A third Expansion Draft for the National Women’s Soccer League is set to take place on Thursday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
The draft acts as a way for Racing Louisville FC to build its roster with existing NWSL players. The Kentucky-based expansion side will be able to select a total of 18 players. However, they are only able to choose up to two players from each club and up to two United States federation players in all.
Additionally, each existing club has provided the league with a list of 11 protected players. These players are untouchable in terms of the draft, leaving all other players eligible for selection.
Selected players will join three others that Louisville acquired before the Expansion Draft. Savannah McCaskill and Yuki Nagasato were the first players signed by the club following a trade with Chicago Red Stars. Former Washington Spirit forward Cheyna Matthews soon followed via the NWSL Re-Entry Wire.
Because of the Chicago trade, Louisville will not be able to select any players from the Windy City in the draft. Yet, there are still plenty of quality players that are currently unprotected.
Building a team for 2021
Only two other NWSL teams have gone through the process of an Expansion Draft: Houston Dash (2014) and Orlando Pride (2015). While there may be lessons to learn from each of those drafts, Louisville will be eager to pave their own path.
“Over the last two months, we’ve taken a detailed approach to our analysis of rosters within the NWSL,” said Louisville head coach Christy Holly. Specifically, Holly has his eyes on players that can “represent [the club] and the city of Louisville.”
A successful inaugural season is immense. Getting off on the right foot can signal quicker success. And while no one can win a draft, it can definitely make things easier in the short run.
As witnessed during the NWSL Challenge Cup, anything can happen in this league. It’s critical that Louisville don’t fall behind before they get started.
But the fun doesn’t stop with the Expansion Draft. On Friday, November 13, the trade window will officially open. At that point, anything can happen in regards to player movement.
Be sure to tune in live to the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft on the NWSL’s official Twitch channel: twitch.tv/nwslofficial.