Portland Thorns send USWNT defenders Sonnett and Purce away in two separate trades

The pair will depart the Pacific Northwest and head to Orlando and New Jersey after a pair of moves on Wednesday

The Portland Thorns traded away U.S. national team defenders Emily Sonnett and Margaret “Midge” Purce in two separate moves on Wednesday.

Sonnett is on her way to the Orlando Pride along with Australia international forward Caitlin Foord and the seventh and 14th picks in the 2020 draft, with the Thorns receiving the first overall pick in the 2020 draft in exchange.

According to a report from The Equalizer, Portland intends to select Sophia Smith with the first overall pick, with the Stanford junior and recent USWNT call-up ready to leave school early.

Purce, meanwhile, is heading to Sky Blue FC along with a 2021 first round pick in exchange for Costa Rica midfielder Raquel “Rocky” Rodriguez.

“Coming into the offseason we knew we would have to make several bold moves that strengthen the team with the objective of getting back to the NWSL final,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for Thorns FC.

“Acquiring the first pick in the draft was essential for us and we believe the player we select will not only help in the short term, but will be someone that will grow with the club and become a fixture in this team for years to come.”

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Sonnett, 26, spent four seasons with the Thorns after being selected with the first overall pick of the 2016 draft. She has been capped 40 times by the USWNT and was part of the roster for the team’s victorious 2019 World Cup.

Purce, 24, played two seasons with the Thorns and has been capped once by the USWNT, having made her debut in a 6-0 win over Costa Rica in November 2019.

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She had a breakout campaign in 2019 while playing a more advanced position for the Thorns, scoriing eight goals and adding one assist.

“I am thrilled to welcome Midge to the team,” said Sky Blue head coach Freya Coombe. “She is incredibly skilled and will play an integral part in our success this season. We look forward to welcoming her talents to Sky Blue.”

Rodriguez was selected second overall in the 2016 draft, one spot behind Sonnett, and departs New Jersey after spending four seasons with Sky Blue FC.