Connect with us


NWSL free agency by the numbers: How players utilized their newfound autonomy

Which teams attracted players and which teams lost talent in the NWSL’s first free-agency period? We break it all down

USA Today Sports Images

With preseason rosters being released by all 12 of the NWSL teams, it’s time to take a look back at how the NWSL’s first go at partial free agency went. Overall, there were 45 players eligible for free agency heading after the November 15th deadline for teams to announce the extending of new contracts, contract options that were extended, and players waived. 

Of the 45 players, 23 re-signed with the same team which they were playing with prior to entering free agency, and 12 players signed to new teams, meaning 76.8 percent of players did re-sign contracts in the NWSL for 2023. The player who made the biggest splash in free agency was Brazilian national Debinha who had played with North Carolina since 2017 but signed a contract with the Kansas City Current through 2024 with an option through 2025.

Of the remaining 10, one signed to the Australian W-League, one retired, seven players have yet to sign with any team (including the two players who gave birth in the last year, Julie Ertz and Kealia Watt), and one is a non-roster invitee (NRI) for a different team than they were playing with prior (Domi Richardson). 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is wkuafGpQWorC8R99CErUMoCB2CPjESJcgRIgthB7Tvgmv5OQ_8pVVGfsOE7e2D2eJOYdA553C8LUAR31C7YvW92FQiiLJd-Cu3Ke41hZz5-YVJPDfN4Hx7dxn8es3dwbpOCDVV0pVrBfV6Kr1as2ORo

Looking at the contracts signed for the 35 players who are still playing in the NWSL this year, there is an interesting trend comparing the contract length between players who switched teams and those who stayed. Two years and longer guaranteed contracts made up 65.7 percent of the contracts extended, with NJ/NY Gotham FC and North Carolina being the only teams to offer three years guaranteed.

Access the best women’s soccer coverage all year long
Start your FREE, 7-day trial of The Equalizer Extra for industry-leading reporting and insight on the USWNT, NWSL and beyond.

Your account


More in Analysis