The National Women’s Soccer League Expansion Draft for 2020 took place Thursday with Racing Louisville FC making fourteen selections. Louisville had already received players from the Chicago Red Stars (Yuki Nagasato and Savannah McCaskill), so they selected from the remaining eight teams.
Kansas City and the surrounding region is well represented in the NWSL. If they were all in one team, there would be almost enough to field a full starting eleven. Racing Louisville FC ended up selecting three of the players with links to Kansas City.
The first pick in the expansion draft was defender Addisyn Merrick from the North Carolina Courage. Merrick played for Lee’s Summit North before attending college at Kansas. She was a rookie in 2020 but ended up starting in 8 of 9 matches for North Carolina.
CeCe Kizer, an Overland Park, KS native was the fourth selection for Louisville. Kizer played for Blue Valley Northwest and then Ole Miss. She was selected in 2019 by the Houston Dash. Kizer is on loan to Kolbotn IL Fotball in Norway where she has scored 3 goals in four matches.
Another player with local ties is Katie McClure who also played for Kansas. She was selected withthe tenth pick by Louisville. As a rookie, the Wichita native played for the Washington Spirit where she made two starts in six appearances.
Louisville waited until the end of the show to make the big splash, selecting the rights to U.S. National Team stars, Christine Press and Tobin Heath from Utah and Portland. With both players currently in England playing for Manchester United and under contract through mid-summer, the selection was seen as a bit of a risk.
The move could pay off big in quality of play or in allocation money from other teams that may want one or both of the stars. Future expansion team Angel City FC (2022) and Sacramento would of course be extremely interested in the rights to the pair as well.
Expansion Draft Results
- Addisyn Merrick - North Carolina Courage
- Julia Ashley - OL Reign
- Jennifer Cudjoe - Sky Blue FC
- CeCe Kizer - Houston Dash
- Katie Lund - Washington Spirit
- Alanna Kennedy - Orlando Pride
- Lauren Milliet - North Carolina Courage
- Kaleigh Riehl - Sky Blue FC
- Caitlin Foord - Orlando Pride
- Katie McClure - Washington Spirit
- Erin Simon - Houston Dash
- Michelle Betos - OL Reign
- Tobin Heath - Portland Thorns
- Christen Press - Utah Royals