The Orlando Pride and Houston Dash have entered into another trade. This time, Houston sent Brazilian defender Poliana Barbosa Medeiros, better known as simply Poliana, to the Orlando Pride in return for Orlando's natural second-round pick. Poliana had been with the Dash for the last two seasons, making 37 appearances and scoring five goals. Her four goals in 2017 were tied for the most amongst defenders.
In bringing in an experienced international defender, the Pride are hoping to replace Australian defender Steph Catley, who was recently traded to the Seattle Reign. Poliana will likely play a free-flowing defensive wing position, where she will be asked to participate on offense almost as frequently as she is back on defense. She has shown the ability, both for club and country, to make an offensive impact. In addition to her five NWSL goals, Poliana has scored at least five goals for Brazil in international play.
An abundance of trades for Orlando and Houston
This most recent trade is just the latest in an expanding series of trades by the Dash and Pride this offseason.
The Orlando Pride have now acquired six new players in four different trades. Shelina Zadorsky was received from the Washington Spirit in exchange for goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and a first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. The Pride then acquired midfielder Christine Nairn, goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer, and defender Carson Pickett from the Seattle Reign for Steph Catley and forward Jasmyne Spencer. The Pride gave up another first-round pick to the Utah Royals to gain forward Sydney Leroux before making their most recent trade.
The Pride have a history of trading away their draft picks for players. They selected just two players in the 2017 NWSL College Draft and made only one selection in the 2018 NWSL College Draft. Those selections occurred in the third and fourth rounds of the draft. In the most recent Dispersal Draft, after the Boston Breakers folded, the Pride traded away their first two selections and ended up adding zero new players.
The Dash, while slightly less active, took part in the largest trade of the offseason. Houston acquired Christen Press from the Chicago Red Stars, who in turn acquired Sam Kerr and Nikki Stanton from Sky Blue FC. Sky Blue was rewarded with the additions of Carli Lloyd, Janine Beckie, and Jen Hoy. The Dash also received forward Lindsay Agnew in a trade with the Washington Spirit and Savannah Jordan in a trade with the Portland Thorns.