Winters signs two-year Seattle deal as non-subsidized player

The Equalizer Staff October 24, 2013 28

Keelin Winters will be back in Seattle, just not as an allocated player. She signed a two-year deal as a free agent. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

Keelin Winters will be staying in Seattle, just not as an allocated U.S. women’s national team player.

Winters has signed a new two-year contract with Seattle Reign FC as a free agent after being informed her salary would not be subsidized by U.S. Soccer this season, as it was in 2013. Winters became a free agent and renegotiated with the Reign to stay in Seattle. She had one goal and one assist in 21 games last season, starting 19.

Winters was sent to Seattle from Chicago before the 2013 season began in the big preseason trade early in NWSL history. Chicago was to be owed an allocated player from Seattle by the end of September, but The Equalizer’s Dan Lauletta confirmed that Chicago will be granted an extra subsidized U.S. player for 2014, with no further repercussions to Seattle’s roster.

“We are thrilled to be able to keep Keelin in Seattle,” Reign coach and GM Laura Harvey said. “We made the deal with Chicago believing this opportunity would arise, so we are quite pleased that it has come to fruition. “With Keelin, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe, Amy Rodriguez Steph Cox and Jess Fishlock now secured, we feel we are in excellent position to see much improved results next season.”

Rodriguez remains on the Reign roster and intends to play in 2014, having given birth in August. She is back to training and will be in Tom Sermanni’s U.S. national team camp in December for evaluation. Whether or not she is a subsidized player next year remains to be seen.

  • newsouth

    I’m not a Winters fan but at least she played the whole season. And I thought the allocations were for two years. So does this mean they don’t allocate Pinoe and Heath? There are two wasted contracts vs giving them to two full time players. USSoccer needs to get its’ act together.

    • Mirror

      We all saw the impact both Tobin and Pinoe had on their teams this past season. Another view might see it unfair to allow them to return and not be considered allocated players.

    • clioamare

      Oh who knows with USSF… I thought the allocations were for two years too. Anyone know about Lindsey and if she’ll keep her “allocated” status in DC? Mewis, for example, got her status promoted to “allocated” status in middle of the season.

      • D23

        There is a serious lack of transparency about the workings of the league. In my opinion, it does not bode well. If I am perhaps interested in, for example, making an investment with a club or perhaps creating a new club, I would have no idea how any of this works. Yes, I am sure there are internal conversations, but I would be seriously concerned about the lack of control I would have over who played for me, how long for, and when. Will I lose a subsidy for that player? Will I get a new player? What if they don’t play in the position of the other player? What if I develop my players and I suddenly have 4, 5 maybe even 6 possible NT-ers. What about when I am thinking about how my team might look 2 or 3 seasons from now? I can’t simply just negotiate with some players because there is the issue of USSF and whether they choose to fund them clouding the conversation. It seriously limits the autonomy of clubs (let alone the players) and their ability to plan long-term and could be solved by simply shifting the funding from player based to club based. And all allocated players are simply not equal – giving the same number of allocated players to clubs looks like parity but is in fact far from it. Giving the same money to clubs whilst keeping a salary cap, and letting the market work out value for players, I think, could actually ensure greater parity.

        • clioamare

          Hear hear! My biggest gripe is lack of transparency and trust.

        • clioamare

          It feels like a confusing game of chess. 🙂

        • kernel_thai

          Absolutely. Im not sure how the owners even deal with it. The latest example is Boston not knowing if they have to keep Kyah Simon on the 20 player roster. But hey, the league is looking into it.

          • Rdalford

            I think the Boston situation is “at league discretion” which is in line with the “2013 roster rules” listed on the NWSL web site. Boston currently has 2 players (D’Agostino and Simon) on disabled list due to ACL. No roster relief for 1 on disabled list. League discretion for relief when 2 are on the disabled list.
            FYI Boston’s first round draft pick – defender Casey Short – is also out with ACL injury suffered playing for US U-23 but the injury occurred after draft but before she signed a contract with the team. So she does not count against roster.
            My point is – we may not like the rules – and the rules may be written with significant gaps – and they (USSF and owners and other federations) have not yet published rules for 2014 – but current situations do appear to be in line with the roster rules as posted on NWSL site.

