Leesburg, Va., (04/23/21) – The Washington Spirit have re-signed goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and extended contracts to defender Emily Sonnett and midfielder Andi Sullivan that will keep the players with the club through the 2023 season. Bledsoe’s current contract with the club was set to end at the end of the year while Sonnett and Sullivan will start their two-year contracts at the conclusion of their US allocated contracts following the 2021 season.
Spirit Head Coach Richie Burke had this to say on the extensions: “Getting these three international, world class players to commit to our club for multi-year deals has been huge for me. They are the future of the club and key components for where we want our squad to go in the coming years. Each of them is an absolute joy to work with on the training ground and they all have an unbelievably professional approach to their preparation, which gives our younger pros examples to aspire towards. I’m over the moon about these three deals and believe this is another example of how we are moving this club in a very positive direction.”
Bledsoe joined the Spirit in 2018 after being traded by the Orlando Pride and has established herself as one of the top goalies in the NWSL. In 2020, Bledsoe started all nine matches for the club, played a total of 810 minutes, posted three clean sheets and made 20 saves. She contributed a save success rate of 66.7% and a goals-against-average of 0.8 in the Challenge Cup and a success rate of 75% and a goals-against-average of 1 in the Fall Series. In 2019, Bledsoe was named Goalkeeper of the Year in both the NWSL and the Australian W-League. Bledsoe was called up to several USWNT Training Camps at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021.
Sonnett was acquired from the Orlando Pride in late December 2020. Sonnet did not appear in any matches for Orlando after being traded in the 2019-2020 offseason from the Portland Thorns. Sonnett made 10 appearances for Kopparbergs/Göteborg of the Swedish Damallsvenskan league in the 2020 season and helped the Swedish outfit to its first league title. For the USWNT, Sonnett has played five games so far in 2021 and won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Sullivan, drafted with the number one overall pick in the 2018 NWSL Draft, has been a key figure in the Spirit’s midfield since her arrival in the nation’s capital. In 2020, despite being limited by a torn meniscus injury, the team captain started four matches, played a total of 302 minutes of game time, had a successful passing rate of 83.2% including over 70% in both halves of the field, forced six interceptions, made five clearances and had one block. And while the 25-year-old did not appear in any matches for the USWNT on their most recent trip to Europe, she has been capped 16 times with the Stars and Stripes.
Spirit CEO and Director of Sporting Operations Larry Best had this to say about the extensions: “Today marks a new era in our club by announcing the signing of contracts for Andi, Aubrey, and Emily. These veteran players bring a level of professional standards both on and off the field that will be paramount in the club’s path for success. Not only are all three players of the highest quality for their profession, they are even better people that we’re proud to have representing our club as ambassadors of the game.”