The mega-trade that has been rumored all weekend is finally official as the NWSL approved the trade this afternoon. The three-team trade involves Utah Royals FC, Chicago Red Stars, and Houston Dash, all revolving around Christen Press’ rights.
First, a deal between Chicago and Houston sends Sofia Huerta and Taylor Comeau to the Dash in exchange for draft picks and the rights to Christen Press. Then, Chicago and Utah enter into the trade by the Red Stars sending the rights to Press plus Sam Johnson to the Royals. Chicago then acquires Brooke Elby and the first-round draft pick in 2019, along with conditional first and second-round picks in the 2020 draft and the first-round pick in 2021.
Press’ NWSL rights were held by Houston, but she was unhappy with her trade to the Dash and never reported to the team. Instead, Press signed a deal with Goteborg FC in Sweden where she bagged 4 goals in 6 games. Having previously played for them in 2012, she netted 17 goals in 21 appearances. Before her most scored 35 goals in 68 appearances for the Chicago Red Stars. Outside of club appearances she also has tallied 44 goals in 100 appearances for the United States Women’s National and is the leading scorer for the Stanford Cardinals with 71 goals and 41 assists in 98 appearances.
Samantha Johnson will be an additional asset to the Utah Royals FC. While she has yet to score a goal in the NWSL, she has plenty of experience making over 65 appearances for the Chicago Red Stars. The California native has additionally made 24 loan appearances split between Sydney FC and the Melbourne Victory.
While it is always hard to see players go, Press can undoubtedly contribute to fixing Utah’s struggles in the attacking front, and Samantha Johnson provides an additional option in both defense and the midfield.