After losing starting goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc to retirement, the Chicago Red Stars shored up their defense by acquiring goalie Alyssa Naeher from the Boston Breakers on Monday. Chicago also received a third round pick in this year's NWSL draft along with Naeher.
The Red Stars sent USWNT defender Whitney Engen, who was recently acquired by Chicago via trade earlier this month, and two second round picks (2016 and 2017) to Boston.
Naeher has been one of the best goalies in the NWSL. She recently won the NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2014 and her play earned her a spot on the World Cup winning squad in Canada this summer. She will join a tough backline in Chicago as they have a solid defensive squad to begin with. They are led by Julie Johnston, who was Naeher's teammate on the US Women's National Team, and Naeher will have a team that allowed the third least goals in the NWSL in front of her. It's going to be a totally different scenario from where she was in Boston where they allowed a league high of 43 goals last season.
Naeher will likely be the starter for most of the games in Chicago and will be backed up by Michele Dalton who was in Chicago last year as well. Dalton started more games than LeBlanc did and had five shutouts last year.
Engen, who never played a game for Chicago, will give Boston a good piece in their backline as they look to improve on a shaky Boston defense. But the Breakers have made moves as they have signed Elizabeth Stout from Liverpool Ladies FC in England. After their defense was torn to shreds last year, the Breakers will look upon Engen and Stout to keep the goals out of Boston's net this year.