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‘Shocked’ Abby Erceg becomes latest player to leave Courage

Abby Erceg was "shocked" after she was traded from the North Carolina Courage, the outgoing captain said on social media. (Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)

The North Carolina Courage are in the midst of a roster overhaul, with Abby Erceg and Carson Pickett traded away in the latest move.

The two defenders were flipped to Racing Louisville in exchange for defender Emily Fox. Erceg, who had served as team captain of the Courage, wrote that her her “heart breaks a little” in the wake of the trade.

“I am as shocked and disappointed as you are,” she wrote. “The intention to see out my career with a club in which I have so many fantastic memories comes to an end, as that intention is unfortunately not a shared one.

“I will never forget the times that we had on and off the pitch. Some of the best moments of my career have been shared with you all. I gave this club everything I had through the good times and the bad so I leave with my head held high.”

Erceg is far from the only Courage player to be traded away in the last two offseasons, as the team has shaken up its core.

Notably, both Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams were dealt to the Kansas City Current before the 2022 season. And already in 2023, the team has dealt away defender Merritt Mathias and forward Diana Ordóñez.

Ordóñez had requested a trade before the NWSL draft. The 2022 Rookie of the Year finalist was dealt to the Houston Dash, which will put her closer to family.

Erceg criticized the deal on Twitter, writing, “Yup, it’s official. We still suck a trades in 2023.” But after her own trade to Louisville, the outgoing Courage captain described herself as “shocked and disappointed.”

The Courage have also lost key free agents. Debinha opted to leave the Courage to sign with the Current after finishing as a finalist for NWSL MVP in 2022.