The Reign have announced that they've traded defender Nikki Marshall to the Portland Thorns along with their 2nd round pick (9th overall) for the Thorns' first round pick (6th overall) and Portland's second round pick in the 2015 draft. Marshall, you'll remember, was just acquired earlier in the offseason from the Washington Spirit as part of a larger deal involving Renae Cuellar and the rights to Alina Garciamendez — after the Spirit had picked her up off of the waiver wire.
So after Marshall's long, virtual trip around the league, the team that comes out looking best in this deal may be Washington, who wasn't even involved in it. Portland ended up paying a 2nd round pick next year and a 3-pick downgrade in the draft this year for a player whom they let go for free 3 months ago. Seattle gets those draft pieces, but had to give up Cuellar for them. And it's not like the team is currently stacked in defense. Marshall — who played every game for the 2013 champions — certainly could have helped, even if it looks like Stephanie Cox and Elli Reed should have the starting fullback spots locked down. This may be a case where the player's desires ended up being a big factor, as was hinted with Leroux, but we'd probably never know.
The final score of this series of deals may come down to whether Garciamendez, who currently plays in Germany, ever suits up for the Reign. If so, her services and some draft improvement for Cuellar is probably a good piece of business all told. If not, it seems a little light, but not much given that Cuellar would be behind Leroux at forward.
Compared to the seismic events that brought Leroux and Kim Little to town, this is more of a minor aftershock. But it's proof that the team is still relentless about trying to make improvements and remains by far the most active team in the league. It's safe to say that Seattle has made more moves this offseason than the rest of the league combined has made in deals that don't involve Laura Harvey.