The Washington Spirit are in the midst of retooling their roster after appearing in the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) championship game. The focus of the Spirit’s draft was to add depth in the attack.
No. 19: Lindsay Agnew, Ohio State
No. 29: Meggie Dougherty-Howard, Florida
No. 36: Cameron Castleberry, North Carolina
As the overall continuing evolution of the Washington Spirit roster carries on, they selected three players who all could make a case to be around come Opening Day. Lindsay Agnew posted 15 assists over the past two years for Ohio State and capped off her career with 10 goals this year. She could be a players who can add depth in a wide role, which is currently a spot that needs filling after Crystal Dunn departed for Chelsea, or as a depth striker.
Meggie Dougherty-Howard was a great selection late in the third round and might have been one of the better late-round selections in the draft. She has played with the Spirit Reserves before and when playing for Florida, played as a deeper-lying midfielder but also has the ability to score the odd goal or two. Having the advantage of playing in the Spirit Reserves will help her case in making the squad, as I wouldn’t be surprised if she was called into a full-team training at some point to get some experience at that level.
Cameron Castleberry was a good player who could also compete for the vacant spot out wide. She shows great poise in 1-v-1 attacking and defending, and while she doesn’t appear often on the score sheet, showed a strong work rate with the Tar Heels.
Upon leaving the draft room, Head Coach Jim Gabarra seemed satisfied with how the day went. The draft wasn’t going to solve the major outstanding issues of who and how to replace the large holes left by trading Ali Krieger and losing Dunn, but a day like this gives Gabarra a few options to think about. Dougherty-Howard probably has the best chance of the group to see time on the field and her college experience will give her a little edge after playing under Becky Burleigh, whose teams play a nice brand of possession soccer. Overall, the Spirit ranks in the bottom half of the draw in terms of draft winners and losers but again, I think they still have a couple of trades or two to make prior to the start of preseason that will help them on the field.