Allie Long is heading back home.
The Long Island native is joining her hometown club NJ/NY Gotham FC — formerly known as Sky Blue FC — following a trade on Tuesday. Long will join Gotham in exchange for $80,000 in allocation money, Gotham’s second-round pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft, and a swap of spots in the NWSL Discovery Priority list. OL Reign now hold the top spot in that list, which determines priority if two or more teams want to make a discovery claim on a player not currently in the league.
Long, who was part of the U.S. Women’s National Team that won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, had been with the Reign since 2018 and was a federation allocated player until this year. She had previously played for the Portland Thorns for her entire NWSL career, and was with Sky Blue in 2011 when the club was part of the WPS.
Bill Predmore, OL Reign CEO, said that parting with Long was a “difficult decision.”
“Allie has been an important part of the club since her arrival and played a crucial role in our run to the playoffs in 2018 and 2019,” Predmore said in a team release. “The assets we acquired in this trade will directly support our efforts to build a roster capable of competing for a championship this season.”
Meanwhile, Gotham FC head coach Freya Coombe is excited to add Long to her midfield.
“Her distribution and ability on the ball are matched with her ability to compete and win tackles off the ball,” Coombe said. “She has a strong desire to compete and brings a wealth of experience in the league. We have emphasized recruiting players who have won championships and have a highly competitive mentality to achieve our goal of bringing trophies to NJ/NY Gotham FC and Allie embodies that mentality.”
Long did not feature for OL Reign during the 2021 Challenge Cup. She was originally in the lineup for the the Reign’s opening contest against the Houston Dash, but suffered an injury during pregame warmups and had to be substituted before kickoff. She remained unavailable for last week’s match against the Portland Thorns. Starting in Long’s place has been Brazilian midfielder Angelina.
The Reign take on the Chicago Red Stars at Cheney Stadium tonight at 7 PM PT. Then the Reign will close out the Challenge Cup with a trip to the Midwest to take on Kansas City at 5 PM PT on Monday, May 3.