NWSL allocates US, Mexican, Canadian players to designated teams

Liviu Bird January 11, 2013 56

A month and a half after the franchise locations and format of the National Women’s Soccer League was made public, each club now knows which national team players will be on its roster. The league made the announcement in a press release on Friday.

Players submitted their top choices of places to play and teams submitted their top choices for desired players, all to a third party which helped allocate the players.

Here is the full list, in alphabetical order by team:

Boston Breakers: Sydney Leroux (USA), Heather Mitts (USA), Heather O’Reilly (USA), Adriana Leon (CAN), Rhian Wilkinson (CAN), Anisa Guajardo (MEX) and Cecilia Santiago (MEX).

Chicago Red Stars: Shannon Boxx (USA), Amy LePeilbet (USA), Keelin Winters (USA), Erin McLeod (CAN), Carmelina Moscato (CAN), Maribel Dominguez (MEX) and Dinora Garza (MEX).

FC Kansas City: Nicole Barnhart (USA), Lauren Cheney (USA), Becky Sauerbrunn (USA), Desiree Scott (CAN), Lauren Sesselmann (CAN), Renae Cuellar (MEX) and Marylin Diaz (MEX).

Portland Thorns FC: Rachel Buehler (USA), Tobin Heath (USA), Alex Morgan (USA), Luz Saucedo (MEX), Marlene Sandoval (MEX), Karina LeBlanc (CAN) Christine Sinclair (CAN).

Seattle Reign FC: Megan Rapinoe (USA), Amy Rodriguez (USA), Hope Solo (USA), Kaylyn Kyle (CAN), Emily Zurrer (CAN), Jenny Ruiz (MEX) and Teresa Noyola (MEX).

Sky Blue FC: Jill Loyden (USA), Kelley O’Hara (USA), Christie Rampone (USA), Sophie Schmidt (CAN), Melanie Booth (CAN), Monica Ocampo (MEX) and Lydia Rangel (MEX).

Washington Spirit: Ashlyn Harris (USA), Ali Krieger (USA), Lori Lindsey (USA), Robin Gayle (CAN), Diana Matheson (CAN), Alina Garciamendez (MEX) and Teresa Worbis (MEX).

Western New York Flash: Carli Lloyd (USA), Abby Wambach (USA), Bryana McCarthy (CAN), Jodi-Ann Robinson (CAN), Veronica Perez (MEX) and Pamela Tajonar (MEX).

Free-agent signings are expected to start right away, and the first NWSL college draft will take place a week from today, on Jan. 18, at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis. Stay tuned to The Equalizer for analysis of the allocation and individual team reactions.


  • Gerson22

    Well, it makes sense to put Wambach in WNY and Solo in Seattle. Doesn’t look like Sydney Leroux’s “demands” were met, though. Unlucky.

  • Weston John

    Portland is stacked…Morgan and Sinclair up front being fed by Heath…ok, I’m officially a Portland fan!
    Here is the order of strength IMHO:
    1. Portland
    2. Seattle
    3. WNY
    4. Boston
    big drop off…
    5. KC
    6. Chicago
    7. Sky Blue
    8. Washington

    • Allie

      It would be interesting to see the weighting system they used. Still, I feel like the balance it fairly good – although in my opinion, WNY is probably the weakest since they got only two US players and two young Canadians who have hardly cracked the national team roster.
      Portland made out like thieves – two amazing strikers, a mid (Heath), a defender (Buehler), and a goalie. Wow…a great core to build around.

      • Steglitz49

        It looks like they took the square root of the hypothenuse and multiplied by the know-nuffink-factor and then divided by the average height of the gnomes of Zürich (measured in hands, as for geldings). Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe John Madden did the allocating?

