Philly Sports Live

NWSL Teams Given More Time to Sign Free Agents


Today, the NWSL announced that the signing period for teams to acquire free agent has been extended until January 31, 2013. The signing period provides teams with a chance to sign four more players (Western New York can sign five) to their rosters. Each team is allowed 20 players to be on their roster for the inaugural NWSL season which will begin play this April. With the teams already having a strong foundation to begin to build their teams with, the allocation of US, Canadian and Mexican national players and the college draft where teams drafted four players, this will be a chance to fill in some holes in the rosters.

The Flash will select five players during this signing period as they were only allocated two US players due to only 23 players being available. Other compensation that Western New York has received was a cash concession of $24,000 to sign one player during this time. With only 11 players signed to each team, there is still a lot of work to be done building up their rosters.

This signing period provides teams with a chance to speak with other American and International players.  The limit is two additional International players to add to their rosters. After this signing period, there will be a NWSL Supplemental Draft.  More details about this will be released at a future date. Because the NWSL is in its infancy, setting the right building blocks for sustained long term success is key. “When you are starting a league, you have to be creative and resourceful in determining the best way to stock the rosters and after discussions with all the clubs we think we’ve come up with a process that is equitable and logical,” said NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey. Each team is hoping that they put in the scouting time and work necessary to identify what they still need in terms of roster positions and players that are going to fit their style of play. It will certainly be interesting to watch the rosters grow before the start of the season.

The Portland Thorns seem to have all the fire power that they need up front with Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair, but who else do they need to build the team that many people think will be the first NWSL Champions? What positions are the Seattle Reign in need of with Hope Solo in goal and Megan Rapinoe in the midfield if they want to challenge rivals Portland for the title? Western New York may have only been allocated two US players, but when those two players are FIFA Ballon d’ Or Women’s Player of the Year in Abby Wambach and Olympic hero Carli Lloyd, what do they need to challenge for the title? With forward Sydney Leroux going to Boston with Heather O’Reily and Heather Mitts, what positions are they looking to build upon? Sky Blue has Christie Rampone anchoring their defense with Kelly O’Hara, so what are they missing? The Washington Spirit will have Ali Kreiger back in the US with midfielder Lori Lindsey, will they be looking for a forward to give them some spark? The Blues in Kansas City have the services of Lauren Cheney and Becky Sauerbrunn. Along with US National team hopeful Kristie Mewis as a possible scoring threat, what else does FC Kansas City need? The Chicago Red Stars will have the services of US midfielder Shannon Boxx and defender Amy LePeilbet plus first round draft pick Zakiya Bywaters up front, so what are the Red Star’s looking for?

There are certainly a lot of pieces to the puzzle that need to be put into place by the eight NWSL teams over the coming months, but watching it unfold might be just as good as the games that are about to be played.