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NC Courage trades Darian Jenkins to Seattle Reign for NWSL draft pick

Seattle Reign FC has acquired an additional scoring threat leading up to the 2019 season.

The North Carolina Courage announced Monday they traded the rights to Darian Jenkins to Seattle in exchange for the Reign’s first-round pick in the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League draft. That pick is ninth overall.

Following the trade, the Reign have signed Jenkins to a contract for the 2019 season, the league said in a statement. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“I’m beyond excited to be joining Reign FC,” Jenkins said in a statement from the Reign. “I’m looking forward to meeting the team, coaching staff, and community to continue building on the success the team had last year.”

Jenkins, 23, was drafted by the Courage seventh overall in 2017 after a career at UCLA, where she scored 29 goals in 76 appearances for the Bruins. Jenkins sat out the 2017 season as she recovered from a broken fibula, but played an important role for the Courage in 2018, mostly appearing as a substitute.

In all, she played in 14 NWSL contests this past season, logging 179 minutes. Jenkins appeared in the NWSL final — which the Courage won 3-0 — as a stoppage-time substitute.

Jenkins also helped the Courage capture the inaugural Women’s International Championship Cup, scoring the game-winning goal against Paris St. Germain in the 84th minute of the semifinals.

“Darian is a player I’ve had my eye on for a long time. She was a dynamic goal scorer in college and has great potential to be an impactful player in the NWSL,” Reign head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “She will add a new dimension to our attack and will add needed depth to our squad, especially during our games during over the World Cup.”

In addition to winning the ICC and the NWSL championship, the Courage and Jenkins also won the 2018 NWSL Shield while setting single-season league records for wins (17), points (57) and goals-scored (53).

Seattle scored 27 goals last season and finished third in the NWSL standings with an overall record of 11-5-8.

The Riverton, Utah, native has also appeared for the U.S. national team at the U-20, U-18 and U-17 levels.

With the trade, the Courage now hold the fifth, ninth, 14th and 36th picks in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. The trade leaves the Reign with zero picks in the draft, which will be held Jan. 10 at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago.

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