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NWSL releases dispersal draft order

Let’s hope the players find spots for the 2018 season.

Stephanie Yang

Edited: The list of available contracted players has been added.

The NWSL has announced the order of the dispersal draft to take place tomorrow, January 30, at 4 PM ET. This follows on the news that the Breakers will cease operations, effective immediately, and will not participate in the 2018 NWSL season.

Draft order was determined by drawing of lots. Playoff teams from 2017 had their names entered once each and non-playoff teams had their names entered twice. After the order is determined, teams are allowed to trade draft picks. Draft order will go in a “snake” method, meaning 1-9 will pick, then 9-1. Teams may pass on selecting any players in the draft.

Here is the current pick order before trades:

  1. Sky Blue FC
  2. Washington Spirit
  3. Seattle Reign FC
  4. Portland Thorns FC
  5. Utah Royals FC
  6. Houston Dash
  7. Chicago Red Stars
  8. Orlando Pride
  9. North Carolina Courage

Breakers players who were under contract (including allocated players) or those who were drafted in 2018 will not count against salary cap or roster limit if selected by a team, and each team may add up to four players. Retired players to whom the team still holds the rights will count against the cap and roster limit. If a team picks an international contracted player and needs an extra international roster spot, they will receive that spot. Players may also opt out of the dispersal draft, although if they choose to do so they will not become eligible to return to the league until after the 2018 season.

There are several Breakers players who could make solid additions to a roster, among them the obvious choice in Rose Lavelle. But there’s also Megan Oyster, Abby Smith, Allysha Chapman, Adriana Leon, Morgan Andrews, Christen Westphal, Midge Purce, and the newly drafted Savannah McCaskill. It’s going to be harder for some of these players to land than others - Abby Smith is a clear #1 but teams seem settled on GK options - and there are also the players who aren’t obvious draft choices. Will they attempt to pull together a last-minute bid for a European or otherwise overseas team? Will some of them hop from open tryout to open tryout, or simply skip pro soccer for a year and hope to elbow their way into a 2019 roster? Or will we see a handful of retirements?

Here are the contracted, drafted, and retired players available for the draft. Note that “retired” players includes players who are obviously still actively playing, but have left the league.

Contracted Players

Addo, Elizabeth (INTL – GHA)

Andrews, Morgan

Chapman, Allysha (FED – CAN)

Dowd, Hayley

Dowie, Natasha (INTL – ENG)

Elby, Brooke

Frisbie, Amanda

King, Julie

Lavelle, Rose (FED – USA)

Leon, Adriana (INTL – CAN)

Okvist, Lotta (INTL – SWE)

Onomonu, Ifeoma

Oyster, Megan

Prudhomme, Sammy Jo

Purce, Margaret

Salem, Angela

Smith, Abby

Stengel, Katie

Weimer, Tiffany

Westphal, Christen

White, Rosie (INTL – NZL)

2018 College Draft Picks

Boyles, Joanna

McCaskill, Savannah

Miller, Ashton

Wenger, Elizabeth

Retired Players

DaCosta, Amanda

Elston, Lindsay

Engen, Whitney

Pathman, Mollie

Schillgard, Louise (INTL – SWE)

Simon, Kyah (INTL – AUS)

It’s obviously painful to see your team’s roster get picked over by the rest of the league, but at least we can hope that they all land somewhere on their feet.