The Blues acquired Margaret “Midge” Purce and the natural 2021 first-round draft pick from the Portland Thorns in exchange for midfielder Raquel Rodriguez. Also, Sky Blue acquired McCall Zerboni and a conditional pick in the 2021 NWSL draft from North Carolina Courage in exchange for the rights to Hailie Mace.
Purce, 24, joins Sky Blue FC after a breakout 2019 campaign with the Thorns. She played in 22 games (19 starts) and finished the regular season as a top ten goal scorer, registering eight goals and one assist. Purce earned NWSL Player of the Week for Week 19 and was named to June’s NWSL Team of the Month.
Zerboni, 33, joins Sky Blue FC after three seasons with the Courage, winning three consecutive NWSL Shields and back-to-back NWSL championships in 2018 and 2019. She finished the 2019 regular season with 24 appearances (19 starts), playing 1,716 minutes and recording one assist.
“I am thrilled to welcome Midge to the team,” said Freya Coombe, Sky Blue head coach. “She is incredibly skilled and will play an integral part in our success this season.”
She was equally excited to have Zerboni on the team.
“She’s a highly decorated player in the league who adds quality and experience to our midfield,” Coombe said. “As a proven winner, we know she has the right mentality to help us succeed.”
Purce was taken ninth by the Boston Breakers out of Harvard in the 2017 NWSL College Draft. She played 22 matches (13 starts) during her rookie season, recording one goal and two assists. Purce was selected by the Thorns in the 2018 NWSL Dispersal Draft and played in 19 games (15 starts) during her second season in the league.
Purce started and earned her first international cap with the U.S. Women’s National Team on November 11 against Costa Rica. She is currently in the USWNT January Training Camp in Tampa, Fla.
Zerboni played 65 regular-season games in the past three years for North Carolina, registering 5,487 minutes, six goals, and three assists. In 2018, she earned NWSL Team of the Month honors four consecutive times and was an NWSL MVP finalist. She also was named to the NWSL’s Best XI in 2017 and 2018.