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Rebecca Quinn goes third overall in NWSL draft, highest Canadian ever taken


PHILADELPHIA — Duke defender-midfielder Rebecca Quinn became the highest Canadian ever taken in the NWSL draft when she went third overall to the Washington Spirit on Thursday.

The Spirit also had the first overall pick, taking U.S. international midfielder Andi Sullivan of Stanford. The Boston Breakers selected South Carolina forward Savanna McCaskill second.

The Spirit had traded up to get the third pick, sending Canadian international forward Lindsay Agnew and the sixth pick to Houston. They then used the third pick on Quinn, a 22-year-old from Toronto who has won 33 caps for Canada.

Sky Blue FC traded with Houston to get the No. 6 pick, taking West Virginia defender Amandine Pierre-Louis. The 22-year-old from Montreal has represented Canada at the under-17 and under-20 level.

Canadians Nkem Ezurike and Janine Beckie had been the highest Canadians taken, going eighth in the 2014 and 2016 drafts, respectively.

Draft day also featured a high-profile three-team trade involving U.S. national team star Carli Lloyd.

A source says Sky Blue acquired Lloyd in a trade that sent Christen Press to the Houston Dash and Australian Sam Kerr to the Chicago Red Stars. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been officially announced.

The deal sends Lloyd, the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, to her home state, New Jersey. She played three seasons in Houston. Lloyd's move was first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Other details about the deal were not released, but on Thursday night Beckie went to Twitter to say she was traded from the Dash to Sky Blue.

"Change comes with the territory in this profession," Beckie said in a statement thanking Houston and the Dash. "It's time for a new challenge and a new journey."

Also Friday, the Seattle Reign traded veteran Canadian international midfielder Diana Matheson to Utah Royals FC for defender Yael Averbuch and the 25th pick in the draft. She joins fellow Canadian Desiree Scott at the new Utah team.

The 33-year-old Matheson, a native of Oakville, Ont., who has won 191 caps for Canada, missed the 2017 NWSL season while recovering from a knee injury. She previously played 67 games for Washington from 2013 to 2016.

— With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

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