NWSL Expansion Draft results: Seven players claimed by Angel City, Wave FC

NWSL Expansion Draft results: Seven players claimed by Angel City, Wave FC

The preparations for the new 2022 NWSL season are underway and teams are actively acquiring and transferring players, especially when it comes to the two expansion teams joining the league in the same season.

Angel City FC and San Diego Wave FC added new players in the NWSL Expansion Draft on Thursday, just two days before the NWSL Draft for college players. San Diego came away with three players, passing on two other picks, while Angel City FC used all four of its picks to add depth and versatility to its roster.

The trade window reopened immediately following the draft and Wave FC promptly traded its No. 1 Expansion Draft pick, U.S. women’s national team regular Kristie Mewis, who moved to NJ/NY Gotham FC in exchange for $200,000 in allocation money.

The league’s rules originally called for up to nine players to be selected by each expansion team — one from each team except for KC Current, which was exempt. But both Angel City and Wave FC did deals with other clubs that ensured roster protection. So entering the draft, Angel City was in position to select players from only four teams, while Wave FC was limited to five teams’ unprotected lists.

NWSL Expansion Draft picks

Round Angel City FC San Diego Wave FC
1 MF – Dani Weatherholt (OL Reign) MF – Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash)
2 FW – Claire Emslie (Orlando Pride) DF/MF – Kristen McNabb (OL Reign)
3 FW – Jasmyne Spencer (Houston Dash) PASS
4 DF – Paige Nielsen (Washington Spirit) PASS
5 DF – Kaleigh Riehl (Racing Louisville)

How to watch the NWSL Expansion Draft

  • Date: Thursday, Dec. 16
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS Sports Network
  • Streaming: fuboTV, Paramount+, CBS Sports HQ

The NWSL Expansion Draft will be available on a number of platforms, including on TV through CBS Sports Network, which is available to stream on fuboTV, available to new users on a free 7-day trial.

Streams will also be available on CBS platform Paramount+, CBS Sports HQ, Twitch (CBS Sports HQ channel) and YouTube (CBS Sports HQ and NWSL channels).

MORE: Why Washington Spirit’s NWSL title is the most remarkable in U.S. sports

How the NWSL Expansion Draft works

The official draft guidelines provide each of the two expansion teams up to a maximum of nine selections, though that won’t be happening due to prior deals with those teams. Either team can also decide to pass on a selection.

While the Kansas City Current are exempt from the draft, the other nine NWSL clubs were able to protect nine of their players prior to the draft and that list was permitted to include a maximum of one U.S. allocated player. The rest of the players were left unprotected and available for selection in the Expansion Draft unless there was a prior arrangement reached between teams (see below). 

Here’s a summary of the key rules for the Expansion Draft: 

  • The expansion teams have three minutes to make each pick;
  • Each expansion team may select one player or U.S. allocated player from each team, for a maximum total of nine selections;
  • Each expansion team may select no more than one unprotected U.S. allocated player in the Expansion Draft;
  • Existing teams may lose no more than two of their unprotected players in the Expansion Draft (of which only one may be a U.S. allocated player);
  • Existing teams may lose no more than one player from any position group (goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward);
  • Expansion Draft selections may not be traded, but players selected in the Expansion Draft may be traded after the event;
  • Each expansion team has two 5-minute timeouts, though they can’t be used back-to-back.

Through deals prior to the Expansion Draft, there have been several NWSL teams that have worked out draft protection for the players they had to leave unprotected:

  • Kansas City Current exempt: As part of the deal with the league to become an expansion team in 2021, the Kansas City Current are exempt from this draft entirely.
  • A number of other exemptions have been created via agreements stemming from trades:
    • The Chicago Red Stars, North Carolina Courage and NJ/NY Gotham FC have done deals to earn Expansion Draft protection from both teams.
    • OL Reign have expansion protection from Angel City FC for just their forward group, which includes Megan Rapinoe. Reign is not protected from picks by Wave FC.
    • The Portland Thorns have full expansion protection from Angel City for a previous trade.
    • Racing Louisville FC has full expansion protection from Angel City as part of a previous trade that sent the rights to Christen Press to the expansion club.
    • The Washington Spirit traded for protection of its U.S. allocated players from Angel City and full protection from Wave FC.

MORE: Alex Morgan traded to San Diego Wave FC

NWSL players eligible for selection in Expansion Draft

While a number of popular players have either been protected or already traded to expansion teams, including Alex Morgan who was sent to Wave FC last week, there are a few unprotected players who pop off the page.

MORE: 2022 MLS expansion draft results for Charlotte FC

Megan Rapinoe is the most popular unprotected player, and while it’s unlikely she’d be selected given a number of factors, including OL Reign protecting its forwards group from Angel City FC, she’s a big enough name that could make it enticing for Wave FC to have a go.

The Houston Dash decided not to put USWNT midfielder Kristie Mewis on its protected list, and Washington’s Jordan DiBiasi is unprotected as well.

