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Who is protected and who isn’t in the 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft?

Seven of the league’s existing 12 teams received full roster protection leading up to the expansion draft

SOCCER: APR 22 NWSL NJ/NY Gotham FC vs North Carolina Courage
2024 NWSL Expansion Draft
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the 2024 National Women’s Soccer League Expansion Draft just days away, the league announcer today the protected players list of each team that did not receive full roster protection. Bay FC and the Utah Royals will get a chance to select available players to round out their rosters ahead of the 2024 season.

Earlier this year, the NWSL announced the asset selection order for Bay FC and Utah Royals FC ahead of the expansion draft. As a result of that process, Bay FC received the first pick in the expansion draft.

The full 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft, presented by Ally, rules and procedures document is available here.

Who is getting protection, and why?

A multitude of transactions, many of which were announced on Tuesday, have given several clubs protection from one or both expansion sides. However, a club is still at risk of losing up to two players even if the club gained protection from one of the expansion sides. Per the NWSL’s rules this season, a team can lose up to two players which can be selected by either expansion team.

Below is a summary of the transactions that have given teams full or partial protection:

  1. Angel City FC acquired full expansion protection in a pair of trades, sending forward Scarlett Camberos to Bay FC in exchange for expansion protection and $50,000 in allocation money and receiving expansion protection from Utah Royals FC in exchange for $100,000 in allocation money and a 2024 international roster spot.
  2. The Houston Dash traded midfielder Joelle Anderson and $25,000 in allocation money to Bay FC and sent forward Cameron Tucker and $50,000 in allocation money to the Royals, securing full expansion protection.
  3. The Kansas City Current acquired $175,000 in allocation money and 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft protection from Bay FC in exchange for defender Alex Loera and sent defender Kate Del Fava and its natural first round pick (No. 4 overall) in the 2024 NWSL Draft to Utah for expansion protection and $75,000 in allocation money.
  4. NJ/NY Gotham FC acquired expansion protection and $150,000 in allocation money from Utah in exchange for goalkeeper Mandy Haught and completed a three-team trade that sent midfielder Ellie Jean to Bay FC for expansion protection.
  5. The North Carolina Courage received expansion protection from Utah Royals FC and $30,000 in allocation money in exchange for midfielders Emily Gray and Frankie Tagliaferri.
  6. The Orlando Pride secured full expansion protection in a pair of trades with Bay FC and Utah Royals FC. The club received expansion protection and $50,000 in allocation money from Bay FC in exchange for the club’s natural first-round pick (No. 8 overall) in the 2024 NWSL Draft and sent midfielder Mikayla Cluff and the No. 26 overall pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft to Utah for expansion protection and $90,000 in allocation money.
  7. Portland Thorns FC secured full expansion protection by trading defender Emily Menges to Bay FC in exchange for protection and $75,000 in allocation money and sending forward Hannah Betfort, $10,000 in allocation money and the No. 33 overall pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft to the Royals in exchange for protection.
  8. Racing Louisville FC acquired 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft protection from Bay FC and a 2024 NWSL Draft natural second round pick (No. 15 overall) in exchange for the club’s 2024 NWSL Draft natural third round pick (No. 34 overall) and $235,000 in Alternative Allocation Money.
  9. San Diego Wave FC received $60,000 in allocation money and 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft protection from the Royals in exchange for defender Kaleigh Riehl.
  10. The Washington Spirit acquired expansion protection from Utah Royals FC in exchange for the No. 20 and No. 21 overall picks in the 2024 NWSL Draft and secured full protection after trading defender Dorian Bailey to Bay FC.

Teams with full protection

Angel City FC, Houston Dash, Kansas City Current, NJ/NY Gotham FC, Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns FC, and Washington Spirit have all received full roster protection.

These teams will not be at risk of losing any players in the Expansion Draft and were not required to submit protected player lists as a result.

