SEATTLE, WA. – Seattle Reign FC has acquired defender Julia Lester and $20,000 in Allocation Money in a three-team trade involving NJ/NY Gotham FC and Racing Louisville FC, the club announced today. In exchange for Lester and $20,000 in Allocation Money, Seattle traded defender Sam Hiatt to Gotham FC while Louisville received $60,000 in Allocation Money from Gotham FC.
Lester enters her third year in the NWSL, having spent her first two seasons with Racing at center back and outside back. Since entering the league in 2022, the 26-year-old has started in 30 of 33 games played, earning the fifth-most starts for the club. She also recorded 81 clearances, 42 interceptions and 22 blocks, the third-most on the team in each category. Adding to her defensive success, Lester joins the Reign with 88 duels won and a tackle success rate of 77.27%, tallying 34 tackles won.
Prior to entering the NWSL, Lester spent two seasons playing for Apollon Ladies F.C. of the Cypriot First Division, where she earned Best XI honors in 2021 and helped the club win back-to-back league titles.
The Tampa, Florida, native graduated from the University of Florida after making 69 starts in 86 appearances and recording three goals and five assists for the Gators. As a senior in 2019, Lester earned All-SEC and All-Southeast Region First Team selections.