Whenever a new team enters the National Women's Soccer League, you always hope that in some way, potential stars in the making don't find their way out of your team and into the hands of another. Unfortunately for the North Carolina Courage, that's exactly what happened.
During the NWSL Expansion Draft yesterday, the Courage could only watch as Addisyn Merrick and Lauren Milliet were selected by Racing Louisville FC at first and seventh, respectively.
Both players had been left unprotected by the Courage, along with a few others but Racing clearly saw the potential that both Merrick and Milliet had displayed during the NWSL Challenge Cup this year and decided to snatch them up from the Courage.
Merrick had played a lot more this year than previously expected (eight starts) but was clearly not going to get a lot of game time especially with the return of Merritt Mathias on the horizon. Milliet was in a similar position, being lower in the depth chart to the likes of Debinha, Crystal Dunn (now in Portland), Samantha Mewis and Denise O'Sullivan. Despite that, both Merrick and Milliet had impressed when given the chance and most Courage fans will be sad to see them go.
The transfer window officially opens today in the NWSL and so far, there has been no word from the Courage administration about any new incomings and outgoings. The team may wait to replace Merrick and Milliet through the 2021 NWSL Draft or they may look to the league or abroad to bolster their roster again. Whatever decision they come to, they and Paul Riley have been almost 100% perfect with their roster moves and will likely bring on players that will keep the NC Courage as the dominant team in the NWSL.