          • kernel_thai

            Both Short and D’Agostino should be available wouldnt u think? Im not even sure D’Agostino required surgery. Hopefully they r both ready by March. The NWSL didnt say Simon was at league discretion, they said they werent sure because she was injured in an international. Cant imagine how where it happens matters. If this is about whose insurance covers it determining whether Boston loses a roster spot, that’s a bit bizarre.

        • Eric Bauer

          Your thoughts mirror many other people’s. I wrote a while back about some possible options for how the league could run with more parity and logic, but the bottom line is that something should happen. I question at times whether USSF is even considering any of these issues as problems. More transparency would really be nice for the league. A potential investor could probably find out much more (maybe?), but fans also would like to have more knowledge of the goings-on inside the league. I know it would be more enjoyable for many of us to know exactly where things stand, whether good or bad. By the way, kudos on using “whilst” in a sentence!

        • Steglitz49

          Given that there have been two expensive failures in running women’s pro-soccer in USA, a new approach was needed. Also, those failures led to the US losing its preeminence in women’s soccer, which now runs on a EU-Asia axis what with the Champions League and the MobCast Cup.

          The NWSL is a giant training camp for the USWNT to help them win WC-15. Everything about the NWSL today is subordinate to attaining that goal. This is a sound short-term strategy, because if the USWNT fails to reach the WC final, the curtains falls again on women’s pro-soccer in the US.

          I am all in favor of the salary cap though there is a strong argument for raising it. Young American ladies will soon figure out how low the chances are to be selected for the NT, and then the flood gates to go abroad will open. The best jobs overseas will go to the best players coming out of college. It has already happened but it will accelerate.

          More transparency is required, but we may have to wait till after 2015.

          • kernel_thai

            But I dont see a lot of big money jobs abroad either. Sure there r a handful of clubs in the financial position to over pay star players but how many spots does that open up? Much of the US talent overseas went after the WPS folded. If the WPS were still going strong, most of the US talent going overseas would be secondary players. Now with the NWSL having a tight budget, u may see some established player do as Rapinoe and Heath did, but I dont see the floodgates opening unless a lot more European clubs start throwing the Euros around.

          • Sinoya

            You do not understand. If Pinoe plays in Lyon, this is really not for the money.
            in Lyon, she plays in the best team in the world, with one of the best coaches. It plays against teams like postdam, Wolfsburg, malmo, INAC Kobe, Frankfurt. Your system may be fair, but your club team would have no chance in Europe, even if you have the best players in your national team. She discovers another football, more technical, less physical. It is also beneficial for your national team.

          • And what exactly kind of magic would Lyon pull against WNY who has some of the best attackers on the planet and the future USWNT starting goalie along with a underrated back line and probably the most under appreciated women’s coach on the entire planet?

            Rochester is quite happy to make fools of teams who think they are something special because they play in a more premier league. We did it throughout the late 90s while even providing the biggest blow competition would allow, and I’m positive Aaron Lines would be quite happy to have his team step up to the plate against Lyon.

          • Steglitz49

            Each year ca 1700 young ladies come off the NCAA assembly line. The NWSL draft picks up 32 of them. If only 3% of the rest want to continue playing, that is 50 young ladies right there.

            Becky Moros and Bev Goebel are having a whale of a time in Japan. Whitney Engen just helped Liverpool Ladies win the FAWSL and Amber Brooks is in Munich. As you type, few players will earn top dollar but many European and Asian teams can stretch to $30k + an apt + use of a small car, some to $40k and a few even to $50k. That, and experiencing a different country and culture are pretty juicy carrots.

