NWSL

Dates Set for 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft Set

As a testament to the increase in popularity of professional women’s soccer in the U.S., the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has set the dates and deadlines for the league’s latest expansion draft. On Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, NWSL owners will officially welcome the Racing Louisville Football Club by allowing the club to start filling its roster.

Before discussing details, it’s worth noting that women’s soccer is now a viable sports betting option in America. In New Jersey, sports bettors can use their favorite 4NJBets promo code to get access to resources to bet on NWSL matches. It might not sound like major recognition, but in America, bettors placing bets on a sport’s games/matches is often an indication of the sport’s importance in American culture.

The expansion draft is designed to give expansion clubs an opportunity to pick up quality players that would not otherwise be available. The process exists as a means of helping new clubs be somewhat competitive during its very first year of competition.

While this cycle’s expansion draft guidelines are yet to be released, the expansion draft in 2016 might offer a preview. In 2016, the Orlando Pride joined the league. The club was allowed to select up to 10 players from the complete list of players left unprotected by their team ownership. The only restriction to the drafting process was Orlando was limited to choosing no more than two players from any given team.

As for the existing teams, they were allowed to protect 9 or 10 players, depending on whether or not the team made the playoffs. As the league moves to an even 10 teams, it’s fair to expect that similar guidelines will be instituted for this year’s expansion draft.

In a press release, NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird stated: “We’re thrilled to take this next step in the process of welcoming Racing Louisville FC to the NWSL as they prepare to field a competitive team in 2021. Expansion drafts are obviously incredibly exciting events, but they’re also difficult for players and fans alike, so I want to thank the entire NWSL community for their support as we continue to expand our league and grow the game.”

Here’s a look at key dates and deadlines:

Thursday, Oct. 22 – Trade/waiver window closes
Thursday, Oct. 22 – unannounced trades announced
Thursday, Oct. 29 – End-of-season process deadline
Wednesday, Nov. 4 – Protected list due from clubs to the NWSL
Thursday, Nov. 5 – Protected/unprotected lists distributed and made public
Thursday, Nov. 12 – 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft
Friday, Nov. 13 (9 a.m. ET) – Trade window opens

On behalf of Racing Louisville FC, head coach Christy Holly stated: “We as a club are very excited to receive this information from the NWSL. As a club, we feel this will be a major step forward in the recruitment process. Over the last two months, we’ve taken a detailed approach to our analysis of rosters within the NWSL. With a clear understanding of the type of players our club would like to represent us and the city of Louisville, we are intrigued to learn which players will be available for us to select.”

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