The NWSL offseason hasn’t slowed down for teams, leagues, and the players. With the expansion draft on the horizon, clubs are finalizing a flurry of trades to protect themselves from losing players for nothing in return. We’ve got a lot to update you on. (Note: As of Friday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. ET, the trade and waiver window was officially closed.)
Here are the 5 biggest moves of the NWSL offseason.
1. Chicago Red Stars traded 2021 Iron Woman Sarah Gorden, midfield Julie Ertz and an international slot to Angel City for roster protection in the expansion draft.
The Red Stars made seismic shifts in their roster following the 2021 season featuring a Finals appearance. Expect a new-look Chicago squad with a new leader at the forefront.
2. Racing Louisville FC traded Christen Press to Angel City for roster protection, ACFC’s first-round pick in the 2022 college draft and $75,000 in allocation money.
Angel City is stocking up with five-star players to make a splash in their inaugural year in Hollywood. Los Angeles is a tough sports market to compete in, but with a star-studded cast of leadership, we have no doubt they will exceed expectations.
3. Orlando Pride traded Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger to Gotham FC for a 2022 first-round pick (via Red Stars), 2023 third-round pick, and $50,000 allocation.
Chicago wasn’t the only club making major moves in the offseason, as Gotham FC decided to shake things up as well. With all the recent departures, leadership and experience will be key for this squad.
4. Orlando Pride traded Alex Morgan to San Diego FC, according to The Athletic. The deal can’t be completed until Dec. 17, and it’s not yet clear who or what SDFC will send in return.
The Pride seem to be preparing for a major reset for the 2022 season after trading away significant contributors to their roster. It looks as though they have their sights set on the future, building a younger team with a bevy of draft picks they’ve received.
5. North Carolina Courage traded Sam Mewis to Kansas City Current for Kiki Pickett and a first-round draft pick in 2022 NWSL Draft.
The Courage are repurposing their roster that’s already loaded with world-class talent. After a heartbreaking loss in the opening round of the playoffs, North Carolina will have high hopes for next season.
Other noteworthy trades:
- The Spirit traded Tegan McGrady, a 2022 first-round college draft pick, and an international roster spot for roster protection in the expansion draft to keep their championship winning roster intact.
- The Red Stars traded Katie Johnson, Makenzy Doniak, and the player draft rights to Santa Clara’s Kelsey Turnbow to San Diego for roster protection and $25,000 in allocation money
- The Pride traded Jodie Taylor to San Diego Wave FC for 2023 NWSL Draft second-round pick, third-round pick or Allocation Money, pending conditions
- The Courage traded Abby Dahlkemper to San Diego for a first-round draft selection in the 2023 NWSL Draft and $190,000 in allocation money
- The Red Stars traded Nikki Stanton to OL Reign for a third-round pick
- Gotham FC traded midfielder Brianna Pinto to the Courage for $125,000
- Gotham traded Kailen Sheridan’s rights to the San Diego Wave in exchange for expansion draft immunity and $130,000 in allocation money
2022 NWSL Championship Odds:
Portland Thorns +300 ($100 → $300)
OL Reign +300
Washington Spirit +500
NC Courage +700
Houston Dash +1000
NJ/NY Gotham +2000
Chicago Red Stars +2500
Racing Louisville +3000
Orlando Pride +3500
KC Current +5000
Angel City FC & Wave FC +6000
Expect chaos over the next two weeks as trades are finalized and rosters are completely flipped. The expansion draft will be held on Dec. 16 and the college draft on Dec. 18. Placing a bet this early for the 2022 season is risky, but with a number of big-name players already on the move, maybe now is the time to look at favorable odds on Angel City (+6000) and KC Current (+5000).