NWSL clubs released roster information today, listing who they exercised contract options on, who got offered new contracts, and who was released. Press releases from each club also noted which players “remain on the club’s roster as Federation players,” aka who remains allocated by the federation.
A reminder: as part of the partnership between US Soccer and NWSL, USSF pays the salaries of 24 federation players who are in NWSL, which relieves some of the financial burden on the clubs and allows them to keep high-level talent in an American league with a salary cap of $278,000 for a 20-player roster, when many WNT players would be seeking fat paychecks overseas.
According to the clubs, here are the players who remain allocated by the federation:
Julie Johnston, Chicago Red Stars
Alyssa Naeher, Chicago Red Stars
Christen Press, Chicago Red Stars
Amy Rodriguez, FC Kansas City
Sydney Leroux, FC Kansas City
Becky Sauerbrunn, FC Kansas City
Morgan Brian, Houston Dash
Carli Lloyd, Houston Dash
Ashlyn Harris, Orlando Pride
Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride
Tobin Heath, Portland Thorns
Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns
Allie Long, Portland Thorns
Meghan Klingenberg, Portland Thorns
Emily Sonnett, Portland Thorns
Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign
Kelley O’Hara, Sky Blue FC
Christie Rampone, Sky Blue FC
Ali Krieger, Washington Spirit
Crystal Dunn, Washington Spirit
Samantha Mewis, Western New York Flash
There are supposed to be 24 players on the allocated list; the players dropped from 2016 allocations are Heather O’Reilly, Hope Solo, Jaelene Hinkle, and Whitney Engen. Solo and Engen both had their contracts terminated by USSF for different reasons and Hinkle basically had a cup of coffee with the team before Ellis went in a different direction. And as we all know and lamented, Heather O’Reilly retired from the WNT this year.
Allie Long has been added, leaving three spots open for now. Allocations may change before the 2017 season starts.
Of note, Christie Rampone remains on the list, despite taking herself out of contention for USWNT camp this past summer and being expected to officially retire soon from international play. Sydney Leroux and Amy Rodriguez also remain on the list despite being out of action this season since both took leave after becoming pregnant; pregnancy can’t be used to removed someone’s allocation status.
With Jill Ellis bringing in so many new players into camp and finally looking like she’s going to truly plumb the depths of what NWSL has to offer, that allocation list should be gaining some names familiar to NWSL fans. Depending on how upcoming friendlies go, some contenders for those spots include Danielle Colaprico from the Red Stars and Lynn Williams from the WNY Flash. It would probably be good to get at least one more allocated goalkeeper in there too.
As always, the NWSL offseason is an interesting time, and this allocation list is only the beginning. Stay tuned for more hijinks.