There were a lot of questions about Lauren Sesselmann and her status after she was selected by the Houston Dash in the Expansion Draft.
I reached out to both the NWSL and Sesselmann's agent, Chuck Vine.
The NWSL responded that they have confirmed that both players (Sesselmann and Desiree Scott) are under contract with the NWSL for the 2014 season.
Chuck Vine responded with this statement:
"I could not be more honored the Houston Dash has thought enough of Lauren's ability to select her in the entry draft. The Dash made a decision based on the information presented to them by the NWSL, not the facts. Any General Manager would have made the same decision, including myself."
"Lauren is an American citizen. Her motivation to seek fair market value is not based on greed, but on need. It is in her best interest to explore options as a free-agent, not as an allocated player due to the heavy taxes levied by both countries and minor losses in the currency exchange. In addition, she does not qualify for Canada's Universal Health Coverage. Due to the new Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) she will be forced to pay as a pro-athlete an estimated $650 per month for basic coverages. ($8,450 annually) More than 50% of her 2013 NET allocated salary from the NWSL that only applied to her. Keep in mind, this was her ANNUAL salary for both Pro & National play. We place no blame nor hold any malice towards any party, as the common perception and my belief is CSA simply gave everything it had just to help start the league and teams are investing all they can into the clubs."
"But for arguments sake (ignoring obvious differences with unions & CBA's) would the NHL do this to Phil Kessel or the NFL to Aaron Rodgers? They would never be singled out for being selfish. Conversely they were congratulated on income well earned by the prior years play. Why should any player in the NWSL be treated differently? Maybe we shouldn't ignore unions & CBA's in the NWSL. Actually. Time for fans to focus on the ever evolving rules and consistent questionable actions by those pointing fingers, not a woman who just wants to enjoy playing and earn a fair wage equal to her value on & off the field wherever that may be."
It is clear that Chuck considers Sesselmann a free agent and that the NWSL does not. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.