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NWSL: Dash’s expansion draft leaves USWNT players exposed

Kelley O'Hara

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Let the stealing begin.

The list of players up for grabs in the National Women’s Soccer League’s Friday expansion draft was released Wednesday, with the Houston Dash having plenty to pick from.

Unprotected players include a few U.S. National Team players, mostly on the back line. USWNT defender Kelley O’Hara played forward for Sky Blue FC before injury ended her 2013. (O’Hara was just added to the USWNT’s January camp, with U.S. Soccer announcing her recovery is nearly complete.) Defender Rachel Buehler is a veteran of the USWNT and served the Portland Thorns well last season. Other defensive options include Meghan Klingenberg and Amy LePeilbet.

A batch of USWNT goalkeepers are unprotected now that the Dash have signed the Canadian National Team’s primary keeper, Erin McLeod. The unprotected Americans include Ashlyn Harris, Nicole Barnhart and Jill Loyden. The Seattle Reign apparently didn’t think it was worth the risk to let Hope Solo go.

But the Dash – the expansion team that joined the league last month and will select up to 10 players in the draft – will need to pick their USWNT allocations wisely. Per the rules, they only get two of them and if they take a U.S. allocated player from a team, they can’t take a second player from that team.

The full list of unprotected players after the jump:




Courtney Jones
Julie King
Kaylyn Kyle (CAN)
Joanna Lohman
Kia McNeill
Kristie Mewis (USA)
Alyssa Naeher
Heather O’Reilly (USA)
Lianne Sanderson
Catherine Whitehill


Jazmyne Avant
Michelle Betos
Bianca D’Agostino
Maddy Evans
Dinora Garza (MEX)
Meghan Klingenberg (USA)
Jessica Luscinski (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Melissa Ortiz
Kathryn Schoepfer
Chelsea Stewart (CAN)



Zakiya Bywaters
Lori Chalupny
Taryn Hemmings
Jennifer Hoy
Adriana Leon (CAN)
Leslie Osborne
Christen Press (USA)
Rachel Quon (CAN)
Casey Short (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Taylor Vancil


Shannon Boxx (USA)
Amy LePeilbet (USA)
Ella Masar
Alyssa Mautz
Jacqueline Santacaterina
Julianne Sitch
Melissa Tancredi (CAN)
Lindsay Tarpley (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Lydia Vandenbergh
Michelle Wenino



Jen Buczkowski
Melissa Henderson
Lauren Holiday (USA)
Nikki Krzysik
Merritt Mathias
Leigh Ann Robinson
Amy Rodriguez (USA)
Becky Sauerbrunn (USA)
Erika Tymrak


Nicole Barnhart (USA)
Elizabeth Bogus
Sinead Farrelly
Jamie French
Bianca Henninger
Katie Kelly
Casey Loyd
Cecilia Santiago (MEX)
Desiree Scott (CAN)
Lauren Sesselmann (CAN)
Nia Williams
Discovery Player #1
Discovery Player #2
Discovery Player #3
Discovery Player #4
Discovery Player #5
Discovery Player #6



Jackie Acevedo (MEX)
Amber Brooks
Tobin Heath (USA)
Allie Long
Nikki Marshall
Alex Morgan (USA)
Rebecca Moros
Christine Sinclair (CAN)
Kat Williamson


Rachel Buehler (USA)
Becky Edwards
Tina Ellertson
Angie Kerr
Karina LeBlanc (CAN)
Jessica McDonald
Emilee O’Neil
Casey Ramirez
Meleana Shim
Nikki Washington
Tiffany Weimer
Michele Weissenhofer (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Courtney Wetzel
Discovery Player #1
Discovery Player #2
Discovery Player #3
Discovery Player #4



Lauren Barnes
Jessica Fishlock
Danielle Foxhoven
Beverly Goebel-Yanez
Sydney Leroux (USA)
Kim Little
Megan Rapinoe (USA)
Elli Reed
Hope Solo (USA)
Keelin Winters


Stephanie Cox (USA)
Kiersten Dallstream
Kate Deines
Kaley Fountain (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Alina Garciamendez (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Carmelina Moscato (CAN)
Mariah Nogueira
Arianna Romero (MEX)
Discovery Player #1
Discovery Player #2
Discovery Player #3
Discovery Player #4
Discovery Player #5
Discovery Player #6



Lisa De Vanna
Caitlin Foord
Katy Freels
Courtney Goodson
Lindsi Cutshall
Monica Ocampo (MEX)
Christie Rampone (USA)
Sophie Schmidt (CAN)
Discovery Player #1


Danesha Adams
Brittany Bock
Brittany Cameron
Alison Falk (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Jonelle Filigno (CAN)
Kendall Johnson
Meghan Lenczyk (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Jillian Loyden (USA)
Taylor Lytle
Ashley Nick
Kelley O’Hara (USA)
Madeleine Thompson
Kandace Wilson (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Discovery Player #1



Yael Averbuch (USA)
Renae Cuellar (MEX)
Robyn Gayle (CAN)
Victoria Huster
Ali Krieger (USA)
Diana Matheson (CAN)
Christine Nairn
Stephanie Ochs
Toni Pressley
Jodie Taylor


Marisa Abegg
Jordan Angeli (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Candace Chapman
Ashlyn Harris (USA)
Chantel Jones
Natasha Kai (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Lori Lindsey
Tiffany McCarty
Caroline Miller
Julia Roberts
Jasmyne Spencer
Kika Toulouse
Colleen Williams
Discovery Player #1
Discovery Player #2



