NWSL allocates 26 USWNT players, including Press to Red Stars

NWSL allocates 26 USWNT players, including Press to Red Stars

Women's Soccer

NWSL allocates 26 USWNT players, including Press to Red Stars

Christen Press WNT ISI

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By CAITLIN MURRAY

The National Women’s Soccer League announced Friday its 2014 group of allocated players from the U.S., Canada and Mexico and, as always, there are some winners and losers.

The biggest prize of the allocation may be forward Christen Press, who will join the Chicago Red Stars.

Press had a breakout 2013, scoring eight goals in just 12 U.S. National Team caps and leading Sweden’s top league in scoring with 23 goals for Tyreso FF during the regular season. (For perspective, Press’ club teammate is Brazil’s Marta, a five-time FIFA Women’s Player of the Year and prolific goal-scorer.)

The addition of Press will be a boost for a Red Stars team that lacks a marquee striker and spent 2013 with zero active USWNT allocations – Shannon Box and Amy LePeilbet were injured and Keelin Winters was traded away for draft picks. But it’s not all good – Press announced on her blog this week that she had negotiated with U.S. Soccer to join the NWSL late and stay with Tyreso FF through their Champion’s League run.

See the full allocation list after the jump:

2014 NWSL ALLOCATION LIST:

Boston Breakers

Meghan Klingenberg (USA)*
Kristie Mewis (USA)
Heather O’Reilly (USA)
Chelsea Stewart (CAN)*
Kaylyn Kyle (CAN)
Dinora Garza (MEX)

Chicago Red Stars

Shannon Boxx (USA)
Amy LePeilbet (USA)
Christen Press (USA)*
Adriana Leon (CAN)
Erin McLeod (CAN)
Rachel Quon (CAN)*

Houston Dash

Whitney Engen (USA)*
Melissa Tancredi (CAN)*
Teresa Noyola (MEX)

FC Kansas City

Nicole Barnhart (USA)
Lauren Holiday (USA)
Amy Rodriguez (USA)
Becky Sauerbrunn (USA)
Desiree Scott (CAN)
Lauren Sesselmann (CAN)
Cecilia Santiago (MEX)

Portland Thorns FC

Rachel Buehler (USA)
Tobin Heath (USA)
Alex Morgan (USA)
Christine Sinclair (CAN)
Karina LeBlanc (CAN)
Jackie Acevedo (MEX)*

Seattle Reign FC

Stephanie Cox (USA)*
Sydney Leroux (USA)
Megan Rapinoe (USA)
Hope Solo (USA)
Carmelina Moscato (CAN)
Arianna Romero (MEX)*

Sky Blue FC

Jill Loyden (USA)
Kelley O’Hara (USA)
Christie Rampone (USA)
Jonelle Filigno (CAN)*
Sophie Schmidt (CAN)
Monica Ocampo (MEX)

Washington Spirit

Yael Averbuch (USA)*
Ashlyn Harris (USA)
Ali Krieger (USA)
Robyn Gayle (CAN)
Diana Matheson (CAN)
Renae Cuellar (MEX)

Western New York Flash

Carli Lloyd (USA)
Abby Wambach (USA)
Selenia Iacchelli (CAN)*
Veronica Perez (MEX)

* = newly allocated player

ALLOCATION BREAKDOWN

In total, the U.S. will allocate 26 players, promoting Stephanie Cox to subsidized status and introducing four players to the league who had been playing in Sweden last year: Press, Meghan Klingenberg, Yael Averbuch and Whitney Engen. Canada has allocated 16 players and Mexico allocated eight.

Curiously, Canadian players Desiree Scott and Lauren Sesselmann are allocated to FC Kansas City, despite Scott signing with an English club and Sesselmann allegedly in similar negotiations. Notts County Ladies FC announced Scott will join the club, but sources have told SBI the midfielder does not have the international clearances required for an announcement.

The allocations officially end a roster freeze that had been in place since Dec. 10. NWSL will now enter a league-wide “trade period” until Jan. 6 where all NWSL teams may make trades, the league announced. However, teams will not be allowed to waive players currently on their roster until after the NWSL Expansion Draft.

The Houston Dash, the NWSL’s first expansion team announced last month, was only allocated one USWNT player, but will reportedly draft additional allocated U.S. players during an expansion draft set for Jan. 10. The Western New York Flash only received two USWNT players last year – Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd – and will be exempt from the draft. Seattle and Kansas City each have four USWNT players and likely will not be able to protect them all in an expansion draft.

A league source told SBI after Friday’s allocation announcement that Houston will be awarded the second pick in the first round of the college draft. That is a change from last month when league sources told SBI they would be awarded the fifth pick in the first round – a change likely caused, in part, by the final allocations. Sources have told SBI the expansion rules are fluid and subject to change.

Sources told SBI last month that U.S. Soccer had been hoping to increase their allocations to 27 for 2014 and expansion expansion draft rules would hinge on whether that number was reached – but only 26 made the list.

The U.S. Soccer Federation founded the NWSL in late 2012 and forged an agreement to have federations from the U.S., Canada and Mexico subsidize national team players that would be allocated evenly throughout the league. The league’s inaugural season was in 2013.

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What do you think of the allocation list? Which teams made out best and which teams are left with more work to do? Who do you think will go to Houston in the expansion draft?

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