        • Allie

          According to the press release from US Soccer,

          “The allocation process was conducted with assistance from a panel of experts familiar with the player pools, including individuals from the collegiate level, recent professional and semi-professional clubs, and the youth and senior national team level in North America.
          Along with the panel’s collective input on the technical ability of the players, in preparation for the allocation, players selected their preferred destinations and the clubs also provided their preference with regard to specific players and qualities of players desired. Based on the input from the panel of experts and the teams, players were assigned numerical values on quality and desirability”

          So…clear as mud. My guess would be that they put a numerical value on each player and tried to make sure that each team was at about the same average. Still, that doesn’t account for Sinclair and Morgan being on the same team.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe their BMI or waist:hip-ratio was used as a casting vote?

    • http://twitter.com/danreasoner Daniel Reasoner

      PTFC Canadian allocations are very good too

    • rk_cambridge

      PTFC are in good shape with Morgan and Sinclair but if they plan on playing through Heath they are in trouble. She is not there yet. But with such intelligent players in front of her this is definitely Heath’s chance to move to the next level. Fingers crossed.

      • Allie

        Maybe with two world-class strikers in front of her (who can both create scoring opportunities, rather than just pounding in balls like Wambach – no offense to her, she just has a much different playing style) she’ll learn to look up from her dribbling and stop running into defenders…

        • Steglitz49

          Maybe she should be made to watch videos of Johan Cruyff?

    • Steglitz49

      Remember the Wonders of Bern, Frankfurt and Tokyo … It ain’t over till it is over.

    • Short_Change

      You’re vastly underrating Kansas City’s allotment. Do you know anything about Desiree Scott? Cuellar?

      • Weston John

        Scott is a nice player on D along with Sauerbrunn. Cheney is a strong player to get assists. But you’re that high on Cuellar to be their goal scorer? Gotta be able to put the ball in the net to win games…We’ll see once they start signing free agents how their roster looks…Hope you’re right as parity would be good.

  • Allie

    Definitely didn’t see a lot of these coming – Cheney to KC? Leroux to Boston? O’Hara to SkyBlue?

  • Anton

    Morgan and Sinclair together? Yeah, like that’s fair. Poor D.C. and Sky Blue got railroaded.

    Wonder if Nike being in Oregon had anything to do with them getting absolutely stacked.

    • Allie

      Harris is a better goalie than people give her credit for, I think – it’s a shame that the US is kind of loaded at that position and she hasn’t moved past the camp stage. Krieger is an extremely solid defender who can move up and start the attack. Lindsey is more of a defensive/possessive mid, they’ll have to pick up a forward (besides Matheson, who could play forward but is mostly a mid, who is fairly crafty) in the draft or free agency.
      Sky Blue is going to have very little offensive firepower unless they move O’Hara back to forward (and I don’t think they would, since it would hamper her development as a defensive back). Sophie Schmidt is a good young mid, but she won’t be scoring in buckets or anything.

      • http://twitter.com/arteetee Roger Timpson

        Your assessment of DC’s players is accurate. My issue with the allocation is Harris will miss the first couple of months, and Krieger and Lindsey haven’t had match play in a year. Afraid they’ll start the year a step behind everyone else.

        • Steglitz49

          I do not think Harris will miss any time. Duisburg are not doing brilliantly — they will stay up but no more — and would therefore likely release Harris early.

          Matheson is a pretty good player. I have to confess I do not follow Mexican ladies’ football so can’t comment but if the mexican WNT are interested in them they ought to be good if not yet famous.

        • http://twitter.com/crackerjacks127 Kelsey handler

          Harris will be back early June so she’ll be there for most of the season and Krieger has had match play in Germany for the first half of their season and barely came back to the US over the league’s winter break. I think Matheson is a great player and that DC is being overlooked. They just need some forwards. KC also looks experienced and strong, but with the addition of the college draft and free agents, I think we’ll get a better idea on how to rank the teams. I’m excited for the season to start.

  • Anton

    Don’t see why people are so high on Seattle’s roster. Sure they got Hope, but Rapinoe isn’t going to be there until I think June/July and Rodriguez is about as inconsistent as they come.

    Kyle is awful and I don’t know much, if anything about Zurrer and Ruiz. I remember Noyola, but don’t recall hearing her name at all recently.

    They should have swapped Morgan and Rapinoe, especially with Portland getting Sinclair. But on the flip side, I’m sure they didn’t want Hope and Alex on the same team.

