If you didn't notice the serious looks on the faces of Chris Canetti, Brian Ching, and Randy Waldrum, you might be forgiven for not realizing that they were taking an important step in getting the new Houston Dash ready for the upcoming NWSL season. Connected to the other clubs and the league office via conference call, the Dash took part in the NWSL expansion draft this morning, in which they selected ten players that had been left unprotected by the other eight NWSL clubs.
As a representative for Dynamo Theory, I had the chance to sit in the "war room" with the Dash front office (as well as a number of fans who had been selected for the honor), and while I can't relate everything that happened, I can convey a sense of everything. As you might have guessed, between the brain trust of Randy Waldrum and consultant Tony DiCicco, there was a solid plan in place, even before they knew who would be left unprotected.
Coach Waldrum has made it clear that he doesn't want to sit back and defend. He said that if he could have one thing plastered in the Dash locker room, it would be the word "attack". He has a scheme and strategy planned, and the Dash hoped to use the expansion draft to put together a core of players who could carry them out. They would be a little constrained by talent - most clubs were loath to put their biggest talents on the board (remember Ching to Montreal?) - but when all was said and done, the front office felt they had gotten the best group possible, as far as they were concerned.
It was a relatively simple process: the Dash would pick a player, at which point, the club they were selected from would have a chance to place one more of their players on the protected list. The Dash were only allowed to select two players from each club, and if that first player was an American national team player, they were not allowed to selected another from them. The Dash selected their ten players from seven different clubs (only the Western New York Flash were untouched), so there were three clubs that lost two players.
|1.||Brittany Bock||Midfielder||Sky Blue FC|
|2.||Tiffany McCarty||Forward||Washington Spirit|
|3.||Lauren Sesselmann||Defender||FC Kansas City|
|4.||Meleana Shim||Midfielder||Portland Thorns FC|
|5.||Ella Masar||Forward||Chicago Red Stars|
|6.||Meghan Klingenberg||Defender||Boston Breakers|
|7.||Arianna Romero||Defender||Seattle Reign FC|
|8.||Becky Edwards||Midfielder||Portland Thorns FC|
|9.||Danesha Adams||Forward||Sky Blue FC|
|10.||Kika Toulouse||Defender||Washington Spirit|
With this draft behind us, the focus for the Dash front office turns to the NWSL College Draft next Friday, January 17. They have thirteen players currently, but Waldrum has indicated that between the draft, tryouts to be held in February, and other signings, they're looking to get the roster to 20 before the season starts in April. He's promised to make the Dash interesting and exciting, and this should be a big step in that direction.
So, does this draft make you more likely to go out and support the Dash at BBVA Compass Stadium? Does it spark your interest in the club at all? Do you like it, or is it something you want to pretend didn't happen? Let us know.