The National Women’s Soccer League hasn’t been short of news recently and the North Carolina Courage dropped their own bombshell this afternoon. The Courage have traded McCall Zebroni to Sky Blue FC for Hailie Mace’s player rights and a fourth round pick in the 2021 NWSL College Draft.
Zerboni leaves behind a solid legacy in North Carolina
To say that the news is a surprise would be an understatement. Zerboni has been at the heart of the Courage’s success since the club’s formation and has shown her quality each season. Although recently, she has been blighted by injury, Zerboni seemed to be held in high regard by the club and her teammates. It seems as though head coach Paul Riley and the Courage’s administration feel differently have view Zerboni as surplus to requirements.
Zerboni ends her time in North Carolina with 65 appearances, six goals and three assists. During her time with the club, she helped them to two NWSL Championships and three NWSL Shields. She now joins a resurgent Sky Blue FC who are looking to improve upon their eighth-place finish last season, and who have made strides both on and off the field as an organization.
Mace potentially heralds a new era for the Courage
Hailie Mace was regarded as one of the best college prospects last year and when she was selected second overall by Sky Blue, Mace decided not to sign with the club. Sky Blue were in turmoil at that time and Mace decided that playing abroad was a better option for herself. She signed a short contract with Melbourne City FC in the W-League before joining Swedish side FC Rosengård later on in the year. With both Melbourne and Rosengård, Mace has shown that pre-draft predictions about her talent were not wrong.
Now she is seemingly set to sign with the Courage as Neil Morris, who broke the news, states that North Carolina are confident of getting Mace to sign with them for the 2020 NWSL season. While Zerboni has been a mainstay for the Courage, acquiring Mace is a big get for a team that has already shown itself as the best the NWSL has to offer. Mace is only 22, compared to Zerboni’s 33 years of age, and has a very high ceiling. If she continues on her current trajectory, this will be the biggest coup yet for the Courage as they look to not only refresh their lineup but also still remain the team to beat in the NWSL for years to come.