Adrianna Franch
Samantha Kerr
Carli Lloyd (USA)
Adriana Martin
Katherine Reynolds
Brittany Taylor
Abby Wambach (USA)
McCall Zerboni
Discovery Player #1


Amy Barczuk
Vicki DiMartino
Val Henderson (2013 Hold-over Rights)
Sarah Huffman
Selenia Iacchelli (CAN)
Estelle Johnson
Veronica Perez (MEX)
Angela Salem



Who should the Dash select in the expansion draft? Are you surprised by any of the teams’ decisions of who to leave exposed? What will the Dash do?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I think they will take Santiago from Kansas and then trade her with Portland for Acevedo. Portland needs a new back up keep. If Angerer really is coming to Portland, they won’t be keeping LeBlanc as a back up. She is too good to be a number 2. Even if the Angerer rumours aren’t true, Portland still needs a back up keeper.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if Portland trades Karina LeBlanc to Chicago for Melissa Tancredi.

  2. Never mind MP’s tweets, he’ll tweet anything. I would take Buehler, if only as a hostage. You also have to take O’Hara as the best player available.

  3. Breakers – Klingenberg
    Chicago – Masar
    FCKC – Farrelly (FCKC pulls Henninger?)
    Portland – Edwards (PTFC then pulls Shim), Washington (TX native)
    Seattle – Nogueira (SRFC pulls Deines)
    SBFC – O’Hara
    Spirit – Jones* (perhaps if not Henninger as backup GK)
    WNY – Estelle Johnson, (WNYF pulls Salem), Perez (Possible future trade with PTFC to get Houston Aces alum Acevedo)

    – Not sure picking both Buehler & O’Hara feasible since lots of good quality starters on respective clubs. If they can find other to build upon more power to them. But if I had to choose (personally go w/) KO who before injury showed flashes of the premier LB for the USWNT. And given age, upside, and potential marketability, I pick her over Buehler who has great veteran leadership is perhaps on the other side of upside. Love to hear your mock draft!

  4. Tough decisions here. MP tweeted Bueh wasn’t going anyway which affects my draft. Also Kling possibly not being available until mid-season slightly worries me.

    Boston- Kling

    Chicago- Ella Masar

    FCKC- Bianca Henninger

    Portland- Shim, Weimer

    Seattle- Mariah Nogueira, Moscato (Struggled last season but playing with national team keeper could help her)

    SB- O’hara

    Washington- Lindsay

    NY- Perez

  5. So is there no chance for Houston to get Alex Morgan in any way? Heard rumors about her wanting to be here with Dynamo boyfriend…. And some about her apartment shopping in Houston. If she comes I will definitely purchase season tickets.

    • No chance Portland’s going to trade Morgan but that is the conspiracy theory of why Houston wanted to join NWSL, that Morgan would want to play there with her fiancee also in Houston. Don’t let that stop you from getting those season tickets. Great soccer and good fun.

  6. Really surprised with the SkyBlue list

    My List
    Klingenberg Bos (US) LB
    Bock SB CM
    Johnson WNY CB
    Farrelly KC AM
    LaPeilbet Chi (US) CB
    Romero Sea (M) RB
    Lindsey Wash CM
    Lytle SB M/F
    Weimer Port F/M
    LeBlanc Port (C) GK

  7. My Draft list:

    E. Johnson

    Would love to know who the discovery players are!

      • The easy fix would be to substitute Klingenberg. I didn’t have any other Boston players.

        I bet the Dash are having a great time with this. I’d love to be in their war room right now.

      • Klingenberg-Engen familiarity from Tyresö would help. Probably should have picked Klingenberg from the beginning.

    • 5 for 10. I’ll take it. Definitely some surprises. Wonder what deal Lines got to protect all of his players. They had some great options.

  8. Some of these choices were unexpected for me, like all the gks being unprotected. I wonder if the teams unofficially knew about McLeod to Houston before the announcement or it was a gamble on their part.
    Kelley O’Hara definitely stands out. I don’t know if she wanted to be on that list ( I can’t believe SB would think they don’t need her) but for me Houston should definitely choose her.
    As for the 2nd US allocation, I’m excluding goalkeepers and Boxx and between the rest I’ll go with Cox. Buehler could also be it but I feel Houston can get 2 players from Portland and it’ll be better for them in the end. These could be Edwards and then either Shim or Weimer (depending who they protect after the first pick).
    That’s as far as I’ve gotten with my list, I’ll need to check the other players available for the rest.
    But what is important is that we know nothing about those discovery players – and there could be some big names there that could completely change the game.

      • Official definition from :
        What is a Discovery Player?
        A Discovery Player is considered a player who was not drafted in the College or Supplemental Draft, or a player who was “discovered” either domestically or internationally, who is not presently on an NWSL roster and whose rights are not owned by an NWSL team. Teams can also list a player who is currently on a roster for a European or other foreign club, knowing that they would likely not have access to the player until the completion of that foreign club’s league season.

        In other words, a team could claim any player fitting one of those categories as a discovery player, regardless of the player’s intention to play in the nwsl.
        For example, the Washington Spirit had the discovery rights to Kim Little (in essence they had claimed her as theirs while she was still playing in England) so Seattle had to trade with the Spirit to get her rights, they couldn’t sign her right away.
        If you take a look at the lists of protected/unprotected players for the expansion draft, you’ll see which teams have these discovery players, but not who they are. Obviously the Dash know their names and if they decide to pick one then we’ll know too. Otherwise we’re in the dark.

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