It remains to be seen if they can be lured back to the United States for 2021, but U.S. Women’s National Team stars Tobin Heath and Christen Press could be the stars of the show in Racing Louisville’s inaugural NWSL season after having their playing rights selected in Thursday’s expansion draft.
Both are currently getting steady minutes for Manchester United in the FA Women’s Super League, but their futures are not spoken for beyond the season’s end in February.
However exciting, the selections are a gamble. Both the Portland Thorns and Utah Royals, where Press and Heath’s rights were previously held, could not be selected from again since they are under USWNT allocation.
Meaning Louisville forfeited rounds 17 and 18 after tapping each of the remaining teams in the league twice, and Chicago Red Stars exempt from selection.
Louisville head coach Christy Holly also went after more NWSL talent currently featuring overseas, selecting Allana Kennedy and Caitlin Foord, who are with Tottenham and Arsenal respectively, also in WSL play
As the 2021 season draws closer, Holly can now begin crafting a starting XI. Thursday’s selections make up the bulk of the new roster, which previously only featured former Chicago Red Stars Yuki Nagasato, Savannah McCaskill, along with Jamaican International and former Washington Spirit forward Cheyna Matthews.
Here is a closer look at Racing Louisville’s Expansion Picks by round:
1. Addisyn Merrick, Defender, North Carolina Courage
2. Julia Ashley, Defender, OL Reign
3. Jennifer Cudjoe, Midfielder, Sky Blue FC
4. Cece Kizer, Forward, Houston Dash
5. Katie Lund, Goalkeeper, Washington Spirit
6. Allana Kennedy (rights), Defender/Midfielder, Orlando Pride – Currently at Tottenham Hotspur.
7. Lauren Milliet, Midfielder, North Carolina Courage
8. Kaleigh Riehl, Defender, Sky Blue FC
9. Caitlin Foord (rights), Midfielder, Oralndo Pride – Currently at Arsenal
10. Katie McClure, Forward, Washington Spirit
11. Erin Simon, Defender, Houston Dash
12. Michelle Betos, Goalkeeper, OL Reign
13. Tobin Heath (rights), Forward, Portland Thorns – Currently at Manchester United
14. Christen Press (rights), Forward, Utah Royals – Currently at Manchester United