We’re only days away from Seattle Reign FC and the rest of the NWSL kicking off the 2018 season, but Seattle might not be done making blockbuster trades.
First reported by The Washington Post’s Steven Goff, the Reign look to be in play for acquiring U.S. international forward Christen Press from the Houston Dash — a player Sounder at Heart confirmed has been of interest for Seattle this offseason. Press was part of a three-team mega trade on NWSL College Draft Day, although on March 10, Corey Roepken reported Press would not play for Houston and would be willing to sit out until she could be traded to another NWSL team or wait for the transfer window to open in summer so she could play abroad. The belief was there were only three teams that Press would play for if she were to stay: Portland Thorns FC, Utah Royals FC, and our very own Seattle Reign FC.
For the Press to Seattle rumor, how much weight is there? Could Seattle fans actually see a Reign FC jersey with the name Press and her signature number 23 out on the field?
It all depends on what’s being offered.
Caitlin Murray reports the Dash want at least a swap of USWNT players for Press. The Dash would be and should be asking for a very costly package of players, draft picks, and/or discovery rights for a player of Press’ caliber.
Another source tells me Christen Press to Seattle Reign looks unlikely, at least right now. There are ongoing discussions with more than one club, but the Dash have not received any #NWSL offers for a #USWNT player yet and that's what they want. #StayTuned— Caitlin Murray (@caitlinmurr) March 19, 2018
However, with the season starting this weekend, it is fair to wonder how much leverage Houston really has. The Dash are thin at defense, and from where the Reign stand, they have numerous natural defenders on roster, plus the rights to several more. The Reign could also have discovery rights to an international player (those lists are not made public, per league rules) who Houston could be interested in. We also can’t rule out a possible three-team trade, which tends to happen often in the NWSL.
So while Reign FC fans are in a frenzy on social media about the possibility of Press wearing a Reign FC shirt for the 2018 season and are putting on their virtual GM hats, the reality is, we just have to wait and see what happens next. As we have come to know in this league, don’t count on anything until it is made official — and the player reports to training.