According to Dan Lauletta of Equalizer Soccer, the Pride may be shipping midfielder Lianne Sanderson to the Western New York Flash soon.
The 28-year-old English international was selected by the Pride in the 2016 NWSL Expansion Draft from the Portland Thorns in November. Formerly playing for Arsenal Ladies, in addition to the Thorns, Sanderson was also a part of England’s World Cup team in 2015 that reached the semifinals in Canada.
Here is some BREAKING #NWSL news to start the week: Multiple sources tell me the Flash are about to acquire Lianne Sanderson from the Pride— Dan Lauletta (@TheDanLauletta) June 20, 2016
It’s unclear what the Pride would be receiving in return but Lauletta said international slots look to be involved. Currently the Pride have four international slots with three of those being filled with rumors of acquiring Australian right wing Caitlin Foord swirling seemingly all season long. Receiving additional international slots would lead one to believe that Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni may be lining up potential signings.
Sounds like part of the haul for Sanderson will be international spots (Flash have recently parted ways with three internationals) #NWSL— Dan Lauletta (@TheDanLauletta) June 20, 2016
Another possibility could be that the Pride are looking to get a new goalkeeper. Backup goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe fractured her left fibula during training last week, sidelining her for the remainder of the season and starting goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris is often off with the U.S. national team. To replace Bledsoe, the Pride signed Megan Dorsey out of the University of North Florida. Dorsey had originally been called up as an amateur player on May 28 at FC Kansas City.
The Pride have already parted with their first- and second-round draft picks for the 2017 NWSL College Draft, leaving them with a third- and fourth-round pick. This move could also be to pick up draft picks for the 2017 season.
It’s still unknown whether this potential trade will go through but we’ll keep you up to date on any developments.
The Pride and Flash have met twice this season, with each team winning 1-0 at home. The two clubs will not meet again in the regular season, so the Pride wouldn't face Sanderson on the pitch this year -- should they trade her -- unless both reach the postseason.