NWSL Expansion Draft time, TV, streaming, order, player list, rules for Angel City, Wave FC

Already pegged by many as the top women’s professional soccer league in the world, the NWSL has gained considerable popularity over the past calendar year, and with the league enjoying the spotlight, this week should get the juices flowing further.

The NWSL Draft takes place Saturday, but first up is the NWSL Expansion Draft which will set the baseline foundation for two new expansion teams. San Diego Wave FC and Angel City FC will join the league in 2022, and their rosters will be built partially through this expansion draft process.

Angel City FC won the top pick on a coin flip, so they are on the clock first.

NWSL Expansion Draft picks

How to watch the NWSL Expansion Draft

The NWSL Expansion Draft will be available on a number of platforms, including on TV through CBS Sports Network, which is available to stream on fuboTV, available to new users on a free 7-day trial.

Streams will also be available on CBS platform Paramount+, CBS Sports HQ, Twitch (CBS Sports HQ channel) and YouTube (CBS Sports HQ and NWSL channels).

How the NWSL Expansion Draft works

The official draft guidelines provide each of the two expansion teams up to a maximum of nine selections, though either team can also decide to pass on a selection.

The existing NWSL clubs were able to protect nine of their players prior to the draft and that list was permitted to include a maximum of one U.S. allocated player. The rest of the players were left unprotected and available for selection in the Expansion Draft unless there was a prior arrangement reached between teams (see below). 

Here’s a summary of the key rules for the Expansion Draft: 

Through deals prior to the Expansion Draft, there have been several NWSL teams that have worked out draft protection for the players they had to leave unprotected:

  • The Chicago Red Stars, North Carolina Courage and NJ/NY Gotham FC have done deals to earn Expansion Draft protection from both teams.
  • OL Reign have expansion protection from Angel City FC for just their forward group, which includes Megan Rapinoe. Reign is not protected from picks by Wave FC.
  • The Portland Thorns have full expansion protection from Angel City for a previous trade.
  • Racing Louisville FC has full expansion protection from Angel City as part of a previous trade that sent the rights to Christen Press to the expansion club.
  • The Washington Spirit traded for protection of its U.S. allocated players from Angel City and full protection from Wave FC.

NWSL players eligible for selection in Expansion Draft

While a number of popular players have either been protected or already traded to expansion teams, including Alex Morgan who was sent to Wave FC last week, there are a few unprotected players who pop off the page.

Megan Rapinoe is the most popular unprotected player, and while it’s unlikely she’d be selected given a number of factors, including OL Reign protecting its forwards group from Angel City FC, she’s a big enough name that it could be enticing for Wave FC to have a go.

The Houston Dash decided not to put midfielder Kristie Mewis on the protected list, and Washington’s Jordan DiBiasi is unprotected as well.

Houston Dash (24):

OL Reign (28):

Orlado Pride (21):

Portland Thorns (27):

Racing Louisville FC (17):

Washington Spirit (18):

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