With just a weeks left until the 2018 season begins in the National Women's Soccer League, the NWSL has announced the 34 players who will be allocated from both the United States of America and Canada.
Of the 23 US internationals and 12 Canadian internationals, many of the more notable players have retained allocation this year but there a few surprises that have been left off the list. The rights of those who were formerly on the allocated list will remain with their current clubs.
Campbell, Dahlkemper become allocated
As 2017 progressed, Jane Campbell, Abby Dahlkemper and Taylor Smith became more permanent fixtures with the United States Women's National Team and have now gained allocated status. Campbell became the starting goalkeeper for the Houston Dash her rookie season and although the Dash finished outside of the playoff spots, her performances grabbed the attention of Jill Ellis. Dahlkemper has become synonymous with the North Carolina Courage and over the last two years, has made inroads with the USWNT. More recently, Dahlkemper has started for the national team on numerous occasions so her inclusion on the allocated players list does not come as a surprise. Smith gained prominence playing for the Courage last year and saw her performances rewarded with multiple call ups to the national team. The young defender will be hoping that she can continue to develop with her new team, the Washington Spirit, and keep her allocated status into the next year.
For Canada, Adriana Leon and Rebecca Quinn were assigned to the allocated list this year. Leon had previously been on the list in previous seasons but was dropped last year. Quinn, after becoming a standout defender at the collegiate level and playing well for the national team, was awarded allocated status this year.
Crystal Dunn also returns to the allocated list after not featuring last year. The forward's rights are retained by the Courage so should Dunn return from her time with Chelsea L.F.C, North Carolina will regain a forward who dominated the league when she played in the NWSL.
Leroux, Krieger among those left out
Of those not on the list this year, Sydney Leroux, Ali Krieger and Meghan Klingenberg are no longer considered as allocated players for their teams. Leroux has failed to impress Ellis enough since her return last year and it seems as though her time with the national team may be coming to a close. Ali Krieger, who has been a stalwart with the USWNT since 2011, looks to also be at the end of her chapter with the national team. The veteran had fallen out of favour with Ellis for the last 2 or so years and her exclusion from the list comes as no surprise to most who have been watching the team since the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Morgan Brian was also left off the allocated list but this is mostly due to the fact that Brian will not be involved with the league this year as she completed her move to Olympique Lyonnais in January. Brian's rights will remain with the Chicago Red Stars for the time being.
Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé was also not on the allocated list announced today. The Canadian international had been with the Spirit but lost her starting position last season and seemingly has fallen further down the pecking order with the Canadian national team as well. As of 5 p.m. Eastern today, Labbé cleared the NWSL Distribution Process after the Spirit announced that they would not be retaining her rights this season. Labbé is now Discovery Eligible within the league should a team want to sign her over the course of the season.
Allocated players, by each team:
Chicago Red Stars: Julie Ertz (USA), Alyssa Naeher (USA), Casey Short (USA).
Houston Dash: Jane Campbell (USA), Christen Press (USA), Nichelle Prince (CAN)
North Carolina Courage: Allysha Chapman (CAN), Sabrina D’Angelo (CAN), Abby Dahlkemper (USA), Crystal Dunn (USA), Samantha Mewis (USA), Lynn Williams (USA).
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris (USA), Alex Morgan (USA), Shelina Zadorsky (CAN).
Portland Thorns FC: Tobin Heath (USA), Lindsey Horan (USA), Christine Sinclair (CAN), Emily Sonnett (USA).
Seattle Reign FC: Allie Long (USA), Megan Rapinoe (USA).
Sky Blue FC: Janine Beckie (CAN), Adriana Leon (CAN), Carli Lloyd (USA), Kailen Sheridan (CAN).
Utah Royals FC: Diana Matheson (CAN), Kelley O’Hara (USA), Amy Rodriguez (USA), Becky Sauerbrunn (USA), Desiree Scott (CAN).
Washington Spirit: Rose Lavelle (USA), Mallory Pugh (USA), Rebecca Quinn (CAN), Taylor Smith (USA).