Houston Dash (24):

  • Michaela Abam
  • Michelle Alozie
  • Joelle Anderson (College Protected Player)
  • Bridgette Andrzejewski (Playing Rights)
  • Allysha Chapman
  • Taylor Comeau (Playing Rights)
  • Nikki Cross (Playing Rights)
  • Amanda Dennis (Playing Rights)
  • Hannah Diaz
  • Marissa Diggs (Playing Rights)
  • Lindsey Harris
  • Melissa Henderson (Playing Rights)
  • Bianca Henninger (Playing Rights)
  • Savannah Jordan (Playing Rights)
  • Veronica Latsko
  • Kristie Mewis (U.S. Federation Player)
  • Christine Nairn (Playing Rights)
  • Emily Ogle
  • Megan Oyster
  • Ally Prisock
  • Annika Schmidt
  • Sophie Schmidt
  • Jasmyne Spencer
  • Brianna Visalli

OL Reign (28):

  • Lauren Barnes
  • Amber Brooks
  • Maria Bullock (Playing Rights)
  • Stephanie Catley (Playing Rights)
  • Stephanie Cox (Playing Rights)
  • Kiersten Dallstream
  • Ella Dederick
  • Madison Hammond
  • Kelcie Hedge
  • Sam Hiatt
  • Celia
  • Adrienne Jordan (Playing Rights)
  • Tziarra King
  • Alyssa Kleiner (Playing Rights)
  • Jimena Lopez (International – MEX)
  • Kristen McNabb
  • Sinclaire Miramontez
  • Cosette Morche
  • Theresa Nielsen (Playing Rights)
  • Morgan Proffitt (Playing Rights)
  • Leah Pruitt
  • Megan Rapinoe (U.S. Federation Player)
  • Nikki Stanton
  • Rumi Utsugi (Playing Rights)
  • Abby Wambach (Playing Rights)
  • Dani Weatherholt
  • Lydia Williams (Playing Rights)
  • Beverly Yanez (Playing Rights)

Orlado Pride (21):

  • Kerry Abello (College Protected Player)
  • Kaylie Collins
  • Claire Emslie (Playing Rights)
  • Joanna Fennema (Playing Rights)
  • Caitlin Farrell (Playing Rights)
  • Megan Dougherty Howard
  • Gunnhildur Jonsdottir
  • Abi Kim
  • Carrie Lawrence
  • Camila Martins Pereira (Playing Rights)
  • Erin McCleod (CAN Federation Player)
  • Jade Moore (International – ENG)
  • Toni Pressley
  • Ali Riley
  • Parker Roberts
  • Kylie Strom
  • Erika Tymrak
  • Emily Van Egmond (Playing Rights)
  • Marisa Viggiano
  • Chelsee Washington
  • Brittany Wilson
  • Shelina Zadorsky (Playing Rights)

Portland Thorns (27):

  • Amirah Ali (College Protected Player)
  • Nadine Angerer (Playing Rights)
  • Hannah Betfort
  • Celeste Boureille
  • Samantha Coffey (College Protected Player)
  • Marian Dougherty (Playing Rights)
  • Britt Eckerstrom (Playing Rights)
  • Marissa Everett
  • Shelby Hogan
  • Kelli Hubly
  • Meghan Klingenberg
  • Andressa Machry (Playing Rights)
  • Nikki Marshall (Playing Rights)
  • Meagan Morris (Playing Rights)
  • Meaghan Nally
  • Madison Pogarch
  • Hayley Raso (Playing Rights)
  • Katherine Reynolds (Playing Rights)
  • Yazmeen Ryan
  • Angela Salem
  • Becky Sauerbrunn (U.S. Federation Player)
  • Christine Sinclair
  • Abby Smith
  • Katarina Tarr (Playing Rights)
  • Rachel Van Hollebeke (Playing Rights)
  • Christen Westphal
  • Sandra Yu (Playing Rights)

Racing Louisville FC (17):

  • Julia Ashley
  • Janine Beckie (Playing Rights)
  • Caitlin Foord (Playing Rights)
  • Parker Goins (College Protected Player)
  • Tobin Heath (Playing Rights)
  • Alanna Kennedy (Playing Rights)
  • Nealy Martin
  • Cheyna Matthews
  • Savannah McCaskill
  • Addisyn Merrick
  • Lauren Milliet
  • Yuki Nagasato (International – JPN)
  • Taylor Otto
  • Kaleigh Riehl
  • Erin Simon
  • Emily Smith (College Protected Player)

Washington Spirit (18):

  • Taylor Alymer
  • Camryn Biegalski
  • Averie Collins
  • Jordan DiBiasi
  • Morgan Goff
  • Anna Heilferty
  • Tori Huster
  • Devon Kerr
  • Lori Lindsey (Playing Rights)
  • Joanna Lohman (Playing Rights)
  • Paige Nielsen
  • Kelley O’Hara (U.S. Federation Player)
  • Kariana Rodriguez
  • Sydney Schneider
  • Emily Sonnett (U.S. Federation Player)
  • Andi Sullivan (U.S. Federation Player)
  • Saori Takarada (International – JPN)
  • Kumi Yokoyama (International – JPN)

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.