals and 2 assists in 10 total apperances in the 2020 Challenge Cup and Fall Series.
The personification of world-class on and off the field.— Chicago Red Stars (@chiredstarsPR) October 26, 2020
Thank you for everything, Yuki pic.twitter.com/ACPjT3Hsgy
Nagasato has been a staple on the Japanese National Team since 2004 and has 58 goals in 132 caps. The 2011 World Cup winner led the NWSL is assists (9) in 2019 and finished her three season career in Chicago with STATS. Nagasato is beloved by teammates, fans, and the media alike.
This fall, Nagasato joined Hayabusa Eleven and became the first woman to compete professionally for a men’s team in her home country. She finished her career with the Red Stars with 13 goals and 18 assists in 56 appearances.
“We want to thank Savannah and Yuki for their commitment and contributions to this club both on and off the field. While we’ll miss having them both on the pitch with us, we look forward to watching them thrive in Louisville,” said Chicago Red Stars Head Coach Rory Dames.
The Red Stars can rest easy during the November 12th expansion draft, but there is no doubt Dames and company will have some tinkering to do. The club reached its first NWSL Final in 2019 but fell short of the ultimate prize. The trade with Louisville in exchange for full protection buys Chicago time to evaluate its roster ahead of the trade window opening November 13th and College Draft next year.