NWSL announces 2021 extension draft rules

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The NWSL have announced rules for the 2021 expansion draft, which will see Angel City FC and the unnamed San Diego expansion team select nine players each as they put together rosters for their inaugural seasons of the year. next. Simultaneously, the league announced that each team will earn an additional international slot starting next season, for a total of five per team.

For this year’s expansion draft, each existing team can protect up to 9 players, including one player allocated by the USWNT. This is a decrease from the 2020 draft that stocked Racing Louisville, in which teams could protect 11 players and up to two players allocated by the USWNT. Kansas City are exempt from the draft under a deal they negotiated with the league when they joined and resumed the Utah Royals FC roster late last year.

The two California teams can only select one player from each team and have the option of taking an unprotected player allocated by the USWNT or retaining a league allocation grant of $ 150,000. If they select an allocated player, that player’s former team will receive the cash grant instead. In another interesting twist of this year’s rules, each team will assign their unprotected players to a group of positions (goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, striker) and can only lose one player from a group of positions. given.

Each of the nine existing eligible NWSL teams may lose up to two players. The only way for a team to lose less than this number is if one of the expansion teams chooses to pass a selection.

OL Reign currently has two players allocated by the USWNT, Rose Lavelle and Megan Rapinoe. The Reign opted to leave Rapinoe exposed in the 2020 Extension Draft; Louisville ultimately chose Michelle Betos and Julia Ashley. Teams must submit their list of protected and unprotected players to the league by Friday, December 10, and the draft will take place on Thursday, December 16.

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