The second year of NWSL free agency opened on Nov. 20.
One of the top free agents on the market is Crystal Dunn, who already has announced her intention to depart the Portland Thorns. Other top targets include OL Reign midfielder Rose Lavelle and Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson.
With the expansion draft set for Dec. 15, teams and players alike seem to be in no rush to formalize contracts for the 2024 season. Teams can protect up to nine players from selection by Bay FC or the Utah Royals, but free agents are exempt, so expect most signings to become official after the draft.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the lone signing on the opening day of free agency went to the Royals. Michele Vasconcelos signed a two-year deal with Utah, setting up her return to her home state.
Unrestricted free agents can negotiate a new contract with any NWSL club, including expansion clubs Bay FC and Utah.
Restricted free agents also can negotiate with any NWSL club, but a player’s current team will have seven days to match any offer received — in salary, bonus structure and years. If the team does not match the offer, the player can sign with the new team, as spelled out in the NWSL’s collective bargaining agreement.