Allocation fascination: how the early NWSL rosters came to be

National Women's Soccer League

National Women’s Soccer League

It’s been a fantastic day for women’s soccer in North America. The NWSL released its allocation of 55 national team players to eight clubs and the excitement on the afternoon media call with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and league executive director Cheryl Bailey could be felt through the phone. Although the schedule has yet to be released and a number of details still need to be worked out, things are definitely coming together.

The league and all of the news with it comes at a perfect time: Canada is gearing up to host the Women’s World Cup in 2015. Players from Canada, the US and Mexico can now develop on North American soil. They will also remain close to home and close to their national teammates. Those are two huge bonuses for all three countries.

Putting the early rosters together was no easy task. “We had many, many people who were helping,” Bailey said.

Those involved with the logistics of allocating players were involved on the technical side of things as well. Bailey described the group as a “panel of experts”. The 55 players did have the opportunity to submit a list of cities they would prefer playing in and that was taken into consideration during the selection process.

Obviously, the squads are not complete and all eight rosters will be filled in the near future. “Going forward, we will have the college draft, as well as free agency to make up the subtotal of the teams,” Bailey added. “We believe there will be eight strong teams playing in the National Women’s Soccer League.”

The Western New York Flash were allocated one less player and executives aren’t certain at this point if they will be receive any sort of compensation or extra draft picks. Those details still need to be ironed out.

Thirteen of the selected Canadian players were part of the 2012 Olympic bronze medal-winning team.

Here’s the break down of the 55 player allocation:

Boston Breakers
Sydney Leroux (USA)
Heather Mitts (USA)
Heather O’Reilly (USA)
Adriana Leon (CAN)
Rhian Wilkinson (CAN)

Anisa Guajardo (MEX)
Cecilia Santiago (MEX)

Chicago Red Stars
Shannon Boxx (USA)
Amy LePeilbet (USA)
Keelin Winters (USA)
Erin McLeod (CAN)
Carmelina Moscato (CAN)

Maribel Dominguez (MEX)
Dinora Garza (MEX)

FC Kansas City
Nicole Barnhart (USA)
Lauren Cheney (USA)
Becky Sauerbrunn (USA)
Desiree Scott (CAN)
Lauren Sesselmann (CAN)

Renae Cuellar (MEX)
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)
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)
Lydia Rangel (MEX)

Washington Spirit
Ashlyn Harris (USA)
Ali Krieger (USA)
Lori Lindsey (USA)
Robin Gayle (CAN)
Diana Matheson (CAN)

Alina Garciamendez (MEX)
Teresa Worbis (MEX)

Western New York Flash
Carli Lloyd (USA)
Abby Wambach (USA)
Bryana McCarthy (CAN)
Jodi-Ann Robinson (CAN)

Veronica Perez (MEX)
Pamela Tajonar (MEX)

At first glance, a lot of storylines already stand out. It’s hard not to look at Portland and peg them an early favorite with world class scorers Christine Sinclair and Alex Morgan together on the roster with GK Karina LeBlanc. For WYN, Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach will be a huge draw and that’s perfect for Canadian youngsters Bryana McCarthy and Jodi-Ann Robinson. They’ll learn a lot from the duo.

It’s a Penn State reunion in Chicago for GK Erin McLeod and CB Carmelina Moscato. Seattle’s going to be popular with not only Hope Solo between the pipes, but Canada’s Emily Zurrer and Kaylyn Kyle playing as well.

Rhian Wilkinson will be a veteran presence on the Boston backline. Sky Blue features Melanie Booth and Sophie Schmidt, while Diana Matheson and Robyn Gayle will suit up for Washington. In Kansas City, Desiree Scott will be a fan favorite as she patrols the midfield. She’ll be joined on the squad with dependable defender Lauren Sesselmann.

For more information on the NWSL, you can visit their Facebook page.

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