The NWSL conducted a Dispersal Draft of the Boston Breakers roster, allowing the nine teams in the league to draft players today via a conference call. The Utah Royals with the 5th, 14th, 23rd, and 32nd picks (they passed on their last pick, the 41st) selected goalkeeper Abby Smith, forward Katie Stengel, defender Brooke Elby, and the rights to midfielder Amanda DaCosta.
Abby Smith (Goalkeeper)
The University of Texas - Austin alum was drafted by the Breakers in 2016. After suffering a season-ending injury in May 2016, Smith returned for 2017 and won the starting goalkeeper role. Smith played 19 games for Boston, finishing with three clean sheets and making 86 saves with a save percentage of 73%. Smith has also played for the U-17, U-20, and U-23 youth national teams. She also traveled with the U.S. National Team to Europe in June 2017.
Katie Stengel (Forward)
Stengel joins the Royals with an impressive resume playing abroad. After skipping the 2014 NWSL College Draft, Stengel joined the Los Angeles Blues in the USL W-League. That summer she joined Frauen-Bundesliga side Bayern Munich where she won the 2014-15 title. In December 2015, Stengel returned to the U.S. and signed with the Washington Spirit where she remained until she was waived by the club in June 2017. The Breakers then signed Stengel for the remainder of the 2017 season.
Stengel has also played in the Australian W-League the past two years, joining Western Sydney Wanderers for 2016-17 and the Newcastle Jets for the 2017-18 season. The Wake Forest alum was a member of the U-23 Women’s National Team and the U-20 team that captured the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Brooke Elby (Defender)
Elby also comes to the Royals with experience playing abroad in Australia for the Melbourne Victory after playing at the University of North Carolina. In 2015, she signed with the Breakers. Elby made 13 appearances in 2017, recording 74.1% passing accuracy.
Rights to Amanda DaCosta (Midfielder)
DaCosta officially retired from the NWSL last season, but the Royals now hold her rights should she return to play in the NWSL again. DaCosta has played for Washington Spirit, Chicago Red Stars, Liverpool Ladies, Washington Freedom (WPS), MagicJack (WPS), and for the Portuguese National Team.
Roster Rules for 2018
For the 2018 season, NWSL roster size will remain unchanged with 18-20 players. However, due to the Breakers’ circumstances surrounding the ceasing of operations, Boston contracted players (including allocated players) and 2018 College Draft picks selected through the Dispersal Draft do not count against the club’s official 18-20 player roster.
Teams were allowed to draft up to a total of four players that will not count against the club’s salary cap for the 2018 season.