Houston Dash News

2024 NWSL Expansion Draft Explained

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Later this evening, the National Women’s Soccer League will host the 2024 Expansion Draft. The last Expansion Draft was in 2021, so we’ll break down how it works, who’s involved, and why the Houston Dash are fully protected and will not lose any players later today.

The Expansion Draft is a process where expansion teams joining the league have a chance to select players from the already existing clubs to build their inaugural roster. The 12 existing teams are allowed to protect nine players from their current squad. When an expansion team selects a player from an existing team, that team is then allowed to move an unselected player to their protected list.

However, in a window leading up to the draft, teams are allowed to make trades with the expansion teams for protection. This offseason, almost every team made a trade with at least one of the expansion sides to grant protection from having a player selected.

In 2024, two teams will join the NWSL: Bay FC and Utah Royals FC. They will not be selecting any Houston Dash players in the 2024 Expansion Draft due to trades with both clubs.

Just before the deadline, the Houston Dash made trades with both Bay FC and Utah Royals FC. The Dash traded midfielder Joelle Anderson along with $25,000 in allocation money to Bay FC and traded Cameron Tucker and $50,000 in allocation money to Utah Royals FC. In exchange, both clubs granted Dash protection from the expansion draft.

For the full protection lists and a breakdown of which teams are protected, click here.

The 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft will take place Friday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m. CT and will air live on CBS Sports Network. The “Attacking Third” women’s soccer show will also provide additional coverage and analysis during the week of the expansion draft, including an hour-long recap following the Expansion Draft at 7 p.m. CT, on CBS Sports Golazo Network and across @AttackingThird social accounts.