            If nothing else, you embellish your resumée with a couple of years abroad, not least if you make the effort to learn the local lingo as Marta did in Sweden and Lotta in France.

            Finally, as Sinoya explains, there are other fringe benefits also.

      • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

        I don’t know where the idea that allocation was for two years came from. Herdman intimated in an interview in June that a player’s allocated spot is up for review and renewal after each season(

    • kernel_thai

      One year and an option with the USSF didnt exercise.

  • FLwino

    Wow, Chicago, after finishing the season pretty strong, now have 2 of the top 3 college picks (Vanessa DiBernardo and Julie Johnston?) and are likely going to be allocated one of the USWNTer’s coming back form Europe, very possibly Christian Press (or Engen or Averbuch). That sounds like a dangerous team next year.

    • Steglitz49

      More power to Chicago’s elbow! We can cope without Seattle but we must hold DC and Chicago.

      • kdm


        “We can cope without Seattle”?! I usually don’t mind you Steg but this is probably the most ridiculous statement you have made on this site, and you’ve posted a few truly questionable ones.

        • Steglitz49

          What is odd with it? Chicago with KC is a team between the West and East coast teams. It also has a huge population. In the fulness of time there ought to be two teams in Chicago.

          As for DC, it is with KC a team towards the south. It is also in the nation’s capital, a display-window to the decision makers of this country.

          These locations are not optional. They are required.

          Seattle have demonstrated loud and clear how little they cared for women’s soccer while the DC fans were loyal.

          • kdm

            Then it’s a good thing you don’t run the NWSL.

          • Steglitz49

            Loyalty must be rewarded and the DC fans were loyal. They deserve two top notch players.

  • kernel_thai

    I guess the big news here is if a player is dropped from allocated status they become a free agent. The rub I guess is because she was allocated at the start she never signed any sort of contract with Chicago. Mewis is a different case. She has a contract will KC and her subsidized money is the difference between what KC pays her and what the leagues pays its USWNT players. I guess if Mewis was dropped from allocation she would still belong to KC and just get what she originally signed for.

    This does open a can of worms. There r certainly other subsidized players from last year who may or may not be paid by USSF this year. If they become free agents as well the clubs need to know sooner than later as they plan their rosters for next season.

    • Rufan

      I was told a few years ago by a WNT parent that WNT contracts were annual. I was also told that the players had be told a specific time before the end of the year if their contact would be renewed, so I suspect that the players know at this time. Winters did not play on the WNT team this year so it makes sense she would not have a contract renewal. Lindsey must be in the same situation. It makes sense that if a player loses her contract and thus allocation, she would be a free agent as the article states.

      Does the club have first rights to the player to sign her, at the prevailing salary for a free agent of her caliber, is a question.

      • kernel_thai

        The part that has me confused is this. Like u I understood USSF contracts were one year deals but I was also led to believe by comments from the league that NWSL contracts were one year plus an option, were with the league as opposed to teams and that subsidized players signed both a USSF contract and an NWSL contract. If all that is true I would think Winters was still in the option year of her NWSL contract regardless of what happened with her USSF contract. U almost need to be a lawyer to be more than a casual fan of this league. My theory is that in order to get Seattle out of paying the $30k that USSF paid her for NWSL duty, the league needed to void the contract and make her a free agent. Im sure FIFA has rules about such things.

        • Rufan

          This is part of the lack of transparency about the league contracts- length, options, etc. No need to tell salaries, we know that they are “low”.
          The article states “Winters became a free agent and renegotiated with the Reign…” Are the WNT players’ contracts with the league only one year (renewable if still allocated) thus she became a free agent when dropped from the WNT, or did Seattle waived the option year but renegotiated a new contract at the lower rate for a “free agent”.

          Maybe we should not worry how its done, but just that a dropped WNT player becomes a “free agent” for the purpose of the league.

          • kernel_thai

            I still havent a clue how the Heath and Rapinoe deals work.