Getty Images

The Washington Spirit officially announced the signing of Colombia midfielder Leicy Santos this week, who is set to join the NWSL team in the summer as a focal point of their on-field rebuild under outgoing Barcelona head coach Jonatan Giraldez.

Santos inked a three-year deal with the Spirit and will come to the U.S. after wrapping up the Liga F season with Atletico Madrid in June.

The 27-year-old Santos was a staple of the Colombia team that made their deepest-ever run at the Women's World Cup last year, reaching the quarterfinals before being eliminated in a 2-1 defeat to England. She scored one of the most notable goals of the tournament in that game, opening the scoring with a stunning chip from the edge of the penalty area.

Her signing marks the latest statement of intent from the Spirit, who are ambitiously plotting an upward trajectory after missing out on the NWSL playoffs in 2022 and 2023. The first step of that project was hiring Giraldez, who will also arrive once his duties with Barcelona wrap up in June. The 32-year-old head coach is considered one of the best in the women's game after winning the UEFA Women's Champions League with Barcelona last year and could add another before he travels to the U.S. to begin his new job.

Santos' signing adds another layer to an already existing attacking group at the Spirit, which includes the likes of Trinity Rodman and Ashley Hatch. Here's a glimpse at the team's offensive output as things stand.

A boost for the Spirit's attack

The Spirit's offense is off to a modest start in the 2024 season, scoring four goals in three games. They rank in the middle of the pack in a handful of attacking categories at this early start of the season but are demonstrating a sense of intention when they do go forward. They currently rank 10th out of 14th for shots with 33 but are seventh for shots on goal percentage at 36.4%. Most impressively, though, the Spirit rank third in the NWSL for expected goals with 5.34, behind only the North Carolina Courage and the Kansas City Current.

The encouraging performances also translate when looking at individual players. Rodman is joint assist leader with two so far this season, which catapulted her to be the club's all-time assist leader. Forward Ouleymata Sarr is also off to a strong start -- she ranks within the league's top 10 for shots with four and is second for expected goals with 2.4. She scored her first goal of the season in the team's 2-1 win over the Utah Royals last Sunday, while Hatch and rookie midfielder Croix Bethune are proving to be crucial parts of the attack early on.

Santos will provide a dose of creativity for the Spirit and boasts the ability to play both as a left-sided midfielder and a central attacking midfielder, playing the latter position at the World Cup. She ranked fourth at the tournament for chances created with 12 and in addition to her goal, also notched one assist during Colombia's five-game run in Australia and New Zealand.

Want more coverage of women's soccer? Listen below and make sure to watch Attacking Third on Golazo Network Monday and Friday for all your USWNT, NWSL and WSL women's soccer coverage.