    • Steglitz49

      Can Seattle be certain that Rapinoe will ever show up? After all, Lyon is the gastronomical capital of the world and so far the ladies’ team has been willing to pay top €uro for those they want.

      • Anton

        This is true. She may get that taste of the Women’s Champions League and decide to stay with Lyon, she also strikes me as the type of person who would love the European scene.

        For all the hype, I think Seattle is the big loser in the allocation. They got the best GK, but really no impact field players, at least for the first 6 months.

        • Steglitz49

          Seattle seems to have concentrated on their defense and midfield. There was a time not so long ago when 1-0 was considered a high scoring game in Italy. Remember the men’s CL final?

          Maybe the Reign will now hunt for strikers and were Rapinoe not to show up, the Reign will have a chin-wag with Sermanni. They have a strategy; that they stick to it.

  • Lammie

    I think you are underestimating Washington. That is a kick ass defense and midfield. College draft is happening in a week and there are some up and coming players that are out there. Honestly though, any way I look at it all the teams look damn good right now. None of us can have our favorite players on our favorite team, although I got to say for me, Washington came close, all those players are itching and Harris has been on a winning team, Krieger has been on a winning team, Gayle has been on a winning team…the list goes on . I am excited just to have women’s soccer back. Everyone needs to snap up some tickets and support your local team!!!

  • vert2013

    Portland is stacked. Not that I really mind because Alex and Tobin are my 2 favorites so it made picking a team a lot easier. It’ll be really good for player development too. Alex gets to play up top with Sinc (who she played with in WNY) and Tobin and Alex read each other really well on the left side. Sinclair also plays very similar to Abby in the brute force aspect of the game which is good for Alex as well since she is becoming more and more technical in her play. Everyone wins in Portland.

    • Weston John

      Alex & Tobin are my two faves as well…this is a no-brainer to me as to which team I’m going to support…especially since I’m in Florida with no local team.

      • Steglitz49

        Be mindful that in soccer once you chose a team you cannot change (except going to another country an picking one in its league).

        • vert2013

          Fine by me! I stick with a team once I pick them, I just wanted to see allocations before I picked since I don’t have a local team. I’m curious to see how much movement is made with allocated players since there is the trade restriction surrounding them. I suspect we’ll see the majority of them staying put for longer than would be considered normal for professional athletes because of the restrictions.

          • Steglitz49

            I will concede. Let’s be provisional till the league has reached its full complement of 12 teams (or whatever is planned).

            My concern is for the current 17-20 year old. The risk is that there will be nowhere for them to play. OK, a few may find work overseas. The NWSL has a lot of strategy to work through regarding the age-ranges.

        • Weston John

          My only caveat is if south Florida gets an expansion team, then I reserve the right to adopt that team as my favorite! Who are you going to support in the NWSL, Steglitz?

          • Steglitz49

            Let’s agree that seeing that the league likely will expand to 12 teams soon, all preferences will be considered provisional for now.

            As you may have guessed we do not live in the US just now. When we did we supported the Patriots but when we moved to the south part of the Tristate area, there we did root for the Nets and Devils (and a bit for the Giants too) but we dampened our consciences by them not being soccer. Ladies’ college basket mainly UConn because we lived near them for a while (not because they won so much). Women’s college basket was our favorite game. We went to some WNBA games at MSG. Being overseas, I am going to root for the success of NWSL as a whole.

    • Steglitz49

      Remember. Bayern Munich beat Frankfurt last season in the Cup final. It is the fight in the dog, not the dog in the fight, that matters. Having typed that, Tobin and Alex will be awesome, while Sinclair and Buehler will add muscle — the ref permitting, of course.

  • Marcus

    Wow Portland. Sinclair AND Morgan?

  • Short_Change

    It looks like the subject of league parity will remain a thorny issue.

    • Steglitz49

      If money is not allowed to talk maybe smoke filled rooms are what count?

