Meleana Shim never really left Portland. On Friday, the popular midfielder became a Portland Thorn again.
Thorns FC re-acquired Shim from the Houston Dash and acquired goalkeeper Michelle Betos from the Boston Breakers in separate trades during the National Women’s Soccer League college draft.
The Thorns made a pair of selections in the draft, picking Georgetown defender Emily Menges and Mississippi State forward Elisabeth Sullivan.
Houston claimed Shim in the expansion draft. To get her back, Portland sent its No. 11 pick and defender Nikki Washington to the Dash. As a rookie last season, Shim was one of the most energetic and popular players for the Thorns. She scored five goals and added two assists.
“I don’t think you could’ve got a college player at No. 11 that would’ve been anywhere near the level that Shim is,” Thorns coach Paul Riley said. “We’re really excited to have her back and I’m excited to put her in a training environment where hopefully she can really improve.”
Menges, 21, was a semifinalist for national player of the year and an all-American in 2013, The Thorns took Menges with the 24th overall pick. To pick Sullivan, the Thorns traded forward Tiffany Weimer to Washington for the 31st pick. Sullivan scored a school-record 39 goals over four seasons at Mississippi State.
Betos, 25, appeared in seven games for Seattle last season in place of injured Hope Solo. In Portland she will back up German keeper Nadine Angerer.
University of Portland seniors Amanda Frisbie and Ellen Parker were both drafted by Seattle, Frisbie with the seventh pick. The first pick in the draft was Crystal Dunn of North Carolina who went to the Washington Spirit.