The Orlando Pride have acquired Swedish defender Lotta Ökvist from the Houston Dash in exchange for the club’s natural third-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. Just three days before the team kicks off its third NWSL season, Tom Sermanni adds more depth and young talent to a squad that figures to contend for a championship in 2018. She projects as competition at left back behind presumptive starter Carson Pickett and can also play in the midfield.
Ökvist initially joined the NWSL this off-season when she was signed by the Boston Breakers from Piteå IF in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan. Following the Breakers’ decision to cease operations, the defender was selected by the Houston Dash with the 13th pick of the 2018 NWSL Dispersal Draft.
“We’re very happy to bring another young, left-footed and versatile player to the Pride,” Sermanni said in a club press release. “Lotta’s style of play fits in with the way we compete on the field. We’re excited to welcome her to Orlando.”
Because Ökvist was a Dispersal Draft selection by Boston, the 21-year-old defender will not count against the Pride’s salary cap or roster maximum for the 2018 season. Because she is a Dispersal Draft player, her international spot will transfer with her to the Pride.
Ökvist has yet to kick a ball in the NWSL, but she now joins her third team. Prior to signing with Boston, she appeared in 25 matches with Piteå IF in her second stint with the club, the team with which she started her pro career. She has also played one season with Umeå IK (2016-17). Ökvist’s international experience includes helping lead her country to the 2015 UEFA U-19 Women’s Championship. She previously represented Sweden at the U-17 level.
Thanks to YouTube, we can show you some of what she can do: