NWSL Expansion Draft results: Bay FC land veteran Katelyn Rowland from North Carolina Courage

Four-time NWSL champion Katelyn Rowland was the headline-grabbing selection from Friday night's expansion draft, when incoming sides Bay FC and Utah Royals added to their rosters ahead of the 2024 season.

The goalkeeper and Northern California native will now depart the North Carolina Courage for Bay FC, and was one of several selections for the team. Midfielder Tess Boade will join Rowland on the trek from North Carolina to the Bay area, while defender Alyssa Malonson was  chosen from the OL Reign and forward Rachel Hill and midfielder Sierra Enge were selected form the San Diego Wave.

The Royals only made two selections after getting a head start on their roster building but chose two attack-minded players in Elyse Bnnett and Paige Monaghan, formerly of the Reign and Racing Louisville, specifically.

Here's how the expansion draft shook out, and where each team's squad stands.

Bay FC selections

  • No. 1: DEF Alyssa Malonson (OL Reign)
  • No. 3: MID Tess Boade (North Carolina Courage)
  • No. 5: FWD Rachel Hill (San Diego Wave)
  • No. 6: GK Katelyn Rowland (North Carolina Courage)
  • No. 7: MF Sierra Enge (San Diego Wave)

Utah Royals selections

  • No. 2: FWD Elyse Bennett (OL Reign)
  • No. 4: FWD Paige Monaghan (Racing Louisville)

Bay fill needs

Of the two expansion teams, Bay had a smaller roster heading into the draft and their picks showcase the fact that they had plenty of spots to fill. Rowland is easily the pick that attracts the most attention considering her extensive NWSL résumé -- she has four NWSL championships, three NWSL Shields and two Challenge Cups among her list of accolades. She could serve as the figurehead of a roster that, for the time being, is defense-heavy. Budding defensive talent Malonson might also play a big role on Albertin Montoya's side.

The expansion side did add some notable players further up the pitch, all who will serve as crucial depth pieces. Like Malonson, Blade and Enge are young players who are beginning to make a name for themselves in the NWSL while Hill is an experienced forward who has four seasons with 1,000-plus minutes under her belt.

Royals look forward

Former U.S. women's national team forward and first-year head coach Amy Rodriguez finally showed her cards on what her attack might look like by selecting Bennett and Monaghan, who provide a mix of youth and experience. Bennett was arguably the breakout star of the Reign's Challenge Cup campaign last year, when the team was without a handful of veterans who took part in the Women's World Cup. Monaghan is a wide talent that provides versatility -- she has spent time playing as a fullback with an eye for goal and has 11 goals in five NWSL seasons.

Want more coverage of women's soccer? Listen below and make sure to watch Attacking Third on Golazo Network Monday and Friday for all your USWNT, NWSL and WSL women's soccer coverage.

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NWSL Expansion Draft selection order

  1. Alyssa Malonson - DEF (Bay FC from OL Reign)
  2. Elyse Bennett - FWD (Utah Royals from OL Reign)
  3. Tess Boade - FWD (Bay FC from North Carolina Courage)
  4. Paige Monaghan - FWD (Utah Royals from Racing Louisville)
  5. Rachel Hill - FWD (Bay FC from San Deigo Wave FC)
  6. Katelyn Rowland - GK (Bay FC from North Carolina Courage)
  7. Sierra Enge - MID (Bay FC from San Diego Wave FC)
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The NWSL Expansion Draft has concluded

Bay FC has added five additional players to their roster, while Utah has added two players. The Royals entered the evening with 12 players acquired through previous trades and deals and will look to future moves to build out their roster. Bay FC targeted multiple lines across their selection from goalkeepers to strikers. Follow Attacking Third on CBS Sports Golazo Network!

 
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Sierra Enge!

Midfielder Sierra Enge is going to the Bay! Enge spent her rookie season with the Wave and is now headed to North California. Utah passing on prior selections the expansion draft has concluded. 

 
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Time out Bay FC

We are still waiting for the next pick in the expansion draft..

 
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Utah passes on selection again!

The Royals are making a second pass on player selection once more. Bay FC is now on the clock. 

 
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Katelyn Rowland!

With their fourth selection in the expansion draft, Bay FC selected a goalkeeper! A very experienced keeper who has played both starting and backup roles. She split time at goalkeeper previously with Casey Murphy but has been with Courage teams who have won NWSL titles and NWSL Challenge Cup. Utah is back on the clock..

 
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Utah passes on selection 

Bay FC is now on the clock after Utah passes on selection..

 
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Rachel Hill!

Bay FC select Hill from San Deigo Wave FC with their third selection in the expansion draft. She's a veteran winger in the league with the ability to have a starting role or feature off the bench. 

