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NWSL Expansion Draft rules closely mirror 2014

Tom Sermanni will be able to select up to 10 players from the NWSL Expansion Draft. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer.)

Tom Sermanni will be able to select up to 10 players from the NWSL Expansion Draft. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer.)

The 2015 NWSL Expansion Draft rules for the Orlando Pride — the league’s 10th team — will closely mirror the rules used ahead of the 2014 season for the Houston Dash’s draft.

Teams which made the playoffs this season will be able to protect nine players each from their current rosters, while non-playoff teams will each be allowed to protect 10 players. Orlando will be able to select up to 10 players from the grand list of unprotected players across the league. That list will be released on Monday at 1 p.m. ET, with the NWSL Expansion Draft to take place on Nov. 2.

Each team may protect up to two United States allocated players. Any additional U.S. allocated players on a team’s roster must be left unprotected. The Pride will be allowed to select no more than two U.S. allocated players. According to sources and as previously reported, those two U.S. players are already known: Meghan Klingenberg and Ashlyn Harris.

Klingenberg is part of the complicated trade which will send Alex Morgan from Portland to Orlando in the biggest NWSL trade in history. Harris is expected to be one of the team’s cornerstone players, along with Morgan. Harris is from Sattelite Beach, Fla., about an hour from Orlando. The Washington Spirit are expected to leave her unprotected in the draft. Klingenberg will be left unprotected by Seattle Reign FC after being traded from the Houston Dash.

[KASSOUF: Making sense of the Alex Morgan-to-Orlando trade]

Orlando cannot select more than two players from any team. If the Pride take a U.S. player from a team, they cannot take any more players from that team. If Orlando takes a player from a club who is not a U.S. allocated player, that club which was poached from can protect an additional player.

The full set of rules, via the NWSL: 

The nine (9) returning NWSL teams will be allowed to protect up to the following number of players:

  • Ten (10) players for non-playoff clubs (Boston Breakers, Houston Dash, Portland Thorns FC, Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash)
  • Nine (9) Players for playoff clubs (Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Seattle Reign FC and Washington Spirit)

All eligible players for the Expansion Draft include:

  • Any current NWSL players including U.S., Mexican and Canadian allocated players
  • Any player claimed via waivers but is unsigned
  • Any player that has been loaned to a club outside the NWSL
  • Any player who has her rights to play in the NWSL controlled by a specific team

However, players on a team’s Discovery List are not eligible to be selected.

Expansion Draft Process:

  • For each Round, Orlando will have 3 minutes to make its selection.
  • After the selection is made, the League will verify the eligibility of the selection, confirm that the selection is approved, and publicly announce the selection.
  • After Orlando makes a selection, the Team from which the selection was made will have three (3) minutes in which to designate one of their Unprotected Players as a Protected Player, except when the Player selected is a U.S. Allocated Player.
  • Orlando may call up to three 5-minute time-outs during the Expansion Draft.
  • Each Team may call up to one (1) 5-minute time-out during the Expansion Draft.

The League may call a time-out of any length at any time.


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