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Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji

Former Chicago Red Stars defender inks two-year deal with the new National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club.

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Bay FC, the Bay Area’s new women’s professional soccer franchise in the NWSL has signed free agent defender Kayla Sharples to a two-year deal.

Drafted in the third round of the 2019 NWSL Draft out of Northwestern University, Sharples played the last five seasons (2019-2023) in the NWSL with the Chicago Red Stars.

During her time in Chicago, the center-back appeared in 48 matches across all NWSL competitions, starting 39 games with one goal.

In 2023, Sharples appeared in 11 games (eight starts), scoring her first professional goal on October 7 against the Kansas City Current.

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Sharples played on loan with Finnish club Kuopion Palloseura in 2020 where she made nine appearances and scored one goal.

The Naperville, Ill. native also played abroad in Australia during the 2021-22 A-League Women’s season with Adelaide United.

With Adelaide, Sharples helped the team qualify for the Finals with a third-place finish in league play.

At Northwestern, Sharples was twice named All-America Third Team, playing in 87 games (all starts) for the Wildcats from 2015-18. During her collegiate career, she helped lead Northwestern to four straight NCAA tournament appearances, while leading a defense that registered 47 shutouts. As a senior in 2018, Sharples started all 19 games, tallying three goals, and earned first-team All-Big Ten and All-Region accolades as Northwestern limited opponents to 0.68 goals per game.

Meanwhile…

Bay FC a member of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), has acquired $75,000 in Allocation Money and OL Reign’s natural fourth-round pick (55th overall) in the 2024 NWSL Draft in exchange for Bay FC’s natural fourth-round pick (43rd overall) in the same draft.

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With this trade, Bay FC currently holds the following picks in the 2024 NWSL Draft: the second and eighth pick in the first round, pick No. 30 and No. 34 in the third round, and 55th pick overall in the fourth and final round of the draft.

Bay FC acquires $75,000 in Allocation Money and the 55th overall pick in 2024 NWSL Draft from OL Reign in exchange for the 43rd overall pick.

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