 
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Paige Monaghan!

The Utah Royals selected Monaghan from Racing Louisville. Louisville has roster protection from Bay FC so they could still lose another player to Utah with a later selection...

 
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Tess Boade!

Bay FC select Boade from North Carolina Courage. It's their second selection of the night. 

 
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Elyse Bennett!

The Royals select Elyse Bennett. The Utah side goes with an attacker and they're getting a player with a high ceiling in Bennett. A poacher that can provide a massive defensive effort when needed. 

 
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Utah Royals FC have taken a time-out

It appears the Royals might need a few more minutes to make their next selection..

 
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Utah Royals are now on the clock!

The Royals have already acquired a ton of players.. who will they select?

 
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Alyssa Malonson!

Bay FC has selected defender Alyssa Malonson from OL Reign with the first pick of the expansion draft. OL Reign has now protected Sam Hiatt.

 
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Bay FC on the clock

The Bay Area is on the clock and will have the first selection! Let's see who they pick, they are in need of a goalkeeper and a striker...

 
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Watch the NWSL Expansion Draft live!

The NWSL Expansion Draft show is now live on CBS Sports Network. Here's all the info you need to watch the event:

Viewing info 

 
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Who spent the most on protection?

Kansas City Current ultimately spent $100,000 in allocation money but essentially sent two key players to Utah and the Bay in Kate Del Fava and Alex Loera. 

  • Traded $175,000 in allocation money and 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft protection in exchange for defender Alex Loera with Kansas City Current.
  • Acquired $75,000 in allocation money and 2024 NWSL Expansion Draft protection from Utah Royals FC in exchange for defender Kate Del Fava and the No. 4 pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft.
 
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Which players will be selected?

Is there a certain player you think should be chosen in tonight's draft? There are five protected player lists from existing clubs. Players are listed with international status and even player rights are on some team lists (even fully retired players 👀) Make sure you check out all the players who are on the unprotected list ahead of the draft tonight. 

Here's a full look at OL Reign's unprotected list:

OL Reign Unprotected Players

  • Olivia Athens
  • Lauren Barnes
  • Elyse Bennett
  • Ryanne Brown
  • Jess Fishlock
  • Samantha Hiatt
  • Shae Holmes
  • Laurel Ivory
  • Jimena López
  • Luany 
  • Alyssa Malonson
  • Maia Pérez
  • Morgan Proffitt (player rights)
  • Abby Wambach (player rights)
 
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Top players on the selection radar

There are only five of the league's existing clubs that will participate in Friday's draft. With the five clubs participating, and the current rules and process for this iteration of the expansion draft, it could signal a shorter event. This year, no free agents can be selected, so player rosters to protect are shorter. If an existing club has a player selected they can choose one additional player to protect as rounds go by. 

So of the five clubs participating, who are the top players that should be on the Bay and Utah's draft board? Here's what we think:

Chicago Red Stars

  • Jenna Bike
  • Sarah Griffith

North Carolina Courage

  • Tess Boade 
  • Tyler Lussi
  • Katelyn Rowland
  • Meredith Speck 
  • Olivia Wingate 

OL Reign

  • Olivia Athens 
  • Elyse Bennett 
  • Ryanne Brown 
  • Samantha Hiatt 

Racing Louisville FC

  • Parker Goins 
  • Uchenna Kanu
  • Thembi Kgatlana 

San Diego Wave FC

  • Belle Briede 
  • Kyra Carusa 
  • Sierra Enge 
  • Rachel Hill
  • Kelsey Turnbow
 
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Last-minute trades shape the draft

A transaction moratorium earlier this week led to multiple trades from existing clubs for expansion roster protection. We placed all the moves in a trade tracker so you can stay updated. Bay FC and Utah Royals FC will have only a handful of teams to make selections from tonight. Take a look at the teams:

Angel City FC

  • Full roster protection

Chicago Red Stars

  • No roster protection

Houston Dash

  • Full roster protection

Kansas City Current

  • Full roster protection

NJ/NY Gotham FC

  • Full roster protection

North Carolina Courage 

  • Partial roster protection from Utah 

OL Reign

  • No roster protection

Orlando Pride

  • Full roster protection

Portland Thorns FC

  • Full roster protection

Racing Louisville FC

  • Partial roster protection from Bay FC

San Diego Wave FC

  • Partial protection from Utah Royals FC

Washington Spirit

  • Full roster protection
 
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Welcome to the 2023 NWSL Expansion Draft

Hello and welcome to our live blog of the 2023 NWSL Expansion Draft! I'm Sandra Herrera and I'll be joined by Pardeep Cattry to provide updates on tonight's event. Stay tuned for some history, analysis, and event rules processes. 

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