Gary Gibson - Producer, Editor, Host
Ruby Pinto - Social Media Creative, Host
Gotham FC has built an incredible roster this season. Talent from top to bottom. Possibly the deepest in the league. Which makes the prospect of a double expansion year pretty scary.
When players like Allie Long and Kelley O’Hara, Ifeoma Onumonu, Ellie Jean, are finding minutes hard to come by, you know you have a deep squad. Onumonu didn't even make the championship 18. That's how deep this roster is.
Expansion Draft Timeline
Expansion Draft Rules
The Gotham FC Roster Status
Ruby's Protection Strategy
Gary's Thoughts and Wild Cards
Expansion Draft Timeline:
November 20th. Free agents can sign with new teams. If Gotham or any team signs a player before the expansion draft they will have to protect them. Rxpect Gotham or other teams not to sign any free agents until after the expansion draft.
December 12th. Protected lists are announced. A prohibition is put on teams signing players.
December 15th Expansion draft takes place. Live on CBSSN 7pm.
December 16th the prohibition is lifted and teams are allowed to sign or trade players again.
Expansion Draft Rules:
Teams can protect 9 players.
Teams can protect an extra player if one of the expansion teams selects a player.
Any players unsigned inhcluding restricted and unrestricted free agents cannot be protected as they aren’t eligible to be selected.
U-18 players (to which Gotham has none) can’t be selected.
Players with no-trade clauses (Kelley O’hara) must be protected. Which means Gotham must protect O’hara and 8 other players.
Teams must disclose if a player will not be available to the selecting team by January 1st due to injury, loan, illness or retirement that makes them ineligible to report to the team by January 1st.
Unrestricted Free Agents: ineligible for NWSL Expansion Draft:
Ali Krieger (Retirement)
Restricted free agents: Out of contract but team holds rights.
Players that are currently on roster to be selected for Expansion Draft:
Ruby’s Optimal Protection List:
Kelley O'Hara (no trade clause)
Left available for selection: per Ruby's protection list
Expansion drafts are for younger players. Players above 28 aren't usually targets. Unless a GK or National teamer.
This free agent class is deep outside of keeper and if you are looking for older players they will surely be found. Edmonds, Stengel, Taylor Smith, Onumonu. Most likely safe.
Unless Mandy Haught wants to stay here, she's surely gone. The team just signed Abby Smith long term and will probably protect her. Mandy could possibly be the top pick in the expansion draft. You don't pass up a 24yo franchise keeper. Betos is the only keeper of note in free agency. A high premium will be placed on unprotected keepers. We lost both starting keepers in the last expansion draft process. Mandy is going to command attention. It's possible Gotham moves her for protection before the expansion draft. Hopefully for a lot of allocation money.
Defensively, Freeman has value and upside. But considering how far she is down the depth chart now. Maybe a late round flier. Unlikely.
Martin and Sheehan are in the prime age for selection. They both have high ceilings. Keep an eye on them.
Stengel has value and she previously played for Utah. But I think Katie could have stayed in England if she didn't want to sign for Gotham. She's here. To be here. Unlikely target.
Onumonu. A California Native. World cup veteran. It's possible Bay FC brings her in.
Protecting Mewis. Kristie could absolutely be a target. Her injury plagued second half of the season could keep teams away. I don't know who you drop from Ruby's 9.
Protecting Mandy Haught. There is also a possibility that Mandy has shown enough that she's the future Gotham # 1. Perhaps the team thinks that Abby's injury keeps teams away.
Gotham is now a destination team and there will be no shortage of free agents and even overseas talents inquiring about what is going on over here at Gotham. Gotham is a team players want to play for now.
They could sell off some draft picks for protection. They only have 3. But as Gotham proved this season, you only need one. The rookie of the year Nighswonger.
Curious your thoughts on Ruby's protection list. Do you protect Kristie Mewis? If so, who do leave unprotected. Let's see your lists!!