Nov
07
2020

NWSL Expansion Draft Protected Player List And Rules

The last NWSL expansion draft was in 2015 when the Orlando Pride entered the league but now we are less than a week from Racing Louisville FC getting their picks.

The draft is set to take place on Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m. ET and streamed live on Twitch. On Thursday, the league announced the full list of protected players for each team, giving us a week to predict who Louisville might select.

Something new for this expansion draft is the possibility of allocation money, a total of $150,000 is up for grabs. If Racing Louisville does select a U.S. allocated player, that player’s former team will get $75,000. If Louisville doesn’t pick a U.S. allocated player then they will receive $75,000 for each allocation spot not used.

Before the trade deadline, the Chicago Red Stars traded Savannah McCaskill and Yuki Nagasato to Racing Louisville in exchange for full roster protection during the expansion draft. 

So that leaves eight teams that can protect a total of 11 players, including up to two U.S. allocated players. Louisville can take up to two players from each team or one U.S. allocated player from a team. The fact that teams are only able to protect 11 players created a difficult decision for each team, which left some big-name players unprotected. 

There are some big national team players left unprotected, the likes of Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris, Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Becky Sauerbrunn, Christen Press, Adrianna Franch, and Carli Lloyd are available. Sure, their respective teams are taking a big risk leaving them unprotected, but in my opinion, the bigger risk would be Louisville drafting them.

Tobin Heath and Christen Press are both with Manchester United at the moment, so it’s unclear when they would come back. Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris are together in Orlando and I don’t see one of them coming and not the other. Rapinoe, Lloyd, and Sauerbrunn are all where they want to be and where they want to finish their careers, I don’t see them packing up and leaving. 

I think that Louisville will and should pocket the allocation money. The allocation money will allow them to use it how they wish when it comes to roster transactions and put them in a good position to possibly sign Stanford forward Catarina Macario, should she choose to start her professional career in the NWSL. Macario is one of those players that is going to be a star for a long time both in club and international play. We won’t know for sure until the draft on Thursday but I just don’t see Louisville taking the risk. 

The full list of protected and unprotected players for each team is below. 

Houston Dash

Protected Players:
  • Jane Campbell, Allysha Chapman (CAN Allocated), Rachel Daly (International), Shea Groom, Haley Hanson, Veronica Latsko, Kristie Mewis, Katie Naughton, Megan Oyster, Nichelle Prince (CAN Allocated), Sophie Schmidt (CAN Allocated).
Unprotected Players:
  • Bridgette Andrzejewski, Chloe Castaneda (College Protected), Taylor Comeau (Playing Rights), Nikki Cross (Playing Rights), Amanda Dennis, Marissa Diggs (Playing Rights), Jamia Fields, Lindsey Harris, Melissa Henderson (Playing Rights), Bianca Henninger (Playing Rights), Savannah Jordan (Playing Rights), Maegan Kelly, Cecelia Kizer, Christine Nairn, Ally Prisock, Cambria Privett, Erin Simon, Katie Stengel, Brianna Visalli.

North Carolina Courage

Protected Players:
  • Abby Dahlkemper (U.S. Allocated), Debora De Oliveira (International), Abby Erceg (International), Kristen Hamilton, Hallie Mace, Merritt Mathias, Jessica McDonald, Casey Murphy, Denise O’Sullivan (International), Lynn Williams, Samantha Mewis (U.S. Allocated, Playing Rights).
Unprotected Players:
  • Lindsay Agnew, Jaelene Daniels (Playing Rights), Brianne Folds (College Protected), Hailey Harbison, Kaleigh Kurtz, Steph Labbe (CAN Allocated), Samantha Murphy, McKenzie Meehan, Addisyn Merrick, Lauren Milliet, Sinclaire Miramontez, Heather O’Reilly (Playing Rights), Cari Roccaro, Katelyn Rowland, Havana Solaun, Meredith Speck, Ally Watt, Ryan Williams.

Orlando Pride

Protected Players:
  • Claire Emslie (International), Taylor Kornieck, Sydney Leroux, Phoebe McClernon (College Protected), Jade Moore (International), Alex Morgan (U.S. Allocated, Playing Rights), Courtney Petersen, Ali Riley, Emily Sonnett (U.S. Allocated, Playing Rights), Marta Vieira da Silva (International), Marisa Viggiano.
Unprotected Players:
  • Kristen Edmonds, Caitlyn Farrell (Playing Rights), Joanna Fennema (Playing Rights), Caitlin Foord (Playing rights), Ashlyn Harris (U.S. Allocated), Alanna Kennedy (International), Abi Kim (College Protected), Ali Krieger (U.S. Allocated), Camila Martins Pereira, Erin McLeod (International), Carson Pickett, Konya Plummer (International), Toni Pressley, Cheyenne Shorts (College Protected), Emily Van Egmond (International), Chelsee Washington, Brittany Wilson, Shelina Zadorsky (CAN Allocated).

