Deep breaths now. The National Women’s Soccer League today announced the list of players protected by the nine NWSL clubs in the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft. Every team was permitted to protect a total of 11 Players/U.S. Allocated Players, which may include up to two U.S. Allocated Players from the 2020 NWSL season. This secondary rule does not affect the Houston Dash, as they do not have any US allocated players. Racing Louisville FC will then select up to two players, or one U.S. Allocated Player, from each NWSL team, and a total of two U.S. Allocated Players in total from all teams.
Racing Louisville’s selections will be revealed at the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft on Thursday, November 12, 2020 which will be streamed live exclusively on the NWSL’s Twitch channel.
James Clarkson’s decision on protected players holds few surprises overall, but does differ from our projections. Utility midfielder Cece Kizer - currently on loan in Norway with Kolbton IL - has not made the list of 11 protected players as expected. Instead the guileful forward Veronica Latsko has been safeguarded by the Dash.
This is not a total surprise. The trio of Shea Groom, Sophie Schmidt and Kristie Mewis will all take precedent in the midfield, ahead of Kizer. In attack, Latsko has been prioritized as Rachel Daly’s deputy as well as a potential outlet on the wings. From this move one could assume that, for Clarkson, having a supporting role in the front line was more important than having options in the middle.
Here are the Houston Dash’s submitted player lists in full:
Allysha Chapman (CAN Allocated)
Rachel Daly (International)
Nichelle Prince (CAN Allocated)
Sophie Schmidt (CAN Allocated)
Additionally, the Dash retain the NWSL playing rights to the following players who are eligible for selection: Chloe Castaneda (College Protected), Taylor Comeau (Playing Rights), Nikki Cross (Playing Rights), Marissa Diggs (Playing Rights), Melissa Henderson (Playing Rights), Bianca Henninger (Playing Rights), and Savannah Jordan (Playing Rights).