The Boston Breakers have traded Stephanie McCaffrey to Chicago for an international slot and four 2017 college draft picks. The picks are the “two highest second-round draft picks, a third-round draft pick, and a fourth-round draft pick.”
"We are thankful to Stephanie for her contributions as a Boston Breaker," said Boston Breakers general manager Lee Billiard via team press release. "Both parties feel the time is right to part ways and we wish Steph the very best in Chicago and her continued career."
Head coach Matt Beard also commented on the McCaffrey trade, telling TBM, “It was more about her rather than us. She felt she's been in Boston all her life and for the good of her career she needed a change. We need players that are up for the fight and with a deep draft next year this helps. I wish Steph all the best.”
The move comes fairly late in a season that has seen McCaffrey struggle to contribute offensively. She lacked a bit of spark in the first half of the season but lately seemed to be slowly coming back to form.
In 2015, her rookie season, she had three goals and three assists in 19 games, and was second on the team in shots and shots on goal, behind only Kristie Mewis. She and Mewis often accounted for the bulk of Boston’s attacking that year and it was hoped that in 2016, under a new coach and with a revamped team, she could increase her offensive output.
It was not to be; so far this season McCaffrey has no goals or assists in 12 games. With Matt Beard signing two international attackers in French midfielder Ghoutia Karchouni and English forward Tasha Dowie, it seems there just isn’t room on the roster for her.
So off to Chicago McCaffrey goes, to be reunited with former Boston Breaker Alyssa Naeher. Hopefully McCaffrey finds her form for Chicago; when on, she makes for a gritty attacking piece who can both serve assists and take some hard shots in the 18.
McCaffrey was originally acquired by Boston in the 2015 NWSL college draft after the Chicago Red Stars drafted her at #5 overall, then basically held her hostage to trade her to Boston for the #9 and #11 2015 draft picks. With those two picks, Chicago drafted Danny Colaprico and Sofia Huerta.
It remains to be seen what Boston does now with its draft picks. The Breakers have not historically drafted well; you can see the detritus of their unsigned draftees all over the league as other teams picked up what they put down and went on to mold them into useful roster members, as the Orlando Pride have done with Jamia Fields. Either that, or the players drafted simply never panned out.
Beard came to Boston barely weeks before the 2016 draft and so probably didn’t participate as much in it as he might have liked in terms of having a hand in directing his roster. But after a full season in the league and studying up on the NCAA, perhaps Beard has designs on 2017 that will let him use these draft picks wisely.