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Washington Spirit sign defender Estelle Johnston after acquiring rights in trade with WNY Flash

BOYDS, Md. (Feb. 24, 2015) – The Washington Spirit announced today the club has signed defender Estelle Johnson after acquiring her rights in a trade with the Western New York Flash. In exchange, the Spirit sent defender Toni Pressley to the Flash. Per team and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with another amazing group of athletes and rejoin the NWSL,” Johnson said. “I am thrilled that my return will be as a member of the Washington Spirit and under Mark Parsons. I have heard nothing but great things about the organization and can’t wait to put on that Spirit jersey.”

Johnson did not play in the NWSL in 2014. She was a stalwart of the Flash back line in 2013 playing in all 22 games clocking 1980 minutes, the most of any player on theFlash roster.

“Estelle is an important addition with great experience and I am very happy to welcome her to the Spirit,” said Spirit general manager and head coach Mark Parsons. “She was a critical part in the best defense of the 2013 season which allowed the least amount of goals and I believe she can have the same impact in DC.”

The Flash selected Johnson No. 7 overall in the 2013 NWSL Supplemental Draft. Previously, Johnson played in both WPSL Elite, with the NY Fury, and WPS, with the Philadelphia Independence and LA Sol.

Pressley missed a large portion of the 2014 NWSL season after tearing the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in her right knee during the final moments of the Spirit’s match against FC Kansas City in May 2014.

She played in nine games for a total of 701 minutes during the course of the 2014 season including all 90 minutes of the Spirit’s playoff game against Seattle Reign FC.

“We are very grateful to Toni and everything she has given to the club,” Parsons added. “It is sad to see her leave and she will be missed. The staff and I wish her all the very best at Western New York.”

Pressley played defender and forward at Florida State from 2008-2011, finishing her collegiate career tied for third in game appearances with 96. She was also a Hermann Trophy Watch List candidate in 2010 and 2011.

Washington Spirit season tickets are available now (10 home matches), with packages starting as low as $170. Check out all of the phenomenal NWSL soccer at the Maryland SoccerPlex by calling 301-337-8579.