Last week the Boston Breakers traded two longtime players, Kassey Kallman and Kristie Mewis, to the Washington Spirit in exchange for defender Megan Oyster. Our friends at Black & Red United loaned us Caitlin Buckley to give Boston fans an introduction to their newest defender.
The Washington Spirit are selling off many veteran players this offseason and one of those players is Megan Oyster. Oyster, a 24-year-old center back, is heading to Boston as part of a trade that sent Kristie Mewis and Kassey Kallman to the Spirit.
Oyster came to the Spirit as the #13 overall pick in the 2015 NWSL draft alongside her fellow UCLA product Caprice Dydasco. At UCLA, Oyster won their first-ever NCAA title and helped the backline average a .245 goals against average. Of her class, six players were drafted into the NWSL.
Oyster brings both pace and composure to the backline and even as a center back she can start a potent attack. She started every minute of her rookie season in 2015 under then-head coach Mark Parsons. She scored against the Chicago Red Stars but the game was rained out and her goal was disallowed as a result.
In 2016, Parsons moved to Portland and Jim Gabarra became the new coach for the Spirit. Gabarra occasionally tinkered with Oyster in a wide role but she mainly played as a centerback. Initially, Oyster started every match but after a couple poor performances and the return of the team’s Olympians, she was benched. After the Olympic break, Gabarra tinkered a lot with his backline and Oyster only started a few matches. But she did start in the 2016 NWSL Championship as part of Gabarra’s 3-5-2 for that game.
Oyster is talented enough to start on any NWSL team so her benching befuddled both the media covering the Spirit and most fans. The trade probably tilts in Boston’s favor but if Gabarra wasn’t going to use Oyster it was worth it. With Beard trying to construct a better defense and create a squad of his choosing, this trade makes sense for Boston. Next year, look for Megan Oyster to be a major contributor on the back line and also an attacking spark.