Spirit draft picks plus Paige Metayer and Chloe Ricketts at the 2023 Washington Spirit Premiere

According to the new CBA, March 6 was the deadline for teams to trim their squad to 32 players. That day came and went without an announcement from the Washington Spirit because they didn’t have more than 32 players in camp anyway. However, some roster news dropped recently and it’s of the good and terrific variety.

The Spirit have signed all draft picks presently in camp (Delaney Graham had surgery the day of the draft and is still rehabbing her injury), as well as non-roster invitee Paige Metayer. In addition to this news, some other tidbits of information has come from this announcement plus an updated roster page that provides further insight on player positions. For now, lets focus on the new signees.

Arizona State forward Nicole Douglas is designated as a midfielder, and with Parsons discussing his admiration for her ability to make the “final pass,” she’ll likely be an attacking midfield option. Douglas’ contract is a two-year deal.

Goalkeeper Lyza Bosselmann is, no surprises here, still a goalkeeper. Bosselmann was high on the Spirit’s draft board and will have plenty of expertise in Aubrey Kingsbury and Nicole Barnhart to help her develop her game. Bosselmann signed a two-year deal, with an option for 2025.

Alabama winger/forward Riley Tanner is listed as a midfielder as well. Tanner has also played as a winger and center forward for the Panama National Team, who recently beat Paraguay to claim a spot in this summer’s World Cup. It remains to be seen where Tanner will fit in midfield. She’s quick with the ball at her feet, so we could see her at multiple positions outside of defensive midfield. Tanner also signed a two-year contract with an option for 2025.

Long Beach State forward Lena Silano is also still a forward. Silano is most well-known for her viral overhead kick goal, and was a prolific goalscorer in college. She has a knack for timing her runs in behind well and also finding space in the box to get quick shots away. In fact, when given the opportunity to dream of her first professional goal, Silano dismissed the thirty-yard screamer for the more realistic option of a first-time touch in the box. Silano was also signed for two years, with an option fir 2025.

Colorado forward Civana Kuhlmann is another player whose position hasn’t changed. Though Kuhlmann told us she’s delighted to have achieved her goal of being drafted and would play anywhere, there’s nothing she loves more than scoring goals. Kuhlmann was a young prodigy in USYNT setups and while at Stanford prior to a devastating string of cruel and unfortunate injuries. However, Kuhlmann has been back on the pitch and in her final year of college scored twelve goals in nineteen appearances. Kuhlmann is a determined player and person who’s easy to root for. She also signed a two-year deal with an option for 2025.

Undrafted University of California midfielder Paige Metayer, who is still a midfielder, was listed as a non-roster invitee in late January, and just over a month later has impressed enough to earn a contract ahead of the 2023 season. At 5’10, Metayer is tall for a midfielder, which likely comes in handy when winning duels in the middle of the park. Metayer signed a three-year deal with an option for 2026.

But wait, there’s more!

If the updated roster page on the Spirit’s website is to be believed, we may now have a glimpse at who else may be changing positions. Notably, Dorian Bailey, Maddie Elwell and Tara McKeown are now listed as defenders. In her first year as a pro, Bailey played right and left back for the Spirit, so we’re presuming she’s in contention to do the same. With her acceleration and persistence, Elwell also seems like a prime candidate for a fullback spot. McKeown, however, is the stunner on the list. She had some bright moments as a forward last season, but the forward pool was deep then, and got even deeper after this draft. With Sam Staab and Amber Brooks as the only recognized center backs under contract (new singing Inés Jaurena has played at CB for Lyon but had her best days as a midfielder with Bordeaux), it seems likely that one of these players is being converted to a central defender – and right now it’s looking like McKeown.

There’s a lot of change and intrigue happening in and around the Spirit, so uh, GO TO GAMES!

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Fascinating about Tara McKeown moving to CB. She’s strong in the air, uses her body well. I think that aids distribution out of the backline too. Still, their defensive talent seems kind of lean to me–I think they could use more back there.

[…] Washington Spirit sign 6 players to first team contracts (DP) […]

[…] Washington Spirit sign six players, shuffle a few positions ahead of the 2023 NWSL season. Washington Spirit sign six players, shuffle a few positions ahead of the 2023 NWSL season […]

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