Defender Ali Krieger, the Washington Spirit captain who helped inspire a run to the National Women's Soccer League final last month, was traded to the Orlando Pride on Wednesday.
In exchange, the Spirit swapped spots with the Pride in the NWSL's distribution ranking order, which determines the allocation of elite players to the 10 teams. Washington is now No. 2 on the list behind the Boston Breakers, while Orlando falls to No. 9.
Krieger, 32, a two-time U.S. World Cup starter from Dumfries, Va., had played for the Spirit since the NWSL's inaugural season in 2013.
The trade reunites her with goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, a U.S. teammate who departed the Spirit for Orlando last offseason in the expansion draft. Krieger and Harris were Washington's original allocations from the U.S. national team player pool. It's unclear whether Krieger requested a trade or the team made the decision unilaterally. According to sources, she learned of the trade from the Pride, not the Spirit.
Portland and Seattle had also been interested in Krieger, but she didn't want to play on artificial turf. Orlando played on a synthetic surface this season but is moving into a grass venue next year.
Krieger was a member of the U.S. Olympic squad in Brazil. Following the top-ranked Americans' shocking defeat in the quarterfinals, while many U.S. teammates took time off, she reported back to the Spirit almost right away, intent, she said, on winning the NWSL title. The Spirit finished second in the regular season and defeated the Chicago Red Stars in the semifinals before falling to the Western New York Flash on penalty kicks following a 2-2 draw.
The trade comes amid broader player unhappiness about the Washington organization, sources said.
Asked if it was fair to say the players are not happy with the situation in general, one source close to the situation said: "Yes. Very fair."
While discontent has largely remained under the surface, players did go public in early September after Lynch prevented a visiting player, Megan Rapinoe, from kneeling during "The Star-Spangled Banner" by ordering the anthem to be played while both teams were still in the locker room. Upset that Lynch's actions overshadowed the regular season home finale and the clinching of home-field advantage in the playoffs, Krieger led an effort to issue a statement expressing the players' disappointment.
Spirit attacker Crystal Dunn, the 2015 NWSL MVP who scored twice in last month's championship defeat, is apparently seeking to move overseas. One source said Dunn is eyeing the French league. Like Krieger, Dunn is under contract with the U.S. Soccer Federation, which underwrites the NWSL by paying the salaries of marquee U.S. players.
— Steven Goff, The Washington Post
Blast re-signs Caltabiano, 4 others as opener nears
The Blast re-signed midfielder Geaton Caltabiano (Mount Saint Joseph, Loyola Maryland, UMBC) and signed four additional players as the team prepares to open its 2016-17 Major Arena Soccer League regular season on the road Saturday at 7:05 p.m. against the Harrisburg Heat. Defenders Jamie Thomas and Josh Hughes and midfielders Travis Pittman and Julian Escobar also signed, bringing the roster count to 18. Last year, Caltabiano played in 14 games for the Blast in his rookie season.
— Glenn Graham
Terps enjoy 72-0 2nd half in women's hoops tuneup
Seven players scored in double figures and the No. 6 Maryland women's basketball team allowed no second-half points in routing Division II Bluefield State, 146-17, in the host Terps' first exhibition game of the season. Freshman Blair Watson had 29 points, including five 3-pointers, with 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals. Ieshia Small and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 18 points apiece, and freshman Jenna Staiti had 17 points and eight rebounds. Maryland, which trailed 3-2 but scored the game's last 78 points, forced 51 turnovers, shot 64 percent from the field and had a 55-13 advantage in rebounds.
College field hockey: Maryland senior forward Welma Luus was named Big Ten Player of the Year and graduate student defender Grace Balsdon was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Both were named to the All-Big Ten first team, as voted by the league's nine coaches. Junior midfielder Lein Holsboer was voted to the second team. Luus leads the third-ranked Terps (15-3, 7-1 Big Ten) in scoring with 14 goals and 32 points. Balsdon is second in scoring with 12 goals and five assists; she anchors a defense that has allowed just 60 penalty corners. The Big Ten begins today with top-seeded Maryland hosting eighth-seeded Rutgers at 3 p.m. at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex. ... Senior forward Maggie Waxter (Roland Park) broke the Washington and Lee single-season points record in a 3-0 win over Roanoke in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference quarterfinals Tuesday. She has 41. Her 17 goals this season are two behind the school record. ... Salisbury is ranked No. 2 in the National Field Hockey Coaches' Association Division III poll for the third straight week. Messiah is No. 1.
Men's college basketball: Maryland junior guard Melo Trimble received 13 votes in balloting for the Associated Press All-America preseason team. His total was the ninth highest in the nation.
College football: Johns Hopkins (8-0) is second behind Mary Hardin-Baylor (8-0) in the first official NCAA Division III South Region poll of the season. The regional rankings, compiled by the regional advisory committee, show where teams stand in the eyes of the NCAA selection committee that will put together the playoff bracket.
Women's college soccer: Senior Cat Macklin scored in the fourth minute and sophomore Ash Fairow in the 75th as fifth-seeded Navy (9-10-2) earned a 2-0 victory at fourth-seeded Colgate (8-8-3) in the Patriot League quarterfinals Tuesday night. The Mids will face second-seeded Boston University on Friday at 7 p.m. in Lewisburg, Pa. ... McDaniel (15-1-1) rose to No. 2 in the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic rankings and to a school-record No. 13 in the national poll.
Horse racing: In addition to live racing, fans at Laurel Park will be able to watch and wager on all 13 Breeders' Cup races from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Friday and Saturday. Post time at Laurel. is 12:30 p.m. The first Breeders' Cup race is scheduled for 5:25 p.m. Friday and 3:05 p.m. Saturday, with the $6 million Classic set for 8:35 p.m. Saturday.
Baseball: The Seattle Mariners sent former Orioles catcher Steve Clevenger (Mount Saint Joseph) outright to Triple-A Tacoma. ... The Philadelphia Phillies have shifted former Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz from bullpen coach to assistant pitching coach.
Varsity girls soccer: Archbishop Spalding (13-2-2) moved from 12th to sixth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and USA Today Super 25 rankings. McDonogh (7-2-3) fell from 17th to 18th.
Varsity field hockey: Liz Kennedy scored to lead host No. 14 Maryvale (12-2-1) to a 1-0 win over Annapolis Area Christian (11-5) in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference semifinal. Maryvale will play John Carroll for the B Conference championship Sunday at Archbishop Spalding. ... Ellie Bruggeman, Ashlee Kothenbeutel and Kate Gromacki scored to lift the host John Carroll (12-3) over Mount de Sales (14-6) in an IAAM B Conference semifinal.
From Baltimore Sun staff and news services contributed to this article.