Portland Thorns FC announced today the club’s list of protected and unprotected players for the upcoming 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft. The draft will take place on December 16 as Angel City and San Diego enter the NWSL. The draft’s processes and procedures can be found here.
Each NWSL team can protect nine players, only one of which can be a U.S. allocated player. Multiple teams have traded for expansion immunity from one or two of the incoming teams. The Thorns have draft immunity from Angel City but not from San Diego Wave FC.
The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf reported earlier in the day that the Thorns have an agreement to protect the “core” of their roster from San Diego but the deal can’t be executed until the trade window re-opens next Friday. Kassouf reported that the Thorns are confident none of their players will be selected in the Expansion Draft and Wave FC will receive predetermined players in a deal that is still to be finalized. Kassouf updated his report saying that the two players who may be traded to San Diego are Christen Westphal and Amirah Ali’s NWSL playing rights.
The NWSL Expansion Draft protected lists for all teams needed to be sent to the league today at 9 a.m. PST. The protected and unprotected lists were then distributed to all teams at 2 pm PST.
Protected Players: Bella Bixby, Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Natalia Kuikka (International - FIN), Emily Menges, Olivia Moultrie, Raquel Rodriguez (International – CRC), Sophia Smith (U.S. Federation Player) and Morgan Weaver.
Unprotected Players: Ali Amirah (College Protected Player), Nadine Angerer (Playing Rights), Hannah Betfort, Celeste Boureille, Samantha Coffey (College Protected Player), Marian Dougherty (Playing Rights), Britt Eckerstrom (Playing Rights), Marissa Everett, Shelby Hogan, Kelli Hubly, Meghan Klingenberg, Andressa Machry (Playing Rights), Nikki Marshall (Playing Rights), Meagan Morris (Playing Rights), Meaghan Nally, Madison Pogarch, Hayley Raso (Playing Rights), Katherine Reynolds (Playing Rights), Yazmeen Ryan, Angela Salem, Becky Sauerbrunn, Christine Sinclair, Abby Smith, Katarina Tarr (Playing Rights), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Playing Rights), Christen Westphal and Sandra Yu (Playing Rights).
The full release can be accessed here.