In a shock trade the Sol allowed central defender Allison Falk, an integral part of the L.A. defense last season, and backup goalkeeper Val Henderson to leave for the expansion Philadelphia Independence today in exchange for the No. 5 and No. 22 draft picks.
I’ve received no notification from the Sol, but it’s up on the Independence Web site.
I chatted with Sol GM Charlie Naimo about the trade today, focusing largely on Falk leaving.
Naimo observed the Sol defense “was not as good as our stats show” and that the team was at or near the top of WPS rankings in shots allowed and saves made.
“We’re looking to get faster,” he said “We’re trying to diversify the team next year and get a little less predictable.”
With three picks in the first round of January’s draft, which Naimo believes has a collegiete crop much stronger than last year, the team has the option of drafting a defender to replace Falk or picking up an international defender.
The Sol also did not pick up the option of Chinese forward Han Duan who made little impact between injuries, language issues and a lack of form and hopes to replace her with Czech midfielder-forward Pavlina Scasna, who formerly played in the WUSA with Philadelphia.
The option of injury-prone Aly Wagner was also not picked up by the team, although Naimo said he does intend to talk with the former U.S. international again.
Other roster moves: the Sol exercised their options in 2010 for Stephanie Cox, Camille Abily, Brittany Bock, Karina LeBlanc, Aya Miyama and Manya Makoski. The club waived Martina Franko and Christie Shaner and declared as free agents Liz Bogus, Brittany Cameron, Lyndsey Patterson, Keri Sanchez, Lisa Sari, Julia Schnugg and McCall Zerboni.
Naimo indicated he also has another big deal in the works; he’s awaiting word from the other team involved.
“We will be a better team next year,” he said. “Our fans need to trust what we’re doing.”