Women's Soccer

NWSL allocates 26 USWNT players, including Press to Red Stars

Christen Press WNT ISI

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


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:


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


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.


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?

    • Caitlin Murray

      College players go through the draft. Crystal Dunn and Julie Johnston may end up subsidized by U.S. Soccer, but they will not be allocated.


    • Rob

      I know she and Julie Johnston will both go through the college draft, but with Kristie Mewis getting subsidized in the middle of last season (and thus starting the craziness with KC having so many “allocated” players), I don’t see why Dunn won’t fill out the 27th slot similarly. Frankly, I’m surprised that Erika Tymrak wasn’t subsidized and considered allocated as opposed to Cox.


  • Candace Young

    These announcements make me so excited for the upcoming season! But honestly, what is Sky Blue waiting for? They haven’t made any significant moves all season.


    • Janine

      I’m with you. Sky Blue needs to improve team to get people to come. Because their choice of fields certainly isn’t gonna do it. They should have made a deal with Red Bulls, if they have no interest in improving team or fields!


      • Gerald

        I don’t know if you know this but the Red Bulls and Sky Blue did talk about Lady Bulls (or something like that) but they couldn’t come to an agreement


  • kernel thai

    Interesting things: Odd Dominguez wasnt allocated as she spoke highly of the league. Santiago moving to KC where she still is #3 unless Henninger is still on loan. A-Rod and Cox seemingly added to allocation to protect other players on their rosters. Seattle getting allocated a Mexican outside back (see above). Have to assume the reason WNY is exempt with two USWNT players is either teams can protect two or teams with three or more have to expose one player (see above again) Subsidizing players like Tymrak and Franch at this point needlessly exposed them to the draft…Im sure teams worked very hard to avoid this. As Quon was added to Chicago list instead of a Mexican perhaps she will be eligible to play for both the Canadian and Mexican NTs (j/k)


    • Eric

      AFAIK Henninger’s loan to Bayern expires this winter, and she is expected to be back in time for preseason. Which makes me think that FCKC will likely leave Santiago exposed in the expansion draft, because Barnhart’s grip on the #1 job is ironclad (as it should be). Houston should snap Santiago up if that ends up being the case.


  • Anne

    Surprised no one has commented on Boxx’s inclusion yet. Is she still in the NT picture, and will she actually play this season?


    • Anna

      I know, I was kind of surprised by that as well. As a Red Stars fan, I think we’ve gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to allocated players in the past. For a majority of our season we had zero able-bodied allocated players and it appears that Boxx will be out this season as well with her pregnancy. Hopefully Press and Amy stay healthy this season! She’s due in May + recovery time, so this season is out. I don’t know if she will be in WWC contention, but Sermani seems to like her and they don’t have a super strong defensive mid on the NT yet, so they may hold on to her and keep her as an allocated player just in case.


  • Nico C.

    Finally, a strong marquee striker for Red Stars!! Press is going to bring some real excitement to Chicago.


  • user222

    too bad for Press….

    from a top contender in Tyreso FF year in and year out, and Euro Champion League games to lowly, bottom feeder Chicago team.

    She’s gotta be dePressed.


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  • orangecleats

    These allocations were more all less expected, with many people hoping Press would end up in Houston rather than Chicago (myself included). Not that I have anything against Chicago but it’s not obvious how they’ll incorporate her in their play/build their play around her – and that makes me weary. With Houston, it’s a brand new team, they don’t have anything tying them down, they have good potential (and they have far better facilities).
    Other than that, I don’t have much to say except that I’m very curious about the whole incident with Scott signing with an FAWSL team and then FCKC obviously expecting her to be back with them. Is it possible that the canada federation didn’t know about that? I’m scratching my head.


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