So NWSL now has allocation money for teams to play around with - up to $300,000 of it. There are some restrictions to how they can use it; it’s not for Canadian or US allocated players, and there’s a whole host of categories saying who is eligible (see below). But instead of idly dreaming of all the big name players we wish teams could lure to the league but knew they could never get (except whatever devilry Portland used to lure Amandine Henry), now we can dream of teams shooting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a money gun at a player and then boom, you’ve got Wendie Renard in an Orlando Pride jersey.
Who can be on this wish list? Well, the league says it has to be one of the following:
- NWSL Best XI or Second XI for either of the two most recent seasons (2019, 2018)
- International players who have more than three caps for their national team in the prior 24 months
- NWSL MVP, Golden Boot, Rookie of the Year or Defender of the Year winner for one of the two most recent seasons (2019, 2018)
- Domestic players who have completed at least five seasons in the NWSL
- Players who were formerly designated as allocated players by the U.S. or Canada (unless if the player refused the option to be allocated)
- Players previously on a contract that included allocation money
Teams can also trade allocation money, so $300k is not the hard cap on what teams can offer, if they really feel like they need to go after someone to the tune of $400k or more.
With that in mind, here are some of the most fun internationals on our Allocation Money Dream Wish List. These aren’t necessarily players who would actually come to NWSL, it’s just a fun way to spend a Friday when we’ve had a major news drop from the league.
Barbara Bonansea (Juventus, Italy)
Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyonnais, England)
Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-Germain, France)
Christiane Endler (Paris Saint-Germain, Chile)
Caroline Graham Hansen (Barcelona, Norway)
Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg, Denmark)
Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyonnais, France)
Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais, Japan)
Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona, Nigeria)
Eugenie Le Sommer (Olympique Lyonnais, France)
Kim Little (Arsenal, Scotland)
Lieke Martens (Barcelona, Netherlands)
Griedge Mbock Bathy (Olympique Lyonnais, France)
Vivienne Miedema (Arsenal, Netherlands)
Nikita Parris (Olympique Lyonnais, England)
Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais, France)
Khadija Shaw (Bordeaux, Jamaica)
Interestingly enough, you know who doesn’t qualify under these rules? The one and only Ada Hegerberg, who does not have the requisite three caps for Norway within the past 24 months - she began refusing call-ups from the national team starting around August 2017. If she were eligible, you could imagine a couple of teams whipping out spreadsheets and rosters and furiously calculating what it would take to get her to the US. Perhaps the rules will change again in 2021 to change eligibility for allocation money targets. As long as they’re shifting to make the league better and they’re within the capabilities of the owners, that’s not a bad thing.
Who would be your dream player to get in NWSL? Let us know in the comments!