NWSL has released their list of allocated players in the league for 2017. 22 USWNT players are on the list this year. Portland has the most at five and the Spirit have the least, having no allocated players this season.
Boston Breakers: Rose Lavelle*
Chicago Red Stars: Julie (Johnston) Ertz, Alyssa Naeher, Christen Press, Casey Short*
Houston Dash: Morgan Brian, Carli Lloyd
FC Kansas City: Sydney Leroux, Amy Rodriguez, Becky Sauerbrunn
North Carolina Courage: Samantha Mewis, Lynn Williams*
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger, Alex Morgan
Portland Thorns FC: Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg, Allie Long*, Emily Sonnett
Seattle Reign FC: Megan Rapinoe
Sky Blue FC: Kelley O’Hara
Washington Spirit: None
* = New federation player in 2017
Allie Long is listed as “new” since she did not start 2016 as an allocated player, but she has been allocated since fall of last year.
Crystal Dunn is of course no longer on the list, as she has moved to the FAWSL on an 18-month contract with Chelsea. Though Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan are also currently with European teams, they have stated they will return to their NWSL clubs mid-season. Other spaces on the list have come about through retirements, like with Heather O’Reilly and Christie Rampone, or the WNT cutting ties with players like Whitney Engen and Hope Solo.
USSF is able to allocate up to 24 players each season per their agreement with the league, so there are theoretically two slots left here. Perhaps there are some final discussions ongoing, or USSF is holding on to two slots to offer to players later in the season, or they’re just being cheap. Allocation is generally a signal that a player is being brought more solidly into the WNT player pool, although there have been cases of players dipping their toes into the pool and then pretty much getting out, like Jaelene Hinkls.
With a new collective bargaining agreement in place, these allocations should be the first to fall under that new umbrella. The new CBA is supposed to encompass increased standards in NWSL and is supposed to be friendlier to players like Dunn who sign with teams abroad. Under the old CBA, WNT players were also arranged in tiers for NWSL payment, with top players making $56,000 in 2016 as part of their overall salary from the federation. Those tiers have all probably taken a bump up.
The 2017 NWSL season kicks off with opening weekend on Saturday, April 15.