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Reign trade Kaylyn Kyle to Boston for Moscato

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Seattle deals its foremost midfender for some depth on the thin back line.

USA TODAY Sports

The Reign announced yesterday that they'd traded one of the stalwarts of the inaugural season. Kaylyn Kyle, who played most of the season as a central defender, was moved to the Boston Breakers for 29-year old defender Carmelina Moscato. Both are Canadian allocated players, so there are no potential issues with allocation counts (although nobody has any idea at this point how the player allocation will work in year two).

Kyle, who's played as a holding midfielder for Canada and most of her club career, moved out of a very deep midfield to the defensive line early in the season to help shore up a defense that was thin, young, and porous. Her inexperience showed occasionally (particularly in a handful of unnecessary penalty concessions) but she was a gamer and a leader on the team, the primary penalty taker, and finished the season with the fourth most minutes played.

Moscato is a veteran international center back with 78 national team appearances and should slot into a backline that consists of her, Stephanie Cox, Elli Reed, and Lauren Barnes, which would be a substantial defensive improvement over the backline in year one. But it's not a move without risk. This is already her second NWSL trade after she moved from Chicago to Boston halfway through the season and she wasn't a regular starter on either team. But it's likely coach Laura Harvey saw that Kyle wasn't going to be a regular starter in an overpopulated midfield and wasn't a long-term solution at center back, so despite the minutes Kyle played this season, it looks more like a trade of rotational players.

This is likely only the first part of a roster shakeup that should be expected after the Reign finished second from the bottom in their first season.