After the announcement that St. Louis Athletica would fold immediately on May 27, the free agent signings started up in earnest this week. All Athletica players were deemed free agents and were available to be signed June 1.
The Atlanta Beat bolstered their lineup first, signing defender Tina Ellertson, English forward Eniola Aluko, midfielder Carolyn Blank and American starting goalkeeper Hope Solo on June 1. Dubbed “Atlantica” after the four signings, the Beat went on to add former Athletica captain Lori Chalupny the following day.
FC Gold Pride out of the Bay Area also announced a major signing in United States midfielder Shannon Boxx. Boxx started the year with the LA Sol before the Sol folded in late January before becoming the first pick out of the LA Sol dispersal draft on February 4.
The Boston Breakers added some firepower up top as they signed Lindsay Tarpley on June 3. Tarpley is coming off an ACL tear from last season and is still looking to make her way back onto US National Team head coach Pia Sundhage’s radar. She will join the likes of English striker Kelly Smith and rookie Lauren Cheney on the front line or could potentially play as an outside midfielder as well.
The Chicago Red Stars announced the signings of defender Elise Weber and midfielder Nikki Washington. Weber was named to the team’s developmental team, while Washington was named to the 18 player roster.
Washington was originally selected 5th overall by the Sol in the 2010 WPS draft, despite suffering an ACL tear that ended her senior season at the University of North Carolina. Following the Sol's folding, she was chosen 6th overall by Sky Blue FC on February 4.
She was traded to the Athletica with Anita Asante on May 4 and is now reunited with former North Carolina teammates Jessica McDonald, Casey Noguiera, and Whitney Engen.
The Washington Freedom added Ashlyn Harris to their goalkeeping corps on Thursday. Harris hasn’t seen the field thus far having been a backup to Hope Solo. She will look to compete with the likes of Canadian ‘keeper Erin McCleod and former US Women’s National team goalkeeper Brianna Scurry to earn time on the field.
All signings are pending approval with the league. As long as the league approves the moves, the players should be available to play this weekend.
It was rumored that the Chicago Red Stars were looking to sign English international Anita Asante, but that seemed to be squashed with the additions of Weber and Washington.
Update as of 6/5: The Red Stars announced that they have agreed to terms with Anita Asante and released Brittany Klein. Asante played in 16 games for Sky Blue FC last season before being traded to the Athletica on May 4.
She is reunited with English National team teammates Karen Carney and Katie Chapman.
Sky Blue FC was rumored to be in negotiations with Japanese midfielder Aya Miyama but there has been no confirmation from the team as of June 4. The reigning champs did sign Italian forward Patrizia Panico on Wednesday to fill their fifth international spot.
WPS announced earlier in the week that a sixth international player may be signed if she was formerly with the Athletica.