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2024 NWSL Expansion Draft explained: What just happened and why?

Seven players total were selected by Utah Royals and Bay FC. Little went as expected.

(Photo Copyright Bay FC)

Hopefully, Friday night never happens again. The 2024 National Women’s Soccer League Expansion Draft was proof positive that the mechanism is antiquated. We knew that two years ago, but somehow, we came back to the well.

Moving on from a point we made here earlier this week and two years ago, let’s look at how and why things played out the way they did on Friday.

The picks

Utah Royals select: Forward Elyse Bennett from OL Reign, forward Paige Monaghan from Racing Louisville FC

Bay FC selects: Defender Alyssa Malonson from OL Reign, forward Tess Boade from the North Carolina Courage, winger Rachel Hill from the San Diego Wave, goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland from the Courage, midfielder Sierra Enge from the Wave

These picks were made in addition to five passes on selections between the two teams.

Bay surprises with first pick

OL Reign was a natural target for Bay FC with the first pick. The Reign have a deep roster and just made it to the NWSL Championship last month. Forward Elyse Bennett and defender Sam Hiatt looked like natural first picks for Bay FC on talent.

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