Teams are permitted to protect a total of nine players; Bay FC and Utah Royals FC to select up to 12 players
NEW YORK – The National Women’s Soccer League today announced the rules and procedures for the 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft, presented by Ally, featuring Bay FC and Utah Royals FC, set to take place virtually on Friday, December 15. Prior to the expansion draft, clubs will submit a list of protected and unprotected players which will be distributed to all clubs on Tuesday, December 12. A public release of those lists will follow.
The 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft, presented by Ally, will air live on CBS Sports Network with coverage beginning at 4pm PT. The “Attacking Third” women’s soccer show will also provide additional coverage and analysis during the week of the expansion draft on CBS Sports Golazo Network and across @AttackingThird social accounts.
Except as noted below, teams must designate all players as either protected, meaning they are ineligible for selection by Bay FC and Utah Royals FC in the expansion draft, or unprotected, meaning they are eligible for selection by either club, according to the following requirements:
- Teams are permitted to protect a total of nine players. All other players must be unprotected.
- A team is permitted to protect one additional player after the first expansion team selects a player from its roster.
- Unsigned unrestricted and restricted free agents are not eligible to be selected in the expansion process.
- Under-18 players are not eligible to be selected in the expansion process.
- Individuals on the Discovery List of any team are not eligible to be selected in the expansion draft.
- Players with a “no trade” clause are required to be protected by their current club.
- Teams are required to disclose to the league, along with the protected/unprotected designation, any players who a team believes will be unavailable to play by January 1, 2024, due to injury, retirement, loan, or any other reason. This information will be shared with the expansion teams.
Earlier this year, the NWSL announced the asset selection order for Bay FC and Utah Royals FC ahead of the expansion draft. As a result of that process, Bay FC received the first pick in the expansion draft, which will then alternate between the two clubs through 12 rounds, with each team selecting up to 12 players.
Each incumbent team may lose no more than two unprotected players throughout the expansion draft.
The full rules and procedures document for the 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft, presented by Ally, is available here.