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Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji

Racing Louisville FC gained championship experience and two of the most decorated defenders in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in Abby Erceg and Carson Pickett, who were acquired via a trade announced on Monday with the North Carolina Courage.

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In exchange, Racing Louisville sent defender Emily Fox to the Courage.

Erceg and Pickett have extensive playing experience in the United States and abroad, and they played key roles in helping North Carolina win the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup.

The 33-year-old Erceg has played in Australia, Germany, New Zealand, and Spain, while Pickett, 29, also completed loan spells in Australia and Cyprus, where she played for Björkegren’s former club, Apollon Ladies.

Erceg, a center-back with 160 NWSL and Challenge Cup appearances, is one of the most accomplished players in league history.


She won three regular-season NWSL Shields and three NWSL Championships with the Western New York Flash and the Courage.

In eight-plus years in the league, the New Zealander has claimed the 2018 NWSL Defender of the Year award as well as 2018 Best XI and 2017 and 2019 Second XI honors.

She was also named to the 2020 Challenge Cup Best XI.

On the international stage, Erceg made 146 appearances for the New Zealand national team, scoring six goals and leading the Football Ferns to four World Cups and four Olympic Games.

She was the first New Zealander to reach 100 caps for either the men’s or women’s national teams.


Pickett, a left-back who was the fourth pick in the 2016 NWSL Draft, is a back-to-back Best XI selection over the past two seasons and won a national championship in 2014 with Florida State.

The Florida native led the NWSL in assists this past season with six, a year after tying for second in the league with five.

In all, Pickett has one goal and 16 assists in 130 NWSL appearances with the Courage, OL Reign, and Orlando Pride and has regularly ranked among the league leaders in chances created and interceptions, among other areas. She made her U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) debut this past June, appearing in two matches, after featuring for the U-17 and U-23 U.S. Youth National Teams.

Read Also 10 Memorable Events Of Women’s Football In 2022

Fox will go down in club history as the team’s first college draft pick, the No. 1 overall choice in the 2021 NWSL Draft. The left-back closed out her time with Racing after 50 league and Challenge Cup appearances.

She was a Second XI selection and runner-up for Rookie of the Year in 2021.

A Virginia native, Fox tallied one goal and two assists in her time with Louisville and became a regular with the U.S. Women’s National Team in the process, making 21 appearances.

The trade comes just before the start of Racing Louisville’s preseason, which kicks off this week, and the announcement of No. 1 goalkeeper Katie Lund’s contract extension through 2025.

Lund’s deal added to the string of contract extensions Racing has inked with its young core since last fall – midfielders Savannah DeMelo, Jaelin Howell, and Lauren Milliet also signed through 2025.

Racing finished the 2022 campaign on a high, winning three of its final four matches, including a 1-0 victory in the regular-season finale against the Kansas City Current, the eventual NWSL runner-up.

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