NWSL News: Katie Johnson Traded to Chicago Red Stars

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Katie Johnson
BRIDGEVIEW, IL - JUNE 4: Chicago Red Stars midfielder Danielle Colaprico (24) and Seattle Reign FC forward Katie Johnson (33) battle for the ball in the second half during a game between the Seattle Reign and the Chicago Red Stars on June 4, 2017, at Toyota Park, in Bridgeview, IL. Red Stars won 1-0. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Chicago, Illinois (January 9, 2019) — Katie Johnson has a new home.

The veteran forward has been traded to the Chicago Red Stars from Sky Blue FC. Johnson, an international player for the Mexican Women’s National Team, spent one season with Sky Blue FC in 2018. She made 19 appearances, scoring four goals.

NWSL News: Katie Johnson traded to Chicago Red Stars

Johnson began her NWSL career with the Seattle Reign FC in 2017.

For the Reign, Johnson made 23 appearances while also scoring four goals. As for her experience with the Mexican National Team, Johnson has made 21 appearances and scored eight goals.

In a press release, Johnson said she’s “thrilled” to be joining the Red Stars.

“They’ve always had a great reputation and have repeatedly been one of the top teams in the league,” Johnson said. “I can’t wait to arrive in Chicago and play with some of the best players because I think if you play with some of the best players it elevates your game too.”

Dan Lauletta of The Equalizer first reported that Johnson was seeking out opportunities in Europe. She is one player out of a handful that is seeking to leave Sky Blue FC.

In college, Johnson featured for the University of Southern California (USC). Johnson made 83 appearances and scored 24 goals for the Trojans from 2012-16. Johnson did not feature in the 2015 season due to injury. She was part of the 2016 NCAA College Cup championship team for USC.

That season, when the tournament ended, she was named the Most Outstanding Player on Offense.

“Katie is an outstanding forward with international experience that has proven to be a force up top in the NWSL,” Rory Dames, Red Stars head coach, said. “This is a big get for us and gives us a strong forward to have with us the entire season. I’m excited to welcome Katie to the Chicago family.”

Sky Blue FC picks up another first round pick; how Johnson fits in perfectly

Meanwhile, in exchange for Johnson, Sky Blue FC received yet another first-round pick in tomorrow’s NWSL College Draft.

Sky Blue acquired Chicago’s No. 6 overall pick. The team also acquired the Red Stars’ second-round pick in next year’s NWSL College Draft. So far, Sky Blue FC has four selections in the first round of the draft, holding the No. 2, 3, 6 and 10 overall picks.

Sky Blue also has the No. 11, 19, 28 and 34 overall picks.

Meanwhile, how does Johnson fit into the Chicago Red Stars roster? She joins a talented, packed roster that includes Samantha Kerr, who led the NWSL in scoring for the last two seasons. Other forwards include Stephanie McCaffrey and Yuki Nagasato.

However, Kerr will likely spend time away from the NWSL during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, participating in the tournament with Australia. Johnson and the Mexican WNT failed to qualify for the first time since 2007. She will likely receive playing time, sharing a starting role with McCaffrey — who has also featured in the midfield.

The NWSL Draft will air tomorrow, being live-streamed through the league’s Facebook and YouTube channels. Start time for the draft is at 12 p.m. ET, noon.

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