Portland Thorns FC

Protected Players:
  • Simone Charley, Crystal Dunn (U.S. Allocated), Lindsey Horan (U.S. Allocated), Kelli Hubly, Meghan Klingenberg, Natalia Kuikka (International), Emily Menges, Raquel Rodriguez (International), Christine Sinclair (CAN Allocated), Sophia Smith, Morgan Weaver.
Unprotected Players:
  • Nadine Angerer (Playing Rights), Bella Bixby, Celeste Boureille, Marian Dougherty (Playing Rights), Brittany Eckerstrom, Marissa Everett, Adrianna Franch (U.S. Allocated), Tobin Heath (U.S. Allocated, Playing Rights), Tyler Lussi, Andressa Machry (Playing Rights), Nikki Marshall (Playing Rights), Meagan Morris (Playing Rights), Meaghan Nally, Emily Ogle, Madison Pogarch, Hayley Raso (Playing Rights), Katherine Reynolds (Playing Rights), Angela Salem, Becky Sauerbrunn (U.S. Allocated), Gabby Seiler, Katrina Tarr (Playing Rights), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Playing Rights), Christen Westphal, Sandra Yu (Playing Rights).

OL Reign

Protected Players:
  • Bethany Balcer, Lauren Barnes, Amber Brooks, Jess Fishlock, Sofia Huerta, Darian Jenkins, Rose Lavelle (U.S. Allocated, Playing Rights), Allie Long (U.S. Allocated), Kristen McNabb, Yuka Momiki, Leah Pruitt.
Unprotected Players:
  • Morgan Andrews, Julia Ashley, Michelle Betos, Meg Brandt (College Protected), Mariah Bullock (Playing Rights), Stephanie Catley (Playing Rights), Stephanie Cox, Shirley Cruz Trana (International), Kiersten Dallstream (Playing Rights), Schuyler DeBree (Playing Rights), Machaela George, Madison Hammond, Sam Hiatt (College Protected), Kelcie Hedge, Celia Jimenez Delgado (International), Adrienne Jordan (Playing Rights), Alyssa Kleiner (Playing Rights), Theresa Nielsen (Playing Rights, International), Morgan Proffitt (Playing Rights), Quinn (International), Megan Rapinoe (U.S. Allocated), Taylor Smith, Jasmyne Spencer, Jodie Taylor (Playing Rights), Rumi Utsugi (Playing Rights), Abby Wambach (Playing Rights), Danielle Weatherholt, Rosie White (International), Lydia Williams (Playing Rights), Beverly Yanez (Playing Rights).

Sky Blue FC

Protected Players:
  • Imani Dorsey, Nahomi Kawasumi (International), Amanda McGlynn, Paige Monaghan, Ifeoma Onumonu, Mallory Pugh (U.S. Allocated), Margaret Purce, Kailen Sheridan (CAN Allocated), Evelyne Viens (International), Sarah Woldmoe, McCall Zerboni.
Unprotected Players:
  • Nicole Baxter, Melanie Booth (Playing Rights), Jennifer Cudjoe (International), Julie Doyle (Playing Rights), Caprice Dydasco, Elizabeth Eddy, Sabrina Flores, Mandy Freeman, Christina Gibbons (Playing Rights), Didi Haracic, Megan Hinz, Jennifer Hoy (Playing Rights), Estelle Johnson, Gina Lewandowski, Carli Lloyd (U.S. Allocated), Jill Loyden (Playing Rights), Manya Makoski (Playing Rights), Dominique Richardson, Kaleigh Riehl, Erica Skroski, Chantelle Swaby (College Protected), Madison Tiernan (Playing Rights), Rebecca Tweed (Playing Rights), Kenie Wright.

Utah Royals

Protected Players:
  • Elizabeth Ball, Katie Bowen, Rachel Corsie, Kate Del Fava, Tziarra King, Lo’eau Labonta, Kelley O’Hara (U.S. Allocated), Amy Rodriguez, Abigail Smith, Michele Vasconcelos, Gabrielle Vincent.
Unprotected Players:
  • Nicole Barnhart, Veronica Boquete (International), Kate Deines (Playing Rights), Cyera Hintzen (College Protected), Lauren Holiday (Playing Rights), Gunnhildur Jonsdottir, Samantha Johnson (Playing Rights), Amanda Laddish (Playing Rights), Taylor Leach, Taylor Lytle, Michelle Maemone, Diana Matheson (CAN Allocated), Sydney Miramontez (Playing Rights), Madeline Nolf, Christen Press (U.S. Allocated, Playing Rights), Brittany Ratcliffe, Desiree Scott (CAN Allocated), Arielle Ship, Raisa Strom-Okimoto, Erika Tymrak (Playing Rights), Mallory Weber.

Washington Spirit

Protected Players:
  • Dorian Bailey, Aubrey Bledsoe, Jordan DiBiasi, Bayley Feist, Ashley Hatch, Tori Huster, Tegan McGrady, Paige Nielsen, Ashley Sanchez, Sam Staab, Andi Sullivan. 
Unprotected Players:
  • Jaye Boissiere, Averie Collins, Megan Dougherty Howard, Jenna Hellstrom (International), Brooke Hendrix, Natalie Jacobs, Devon Kerr, Lori Lindsey (Playing Rights), Joanna Lohman (Playing Rights), Katie Lund, Katie McClure, Meghan McCool, Jessie Scarpa, Crystal Thomas, Kumi Yokoyama (International).