Sky Blue FC deal Asante, Washington to Athletica for India Trotter

Posted on 04 May 2010 by lbarker

Sky Blue FC and Saint Louis Athletica announced today the completion of a trade that is the first of the 2010 WPS season.

Sky Blue FC acquired forward/midfielder India Trotter and St. Louis’ first round pick in the 2011 WPS Draft in exchange for defender Anita Asante, the rights to Nikki Washington and Sky Blue’s second round pick in the 2011 WPS draft. “Various versions of this trade have been in the works since January,” Sky Blue FC General Manager Gerry Marrone stated in a press release from the team. “The final pieces of the puzzle came together at 10 p.m. last night, as [Saint Louis Athletica Chairman] Jeff Cooper was boarding a plane. Any trade is a give and take – both sides need to feel like they’ve won. We both feel this way. However, as Anita was part of our Sky Blue FC family, we still feel the personal loss.” St. Louis GM Tim Owens, via the Athletica website, had this to say “This is a move we feel clearly makes our team better by addressing a need. We have acquired one of the world’s elite defenders, which was a priority for us. Plus, we were able to bring in a young, dynamic, and very versatile player that is one of the young, upcoming stars in U.S. Soccer ”

Anita Asante was part of the core of Sky Blue’s defense for much of 2009, anchoring the back line next to Christie Rampone. Asante, who has more than 40 caps for the English National Team, missed the 2009 WPS playoffs due to the European Championships. The 25 year old has also missed the beginning of Sky Blue’s 2010 campaign as she continues to recover from off season ACL surgery. She had resumed training with Sky Blue and was set to return to the lineup within a few weeks. By dealing away Asante, Sky Blue alleviates some of the congestion in back. With Rampone set to return soon after giving birth to her second daughter in March, keeping Asante would have likely meant that two of Sky Blue’s current starting defenders would have been relegated to the bench. With Asante out of the picture, Pauliina Miettinen’s decision about who gets the starting nod is perhaps made a bit easier. For St. Louis, the 5’5″ Asante can help shore up a defense that’s currently tied for fourth in the league in goals against, despite having the woman many consider to be the world’s best keeper, Hope Solo, in net.

Asante’s arrival in Saint Louis also means that the Athletica were forced to release an international player, and they went with Daniela. A Brazilian International, Daniela appeared in just three matches for St. Louis before an Abby Wambach tackle in May of 2009 left her with a broken tibia and several torn ligaments in her knee. She’s been on the injured list ever since. Daniela did make a contribution to Athletica during her time there, netting two goals, including the first in franchise history.

The departure of Nikki Washington is one with much less of an immediate impact on the Sky Blue. Washington was selected out of UNC (where else?) by the Los Angeles Sol in the 2010 WPS draft, then picked up by Sky Blue in the Dispersal Draft. Like Asante, Washington was recovering from a knee injury. Unlike Anita Asante however, Nikki Washington wasn’t officially on Sky Blue’s roster, the team only held her rights. Which means that St. Louis will still have to try and sign her if Athletica fans ever hope to see her in the green and white.

India Trotter comes to Sky Blue after appearing as a second half sub in three matches for St. Louis. Trotter was originally drafted by St. Louis in the 2009 WPS General Draft, but did not play for the team that year. She spent a short time in 2008 with the W-League side Pali Blues before heading to FFC Frankfurt, of the women’s Bundesliga. After starting ten games with Frankfurt, Trotter announced she was retiring from pro soccer. The 25 year old also has one appearance for the US National Team, coming in 2006. She was named as alternate for the 2007 World Cup and 2008 Olympics. The trade reunites Trotter with Sky Blue FC head coach Pauliina Miettinen, who she played for while at Florida State University. Miettinen was than an assistant with the Seminoles. While at Florida State Trotter tallied 24 goals and 18 assists. “I’ve known India for a long time,” said Miettinen. “She has a great attitude and willingness to work.” The addition of Trotter could add to a Sky Blue attack that has been depleted by injuries and underperformed thus far, scoring just three goals in four matches. “With Christie (Rampone) returning soon, we have an overabundance of players in the same position. We need someone like India, who is versatile and able to play in the back as well as up front as an attacker” said Miettinen of her former and now current player.

Miettinen also left Sky Blue fans with something to ponder. “The trade of Anita frees up an international spot, so we are looking at some top overseas options as well,” the coach said. [Feel free to do your pondering over at the new ASN WPS Forum].

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