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NWSL announces process and procedures for Expansion Draft

The NWSL also announced each team can now have up to five international player slots for 2022.

Portland Thorns FC v North Carolina Courage

The NWSL announced today the processes and procedures for the 2021 NWSL Expansion Draft presented by Ally. The draft will take place on Thursday, Dec. 16. Angel City FC and San Diego NWSL will select up to nine players each from current NWSL clubs.

The league also announced that each team will have the option of including up to five international players slots on their roster in 2022. Teams were allowed up to four international players slots for the 2021 season.

Kansas City is exempt from having players selected in the Expansion Draft per an agreement when the club was established. The other nine teams will submit a list of protected and unprotected players to the NWSL which will be distributed to all clubs by Friday, Dec. 10 by 2:00 p.m. (Pacific). The lists will be released to the public shortly after.

Expansion Draft Rules

  • Teams can protect nine players. Of the nine players protected, each club can only protect one U.S. allocated player.
  • Players on a team’s Discovery List are not eligible for selection. Discovery List players do not need to be designated as protected or unprotected players.
  • Teams are required to inform the league of any player, protected or unprotected, that the team believes will be unavailable to play come Jan. 1, 2022, due to injury, retirement, loan, or for any other reason. This information will be disclosed to the expansion teams.
  • Angel City FC and San Diego NWSL can select one player from each team for a total of nine selections.
  • The expansion teams can’t select more than one U.S. allocated player.
  • Angel City and San Diego will each be given a $150,000 Funded Allocation Money grant. The teams may keep this or exchange it with a team if they select an unprotected U.S. allocated player.

Read the full process and procedures document here.