Monday, January 06, 2014

NWSL Expansion Draft Friday

The NWSL will hold it's first expansion draft on Friday for the new Houston Dash franchise that will start play in the 2014 season. The team has already been allocated three players, but will able to pick up two more US internationals Friday. They can also pick up another Canadian and another Mexican international if they so choose.

For FC Kansas City, they will be able to protect nine players in the draft. All four playoff teams (Portland, Sky Blue, and Western NY) will be able to protect nine players. The four clubs that missed the playoffs (Boston, Chicago, Seattle, and Washington) will be able to protect 10 players. Teams can lose up to two players in the draft.

All teams must leave at least one of their allocated US internationals available for the draft. What that means is one of Nicole Barnhart, Lauren Holiday, Amy Rodriguez, and Becky Sauerbrunn will be left exposed in the draft. The good news is that if KC does lose one of these players, it's the only one they'll lose. If a team loses a US international, that's the only player they'll lose in the draft.

Teams are also required to protect on loan players from another league, non-allocated internationals and contractual agreement limiting movement between teams.  I'm not sure if any of KC's players fall into those categories. The closest may be Nikki Krzysik who is an American citizen and has represented the US at the youth level, but now represents Poland.

As for who KC will protect, I'm sure on a few of the players, they'll protect three of their US internationals, most likely Holiday and Rodriguez. Not sure which of Barnhart and Sauerbrunn will be the third though. Whichever isn't picked I expect could be on their way to Houston as you have the goalkeeper of the year and the defender of the year in the 2013 season available.

I also expect KC to protect both of their Canadian players, even if neither one comes back in the 2014 season. Desiree Scott and Lauren Sesselmann are too good to leave exposed even if they are leaving.

Up to five of the nine now I think the team protects their two fringe national team players as well in Leigh Ann Robinson and Erika Tymrak. With the eighth spot and the potential of Scott leaving, I make sure I protect Jen Buczkowski as well to keep some of KC's midfield bit. For the final spot, you either protect Krzysik if the league requires it, or you protect someone like Melissa Henderson, Sinead Farrelly, or Merritt Mathias. The protected list will come out on Wednesday, at which time we'll get a better idea of who the Blues could lose.

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