all scores

Deyna Castellanos criticizes NWSL entry rules: ‘Players deserve full autonomy’

(Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Deyna Castellanos is calling for greater player autonomy in the National Women’s Soccer League.

The Manchester City and Venezuela national team forward was asked on social media last week about if she would play in the NWSL. In response, Castellanos said she would want the league to give more power to players before she considered it.

“I hope that if and when I decide to play for the NWSL, the rules have significantly changed,” she wrote. “Players deserve full autonomy of their careers. A league that is able to control players’ rights without their consent does not align with football on a global scale.”

The issue of player autonomy in the NWSL has long been contested. In the wake of last year’s scandals, which brought down coaches around the league for alleged abuses, the league signed its first CBA. Teams, though, still hold much more power than players when it comes to contracts.

Players’ lack of power in the NWSL’s entry processes in particular has been highlighted by the discovery process for 17-year-old Jaedyn Shaw.

Shaw, who has trained with the Washington Spirit and was listed on their preseason roster, went through the process last week.

Her rights were acquired by San Diego Wave FC, and as a result, the Spirit are now attempting to trade for the attacker. The likely trade will allow the Wave to gain allocation money payment or a draft pick for gaming Shaw’s entry to the league.

“We’re continuing to talk,” Spirit coach Kris Ward said Saturday. “At this point, it’s still unclear, which is disappointing seeing as though she would have been cleared to play this week or this weekend.”

A similar situation played out last year for then-15-year-old Olivia Moultrie, who had trained with the Portland Thorns since 2019. OL Reign picked up Moultrie’s rights through the discovery process, then dealt them to the Thorns for a third-round pick.