  • sol1711

    spielerinnen werden zugeteilt, oh my fucking god, das ist ja sozialismus.
    gehören die spielerinnen jetzt den vereins bossen, und können sie mit ihnen machen was sie wollen.
    sozialismus in amerika, the usa are doomed.

    • Steglitz49

      This modelled on the NFL. The NFL is as close as USA gets to communism. Pete Rozelle rules OK! (btw if you had a better idea, then post it please.)

  • http://twitter.com/originalslicey Jessica Bridges

    I think Portland has the strongest team so far. Followed by Seattle and Sky Blue.

    • http://twitter.com/originalslicey Jessica Bridges

      Scratch that. Boston not Sky Blue.

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  • Steglitz49

    Could someone please give us an assessment of the Mexican ladies? If necessary write in Mexican and then Jeff can run it through translator software. I know of Boston’s goalie — an excellent choice btw — but the rest mean little to me.

    • Allie

      I think you mean write in Spanish, but I agree. I only know of Veronica Perez because she played with Sounders Women. I watched the Mexican team during CONCACAF qualifiers, but I certainly don’t know them on a first-name basis.

    • Vincent Carveth

      I will second this. Half of them don’t even show up on Google or Wikipedia.

      • Steglitz49

        In the FIFA ladies’ gold-ball voting, the media placed the japanese players at the bottom with only Rapinoe getting less votes by the media.

  • rk_cambridge

    Based on allocation and potential player chemistry.

    1. PORTLAND. They have the two best players in the world (IMO) and Buehler appears to be a leader and cohesive force.
    2. KANSAS. Call me crazy but this team looks good to me. No superstars but loaded with solid team players.
    3. CHICAGO. Lots of experience. If Dominguez adapts they will do well. Winters impressed in Boston.
    4. BOSTON. Leroux and HAO will be a force. I think Osborne is still in Boston. Weak at the back though.
    5. WASHINGTON: Nice even distribution though a little light up front. Good team players.
    6. NEW JERSEY: This team looks light. But hard workers and good leadership could save them.
    7. SEATTLE: This team seems a little all over the place. They have individual talent but as a team they could implode.
    8. NEW YORK: Two superstars and a bunch of unknowns. If Wambach can be a true leader and not a benevolent dictator then perhaps they can pull it together.

    • Steglitz49

      There will only be one winner. Seeing that NWSL is not expected to operate a relegation system, whether you come second or last does not matter, unlike in old Europe. Next season one assumes that some horse trading will be allowed and likely to team salary cap will (have to) be raised.

    • LCLondoner

      Yep, I agree re KC. That is a great looking defense and midfield – they need Cuellar (or a free agent, perhaps) to step up to offer offensive pace, I think.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/535519-nick-p nick price

    Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd are coming to WNY! Good for women soccer

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  • vert2013

    There’s a lot of people underestimating FCKC, they don’t have any big names but all of theirs are solid. Chicago got the short end of the stick in my opinion, especially if LeP’s knee keeps her out for awhile. Seattle I think will struggle until Pinoe gets back, they have solid goalkeeping in Solo, but A-Rod is really inconsistent. From a national team standpoint it looks very good for Kelley O’Hara, a new defender, being allocated with a veteran like Rampone as well as Alex being allocated with Sincy. Excited about the draft though, because a lot of teams are very defensive based right now.

  • Joshua

    All I’m reading in these comments is Portland…Portland…Portland.

    I feel sorry for Cindy Parlow Cone. Portland will be expected to win everything. If they do it will be because they have two of the top four players in WoSo on their team. if they lose, it will be the coach’s fault.
    How does one team land both Morgan and Sinclair? How was this allocation done?

  • LetsGetReal

    Honestly, I am actually VERY pleased by this Allocation. I think the third party person or whatever made the teams OVERALL fairly diverse. Besides the Alex and Sinclair duo, most of the teams don’t have a crazy offense, or a crazy defense, or crazy midfield. I think NO ONE would have even come close to guessing just the US Allocation of players and how it ended up.

    I want to see more rumors about what free agents are shopping for clubs!!!! I want a college draft list!!! :)

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