Spirit Abroad: 2019-2020 W-League Signing Recap

Washington Spirit  |   November 14, 2019
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Piscataway, NJ – Saturday May 11, 2019: A National Women’s Soccer League match between Sky Blue FC and Washington Spirit at Yurcak Field.

TJ Davis

Boyds, Md., (11/14/19) – After finishing out the 2019 NWSL season, Washington Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, defender Sam Staab and forward Crystal Thomas will begin play in the Australian W-League.

Bledsoe will return to Sydney FC for her third season with the Sky Blue. During the 2018-2019 W-League season, Bledsoe was named W-League Goalkeeper of the Year en route to helping Sydney FC win their third Championship last winter. 

Additionally, Bledsoe was named 2019 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year after making 86 saves and collecting nine clean sheets during the season.

Staab, Washington’s standout rookie defender, will join the Western Sydney Wanderers FC for her first season in the W-League. Staab was selected 4th overall by the Spirit in the 2019 NWSL draft, and immediately became a staple of the Spirit defense. The central defender didn’t miss a single minute of the 2019 season, completing an ironwoman rookie year for the Spirit in the NWSL. 

Staab will look to continue her excellent form abroad, as she contributed to all nine of the Spirit’s clean sheets and also recorded one goal and one assist in her rookie year. 

Thomas signed for the Perth Glory earlier this week, continuing her play after a strong season with the Spirit in 2019. Thomas joined the Spirit on May 23, and worked her way into the starting XI after making an impact as a substitute. The forward was named NWSL Player of the Week after she scored against the Orlando Pride in matchweek 20. 

Thomas scored an iconic goal for the Spirit at Audi Field when she pressured Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris into a costly turnover that she subsequently scored to put the Spirit up early on August 24. 

Staab and the Western Sydney Wanderers took on Adelaide United at 3:30 am, coming out with a 2-1 win to begin the 2019-20 W-League season. Staab played 90 minutes in the victory. 

Bledsoe will be in net for Sydney FC on Sunday, November 17 at 12 am ET as Sydney begins its title defense against the Melbourne Victory. 

Thomas and the Perth Glory also kick off their season on November 17 at 12 am ET as they take on Canberra United. 

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