The Washington Spirit announced today they had traded Rose Lavelle’s NWSL rights to OL Reign in exchange for $100,000 in allocation money and the Reign’s natural first round draft pick in 2022, with more allocation money contingent on Lavelle’s “future playing status in the NWSL.”
The Reign’s announcement indicated that “Lavelle is expected to sign an agreement to play outside the NWSL with immediate effect.” The Athletic’s Meg Linehan confirmed that Lavelle is headed to Manchester City on a one-year contract, joining fellow national teamer Samantha Mewis.
And with the Reign/Spirit trade done, can finally report that according to multiple sources, the Rose Lavelle to Manchester City trade is officially a go, one year contract, mutual option.— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) August 16, 2020
Mewis & Lavelle signings now complete. #NWSL #USWNT https://t.co/YWvxliHYfH
The Reign are clearly betting on Lavelle’s eventual return to her domestic league, which is not unfair given how heavily USSF has leaned on its WNT players in the past to stay at home. However, given the current status of sports in the United States and the way things are looking going into 2021, the status quo is, as they say, completely fakakta.
The Spirit appear to have made out somewhat like bandits on this one, knowing their player was leaving whether they wanted it or not and turning that into $100k they can use to target top talent. As a quick reminder, “allocation money” doesn’t just mean money for national team players paid by federations anymore; teams can now spend above the salary cap with their “allocation money” on expensive international players that fit one or more of the following criteria:
- NWSL Best XI or Second XI for either of the two most recent seasons (2019, 2018)
- International players who have more than three caps for their national team in the prior 24 months
- NWSL MVP, Golden Boot, Rookie of the Year or Defender of the Year winner for one of the two most recent seasons (2019, 2018)
- Domestic players who have completed at least five seasons in the NWSL
- Players who were formerly designated as allocated players by the U.S. or Canada (unless if the player refused the option to be allocated)
- Players previously on a contract that included allocation mone
The Spirit clearly spent the Challenge Cup learning about their depth of talent and setting themselves up to be successful in the future. With this move, they’ve pressed their thumb on the scale of success just that little bit harder.