Free agents in the National Women’s Soccer League could begin negotiating with teams on Sept. 22. They were free to re-sign with their existing team at any point after that, and they became eligible to sign with new teams on Nov. 20.
There is serious intrigue around this year’s free agency class, the NWSL’s second in history. United States internationals Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn, Rose Lavelle, Emily Sonnett and Mallory Swanson are among the unrestricted free agents who could sign anywhere in the NWSL’s new world of semi-autonomy — or anywhere in the world, for that matter.
Yet, three months after negotiations commenced and nearly a month after players became eligible to sign where they please, there have been few major announcements. What gives?
In short, the structure of the NWSL’s timeline, combined with its convoluted rules in an expansion year, created a situation that deterred teams from signing players before Friday’s expansion draft.
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