Racing Makes Key Resignings As Free Agency Period Looms
(Photo: One Shot Sports)
Racing Louisville announced several roster moves on Friday, retaining three core players while parting ways with defender Zaneta Wyne. The club also confirmed four players will be eligible for free agency this offseason.
Racing picked up the 2024 contract options on forwards Kirsten Davis and Thembi Kgatlana along with defender Julia Lester. All three have been important contributors during Louisville’s playoff push this campaign.
“Kirsten, Thembi, and Julia have been instrumental in Racing’s success this season,” said general manager Ryan Dell. “Their growth on and off the pitch has been outstanding.”
Securing Lester provides continuity along the back line, where she has started every match this season. The 25-year-old ranks second in the NWSL with 1.6 blocked shots per 90 minutes.
South African winger Kgatlana has battled back from injury to chip in two goals and an assist. Her brace at the World Cup helped Banyana Banyana reach the knockout stage for the first time.
Davis is enjoying a breakout year with four goals and two assists, both career highs. The local product’s growth in year two has been rapid.
Meanwhile, Wyne departs Racing to pursue a coaching opportunity overseas. The versatile defender made 11 appearances across all competitions this campaign.
On the free agency front, forwards Emina Ekic, Jess McDonald and Nadia Nadim and midfielder Taylor Aylmer will all be eligible this winter.
Veterans McDonald and Nadim qualify for unrestricted free agency based on their service time in the league. They can sign with any club they choose.
Ekic and Aylmer fall into the restricted category, meaning Racing has the option to match any offer they receive from another team.
The free agency period promises to be an active one across the league. Racing has had talks with their pending free agents and plans to make offers to retain top talent.
“We have had conversations with our upcoming free agents and will continue to do our due diligence as the free agency period approaches,” Dell noted.
With Racing still firmly in the playoff hunt, retaining key players like Davis, Lester and Kgatlana provides stability entering 2023.
The club continues to build a strong core. And the free agency period presents opportunities to supplement it with elite talent.
Racing has significantly upgraded its roster in a short time under Dell’s leadership. Expect that trajectory to continue this winter.
Top free agents will surely have interest in joining an up-and-coming team with a rabid fanbase and state-of-the-art facilities.
The ascent of Racing as a legitimate contender is drawing eyes around the league. Free agents want to play for winning programs on the rise.
So while Friday’s roster moves were important, the main event still lies ahead. Racing’s aggressive approach to free agency could soon land some major acquisitions.
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