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BOYDS, MD (Nov. 10, 2016) – The Washington Spirit has acquired the rights to midfielder Havana Solaun from Seattle Reign FC in the second major trade of the NWSL offseason for the 2016 Championship finalists. In addition to the Florida native and U.S. Youth International, the Spirit also landed three NWSL draft picks, including the 3rd and 36th overall picks in the 2017 NWSL College Draft and the Reign’s second round pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft. In exchange, Seattle will receive the rights to midfielder Christine Nairn and goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel.
“Havana will give us a creative element in attack and we believe that she has the ability to impact games,” said Spirit general manager and head coach Jim Gabarra. “We look forward to providing the opportunity for her to earn minutes and develop as a pro.”
After being drafted by the Reign in 2015, Solaun missed her entire rookie season due to a severe broken ankle. In her second “rookie” season in 2016, the former University of Florida Gator played in six matches for the Reign, including three starts. She scored the game-winner for the Reign on June 12, 2016 against the Houston Dash.
“I’m excited for this new opportunity to play with the Spirit,” said Solaun. “There is so much talent on this team, and I’m looking forward to figuring out how I will fit in.”
Solaun played in 90 games, 71 starts, for the University of Florida and was an All-Southeastern Conference first-team selection in 2013 and 2014. During her senior year, Solaun appeared in all 23 matches (22 starts), totaling 1,663 minutes. The midfielder notched nine goals and nine assists, including a game-winning goal against California in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Solaun also participated in U.S. Youth National Team camps at the U-17, U-20, and U-23 levels and was invited to a Canada National Team centralized camp in February 2015.
Christine Nairn was selected by the Reign with the seventh overall pick in the 2013 NWSL College Draft. After her rookie season, she was traded to the Spirit, just an hour from her childhood home near Annapolis, Maryland. In her three years with the team, Nairn made 67 appearances, 62 starts, and contributed 14 goals and 10 assists to the Spirit offense.
“We thank Christine for all her contributions and the impact she has had on the Spirit,” said Gabarra. “I felt that she had an excellent season and grew as a player and person. These decisions and changes are always difficult. We wish Christine good luck in Seattle.”
The Spirit selected Madalyn Schiffel with the 34th overall pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft. The 22-year-old from the University of San Francisco elected to play in Norway for the 2016 season.
Full Name: Havana Solaun
Hometown: Gainesville, FL
Height: 5’ 9”
Transaction: Washington Spirit acquires rights to Havana Solaun, the 3rd and 36th overall 2017 NWSL Draft picks, and Seattle’s second round 2018 NWSL Draft pick from Seattle Reign FC in exchange for rights to Christine Nairn and Madalyn Schiffel on November 10, 2016.