Defender Emily Fox will join the North Carolina Courage in a trade with Racing Louisville FC, in exchange for defenders Abby Erceg and Carson Pickett, the teams announced Monday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Fox, the first pick of the 2021 draft, has joined Racing Louisville since their first game as an expansion team. Although he mainly plays at left back, he can move to the center or play on the right.
- The Courage will add Fox to their backline, a like-for-like replacement for Carson Pickett. But the Courage are in the midst of a new schedule, and the departure of Erceg, along with the recent trade with Angel City FC involving the club’s right wing Merritt Mathias, is another barrier. for Courage in 2023.
The Louisville race is moving into the off-season
Louisville announced two significant contract extensions this offseason, most notably to defensive end Jaelin Howell and guard Katie Lund. They also brought in Paige Monaghan as a trade with Gotham FC.
During the NWSL Draft, they significantly limited their attacking options, selecting Kayla Fischer (F, Ohio State) at no. 16 overall, Brianna Martinez (D, Notre Dame) at no. 17, Jadyn Edwards (F, New Mexico) at no. 29 and Riley Parker (F, Alabama) at No. 31 with their four picks.
Erceg’s move to Louisville will help add another veteran bench to the team, as well as reuniting him (and Pickett) with fellow Courage teammate Jessica McDonald.
The North Carolina season is moving
The Courage also held off during the offseason. The team had to implement Debinha’s decision to seek free agency (going to Kansas City), but sold their rookie star Diana Ordóñez to the Houston Dash for the purchase of draft picks. They picked up Tyler Lussi from Angel City in last week’s trade for Merritt Mathias.
North Carolina also signed a few big players: midfielder Brianna Pinto signed a three-year deal, as did guard Casey Murphy and defenseman Ryan Williams. The club also signed 23-year-old Mille Gejl Jensen, who has professional experience with BK Häcken and Brøndby IF.
The Courage ended up with four first-round draft picks thanks, in part, to that trade with the Dash. They selected Olivia Wingate (F, Notre Dame) at No. 6, Sydney Collins (DM, California) at No. 8, Clara Robbins (M, Florida State) at No. 9 and Haley Hopkins (F, Virginia) at No. 11. Notably, the last time a team had four first round picks, the Western New York Flash selected Abby Dahlkemper, Lynn Williams, Sam Mewis and Jaelene Hinkle (Daniels) in the draft 2015 – a large part of the company wants. win NWSL championships and shields.
What they are saying
Erceg – the former captain of the Courage – said in a statement on the Internet that he was “surprised and humbled.”
“The thought of seeing my career with a company that I have the best memories ending, because it’s not a shared feeling,” wrote Erceg. “Now, I’m looking forward to putting my efforts into a company where I have a similar experience.”
— Abby Erceg (@abbyerceg) January 23, 2023
(Image: EM Dash / USA Today)