The NWSL revealed the full list of each club’s protected and unprotected players ahead of Thursday’s NWSL Expansion Draft, where Angel City and San Diego will make their selections from a pool of the league’s talent.
USWNT stars Kristie Mewis, Megan Rapinoe, and Tobin Health’s playing rights are among those unprotected. Due to a deal struck by OL Reign before the Expansion Draft protecting their forwards, Rapinoe can’t be selected by Angel City FC but can still be picked up by San Diego.
Other big names left unprotected include OL Reign’s Tziarra King, Orlando Prides’ Ali Riley and Racing Louisville’s Savannah McCaskill.
Teams were allowed to protect nine players, including one U.S. federation player. Angel City and San Diego may pick one player from each club during the Expansion Draft and only one U.S. allocated player.
The Chicago Red Stars, Kansas City Current, NJ/NY Gotham FC and the North Carolina Courage earned full immunity from the Expansion Draft after making trades with both Angel City and San Diego prior to the draft.
Racing Louisville and Portland both have roster protection from Angel City, while Washington Spirit and OL Reign have partial protection from the expansion club. Washington also has full protection from San Diego Wave.
Notably, the Houston Dash have no immunity, making Mewis’s inclusion on the unprotected list all the more intriguing.
The Portland Thorns have big names like Becky Sauerbrunn and Christine Sinclair on their unprotected list, however, Jeff Kassouf of The Equalizer reported on Friday that the club struck a deal with San Diego to protect Portland’s core during the Expansion Draft.
The NWSL Expansion Draft will air on CBS Sports Network on Thursday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. ET.