02/24/2015 12:51 PM
The Western New York Flash has acquired defender Toni Pressley in a trade with the Washington Spirit, sending the rights to defender Estelle Johnson to the Spirit.
Pressley, 25, rejoins the Flash after helping guide the team to the WPSL-Elite Championship in 2012. It was Pressley’s goal in stoppage time that equalized the match, eventually leading to a Flash victory in penalty kicks.
“We are very excited to welcome back Toni Pressley, a young, talented player who was successful for us in 2012. I believe Toni has untapped potential that I am excited about having the opportunity to help her build upon,” Flash general manager and head coach Aaran Lines said. “While Estelle was marvelous for us in 2013, we understood that she if she came back her desire was to play closer to family in the DC area. Trading her rights was a way for us to gain a positive while allowing her the chance to stay in the NWSL.”
After her tenure with the Flash, Pressley was signed as a Discovery Player by the Spirit midway through the NWSL’s first season. Early in 2014, Pressley tore the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in her right knee but was able to return for the conclusion of the season. Between the two seasons, the center back appeared in 17 games, starting all but one.
A native of Melbourne, Fl., Pressley started her club career in 2008 with the Boston Renegades of the W-League and then was a member of the Washington Freedom from 2009-10.
A consistent member of the U.S. Women’s National Team youth system, Pressley got her start with the U-17 national team before moving to the U-18 and U-20 squads. In 2009, she won the gold medal at CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship and, the following year, led the U-20’s to the Four Nations Cup championship and FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup quarterfinals.
Pressley graduated from Florida State University where she was a four-year standout with the Seminoles. In both her junior and senior years, Pressley found herself on the Hermann Trophy Watch List and, in 2010, earned numerous accolades including Soccer America MVP, First Team All-American and All-ACC First Team. At the conclusion of her career, she ranked third in game appearances (96).
Johnson, who was a member of the Flash’s inaugural NWSL roster in 2013, decided to step away from the game after helping lead Western New York to the NWSL Shield that season.
Date of Birth: 02/19/1990
Birthplace: Melbourne, Florida
College: Florida State University
Previous club: Washington Spirit
How acquired: via trade on Tuesday, February 24, 2015