Pride Bolster Roster in Trades for Christine Nairn, Carson Pickett and Haley Kopmeyer

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Orlando Pride has acquired midfielder Christine Nairn and defender Carson Pickett from Seattle Reign FC in exchange for defender Stephanie Catley. In a separate trade with Seattle, the Pride also acquired goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer and Reign FC’s natural third-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft for forward Jasmyne Spencer.

“We put a significant emphasis last year on international players and the downside of that, particularly when there’s a World Cup year coming up soon, is that you’re going to lose those international players from time to time. So it’s really important to have depth and quality with your domestic players and I think these three players bring us that,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said of the acquisitions.   

Nairn, 27, joins the Pride after making over 100 NWSL appearances between Seattle Reign FC and the Washington Spirit. A product of Penn State, Nairn started her NWSL career in Seattle in 2013 - posting three goals and a team-high five assists - before being traded to Washington. In her three seasons with the Spirit, from 2014-16, Nairn finished among the team’s top three scorers each year with six goals in 2014, five goals in 2015 and three goals in 2016.

Last year, Nairn was re-acquired by Reign FC where she appeared in all but one match, totaling one goal and four assists. Nairn also spent two offseasons with Melbourne Victory of Australia’s Westfield W-League.

Internationally, the Annapolis, Md., native earned her first of two caps with the U.S. Women’s National Team in May 2009 and scored her first international goal on July 22, 2009 - the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over Canada.

“Christine is a player that we’ve had eyes on for a while. What we see in her, technically, is a great footballing quality. She has an exceptional left foot, she’s a great passer, she understands the game really well,” Sermanni said. “She’s been in this league from day one, been a regular starter virtually since she came into the league. She brings that experience and that quality with her.”

Pickett, a graduate of Florida State University, totaled 36 appearances with Reign FC after being selected No. 4 overall in the 2016 NWSL College Draft. The 24-year-old defender added one assist in her rookie season. At FSU, Pickett started all four years and helped the Seminoles to the 2014 NCAA Championship, leading a defense that conceded zero goals all tournament.

“Carson gives us good cover at left back and she’s local, which I think always helps. So she’s going to feel comfortable coming in from the start,” Sermanni said.  “Losing Steph, we obviously needed to look at getting cover at left back. She’s a player that has played high-level college-wise and a player that has played consistently in the league for her two seasons. She started a lot of games for a quality [Seattle] team. I think she’ll fit in well with the system we play and how we play.”

Kopmeyer, 27, joined Reign FC in 2013. Over her five years with Seattle, the University of Michigan graduate totaled 46 appearances, including 20 during the 2017 season. Over her career, Kopmeyer totaled 11 clean sheets and 185 saves.

“Haley is an experienced goalkeeper in this league, she’s been a starter in this league and now we’ve added a very strong goalkeeper to be here with Ashlyn [Harris],” Sermanni added.

Both Pickett and Kopmeyer are currently playing in the W-League, with Pickett at top-seeded Brisbane Roar while Kopmeyer is competing at Canberra United with Pride defender Toni Pressley. Kopmeyer previously had loan stints with Brisbane and Apollon Limassol in Cyprus.

Catley, 23, was acquired by the Pride from Portland Thorns FC in 2016. Over two seasons with the Pride, Catley totaled one goal and three assists, with her lone score marking the first goal scored in Pride team history. In 2017, Catley was named to the NWSL Second XI and was also named to the Team of the Month in August.

“Steph has played a huge part in shaping our club but knowing that, due to upcoming national team commitments, her desire was to be on the West Coast, we thought this was a good deal for all parties,” Sermanni said. “We thank Steph for everything over the last two years and wish her the best of luck in Seattle.”

Spencer, 27, departs Orlando with 40 appearances over the past two seasons. Spencer totaled seven goals and three assists during that span and earned Week 10 Goal of the Week in 2016 for her 92+’ game-winner against the Houston Dash.

“Jas has been magnificent for us. She turned up every day with a huge smile on her face, happy and brought a ton of energy to the training environment and we’ll miss that,” Sermanni said. “But for someone of her experience and ambition, we think this is a good deal for her, a good deal for us and a good opportunity for her to probably be guaranteed more starts in the league.”

2018 Pride season tickets are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

Christine Nairn (Nair-in)
Position: Midfield
Height: 5-5
Born: September 25, 1990 in Annapolis, Md.
Hometown: Annapolis, Md.
College: Penn State University
Citizenship: USA
Acquired: via trade with Seattle Reign FC on January 29, 2018

Carson Pickett (Pick-it)
Position: Defense
Height: 5-8
Born: September 15, 1993 in Spartanburg, S.C.
Hometown: Fleming Island, Fla.
College: Florida State University
Citizenship: USA
Acquired: via trade with Seattle Reign FC on January 29, 2018

Haley Kopmeyer (Cop-MY-er)
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 5-11
Born: June 28, 1990 in Troy, Mich.
Hometown: Troy, Mich.
College: University of Michigan
Citizenship: USA
Acquired: via trade with Seattle Reign FC on January 29, 2018