Protected lists for the upcoming expansion draft for new NWSL club Racing Louisville were unveiled today. Current teams can protect 11 players in total, including a maximum of two American allocated players for whom they have NWSL rights, from selection. Louisville can select either one allocated player, or two non-allocated players, from each team.
The expansion draft will take place on Thursday, Nov. 12 starting at 4:00 PM PT and will be broadcast live on the NWSL Twitch channel. The Chicago Red Stars are protected from the draft after trading Yuki Nagasato, Savannah McCaskill, a 2020 and 2021 international slot, and the 5th overall pick in the 2021 draft to Louisville late last month. The eight other teams remain in the draft, meaning that Louisville could select up to 16 players.
OL Reign protected Bethany Balcer, Lauren Barnes, Amber Brooks, Jess Fishlock, Sofia Huerta, Darian Jenkins, Rose Lavelle, Allie Long, Kristen McNabb, Nicole Momiki and Leah Pruitt. Thirty current and former Reign players for whom the team still has NWSL rights were left available for selection, although that list includes a number of long-retired players including Abby Wambach.
OL Reign opted to leave Megan Rapinoe exposed while protecting Long and their NWSL rights to Lavelle, likely gambling that Rapinoe would be unappealing to the expansion side. Other notable US allocated players available in the draft include Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger (Orlando); Adrianna Franch, Tobin Heath and Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland); Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC); and Christen Press (Utah). Louisville can select a maximum of two US allocated players.
Should Rapinoe be selected by Louisville, OL Reign would not lose any other players and would also receive $75,000 in allocation money from the league as compensation. If any other players are selected, the Reign will receive no compensation.
The full list of current and former OL Reign players available for selection are as follows:
Current players and draft picks: Morgan Andrews, Julia Ashley, Michelle Betos, Meg Brandt (College Protected), Stephanie Cox, Shirley Cruz Trana (International), Machaela George, Madison Hammond, Sam Hiatt (College Protected), Kelcie Hedge, Celia Jimenez Delgado (International), Quinn (International), Megan Rapinoe (US Allocated), Taylor Smith, Jasmyne Spencer, Danielle Weatherholt, Rosie White (International)
Former Reign players for whom the Reign still control NWSL rights: Mariah Bullock, Steph Catley, Kiersten Dallstream, Schuyler DeBree, Adrienne Jordan, Alyssa Kleiner, Theresa Nielsen, Morgan Proffitt, Jodie Taylor, Rumi Utsugi, Abby Wambach, Lydia Williams, Beverly Yanez