Free agency window opens up in NWSL

 The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) clubs will continue to build their rosters with a signing period running until Jan. 31 in which each team can sign four additional players.

Following this signing period, there will be several other mechanisms for teams to stock their rosters. Each team will be allowed 20 players on their roster for the inaugural season starting in the spring of 2013.

The Western New York Flash will be allowed to sign up to five players during this period since they were provided only two U.S. players during the National Team player allocation. During this period, each club is free to negotiate with American or international players, with a limit of only two international players in addition to the already allocated Canada and Mexico National Team players.

An NWSL Supplemental Draft will follow this signing period with details to be released in the near future.

“When you are starting a league, you have to be creative and resourceful in determining the best way to stock the rosters and after discussions with all the clubs we think we’ve come up with a process that is equitable and logical,” said NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey. “The first part of this process will be this signing period for teams to add four, or in the case of Western New York five, additional players to the allocated players and the players taken in the college draft. The teams will have to have done their due diligence in scouting and evaluation and it will be exciting to see the rosters come together.”

Each of the teams was allocated three U.S. Women’s National Team players and two Canada and Mexico National Team players on Jan. 9 (with the exception of the Western NY Flash, which received two U.S. players). Each of the clubs then added four players at the 2013 NWSL College Draft in Indianapolis on Jan. 18.

The NWSL is an eight-team league organized and administered by the U.S. Soccer Federation that will begin play in the spring of 2013. U.S. Soccer is subsidizing the salaries of the 23 American players, while the Canadian Soccer Association and the Federation of Mexican Football will each do the same for 16 players. The eight founding clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC (New York/New Jersey), the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash.

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