Teams without full protection

An incumbent team may lose no more than two unprotected players throughout the expansion draft. The protected/unprotected player lists are as follows:

CHICAGO RED STARS

Protected Players

Julia Bianchi (International – Brazil)

Ava Cook

Penelope Hocking

Taylor Malham

Tatumn Milazzo

Alyssa Naeher

Cari Roccaro

Ally Schlegel

Arin Wright

Unprotected Players

Jill Aguilera

Jenna Bike

Brooke Elby (Playing Rights)

Sami Feller

Samantha Fisher

Zoey Goralski (Playing Rights)

Sarah Griffith

Sophie Jones

Amanda Kowalski

Karina LeBlanc (Playing Rights)

Stephanie McCaffrey (Playing Rights)

Addie McCain

Zoe Morse (Playing Rights)

Sarah Woldmoe (Playing Rights)

Mackenzie Wood

Grace Yochum (College Protected Player)

NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE

Protected Players

Malia Berkely

Sydney Collins

Kerolin (International – Brazil)

Riley Jackson

Kaleigh Kurtz

Manaka Matsukubo (International – Japan)

Narumi Miura (International – Japan)

Casey Murphy

Denise O’Sullivan

Ryan Williams

Unprotected Players

Tess Boade

Marisa Bova

Mille Gejl (International – Denmark)

Hensley Hancuff

Haley Hopkins

Estelle Johnson

Rikako Kobayashi (International – Japan)

Tyler Lussi

Rikke Madsen (Playing Rights)

Fuka Nagano (Playing Rights)

Victoria Pickett

Brianna Pinto

Clara Robbins

Katelyn Rowland

Meredith Speck

Olivia Wingate

OL REIGN

Protected Players

Bethany Balcer

Alana Cook

Claudia Dickey

Sofia Huerta

Jordyn Huitema (International – Canada)

Veronica Latsko

Phoebe McClernon

Quinn

Olivia Van der Jagt

Unprotected Players

Olivia Athens

Lauren Barnes

Elyse Bennett

Ryanne Brown

Jess Fishlock

Samantha Hiatt

Shae Holmes

Laurel Ivory

Jimena López (International – Mexico)

Luany (International – Brazil)

Alyssa Malonson

Maia Pérez

Morgan Proffitt (Playing Rights)

Abby Wambach (Playing Rights)

RACING LOUISVILLE FC

Protected Players

Ary Borges (International - Brazil)

Kirsten Davis

Savannah DeMelo

Abby Erceg

Jaelin Howell

Katie Lund

Lauren Milliet

Carson Pickett

Elli Pikkujämsä (International – Finland)

Unprotected Players

Jordan Baggett

Hillary Beall

Jordyn Bloomer

Kayla Fischer

Parker Goins

Uchenna Kanu (International – Nigeria)

Alanna Kennedy (Playing Rights)

Thembi Kgatlana (International – South Africa)

Julia Lester

Paige Monaghan

Maddie Pokorny

Olivia Sekany

Wang Shuang

SAN DIEGO WAVE FC

Protected Players

Amirah Ali

Danielle Colaprico

Abby Dahlkemper

Naomi Girma

Taylor Kornieck

Kristen McNabb

Alex Morgan

Jaedyn Shaw

Kailen Sheridan

Unprotected Players

Belle Briede

Lauren Brzykcy

Kyra Carusa

Giovanna DeMarco

Meggie Dougherty Howard

Sierra Enge

Rachel Hill

Sofia Jakobsson (International – Sweden)

Carly Telford (Playing Rights)

Kelsey Turnbow

Shae Yanez

Where to watch

The 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft, presented by Ally, will air live on CBS Sports Network with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The “Attacking Third” women’s soccer show will also provide additional coverage and analysis during the week of the expansion draft, including an hour-long recap following the Expansion Draft at 8 p.m. ET, on CBS Sports Golazo Network and across @AttackingThird social accounts.