The Orlando Pride added another piece to the 2015 roster puzzle today, trading a third-round pick in the 2016 College Draft (No. 21 overall) and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch to the Portland Thorns, in exchange for Australian international defender Stephanie-Elise Catley. The Pride signed Franch prior to the trade. Per club and league rules, the details of Franch's deal were not disclosed.
Catley has 41 international caps for the Matildas, with starts against the USWNT, Nigeria, Sweden and Brazil in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. She was chosen to appear on the cover of EA Sports FIFA 16 in Australia, giving the Pride two women to appear on the game's cover -- the other obviously being striker Alex Morgan. Catley, like recently signed Brazilian Monica Hickmann Alves, will require one of the Pride's international slots.
"Stephanie will be a great addition to our inaugural NWSL season," said Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni in a club press release. "She is one of the best left backs in the world, who has already amassed over 80 appearances at the professional level."
Catley spent the past two seasons with Portland Thorns FC, along Morgan, coming over from the Melbourne Victory midway through 2014. She appeared in 14 matches with Portland, setting a club record for assists in consecutive games, with four. Catley was the Thorns' Newcomer of the Year.
In 2015, the 5-foot-7 defender appeared in three matches with Portland before moving to newly formed Australian W-League club Melbourne City FC on loan.
One potential problem with adding Catley is that it's another body that will be missing for Olympic qualifying.
Thorns identified players leaving for international duty as problem last year. Catley will miss time when Australia qualifies for Rio. #NWSL— Caitlin Murray (@caitlinmurr) December 10, 2015