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The NWSL is set to expand by three teams starting with the 2024 season. Per reports, Boston, Utah and the San Francisco Bay Area are the next three cities set to received NWSL franchises. Utah and San Francisco are likely to join for the 2024 season while the Boston team will join for a later season. The three expansion teams come on the heals of the Angel City FC and San Diego Wave FC teams which begin play in the 2022 season.

Per reports, the Utah franchise will pay somewhere between $2 million and $5 million, similar to what Angel City FC and San Diego Wave FC paid, because there was already an agreement in place years ago. Utah originally had a franchise called the Utah Royals FC from 2018 to 2020 when the team folded and moved to Kansas City which is now known as the Kansas City Current.

The Boston and Bay Area franchises will reportedly each pay around $50 million in expansion fees, which is a significant increase over what Angel City FC and San Diego Wave FC paid, and it sounds like there were multiple investor groups in on the bids for an expansion team.

NWSL Expansion Expansion Fee

The NWSL Draft took place on Jan 12, 2023. NWSL teams selected 48 players across 12 teams.

The full draft results can be viewed here: 2023 NWSL Draft

Take Aways

  • Alyssa Thompson was taken with the #1 overall pick by Angel City FC. She is the first high school player to be drafted in the NWSL. Angel City FC has acquired the #1 overall pick this week by sending Yazmeen Ryan and $250,000 Allocation Money to Gotham FC
  • Kansas City Current were very active with 8 selections, including a draft day trade sending Lynn Williams to Gotham FC for the #2 overall selection.
  • The most goalkeepers (6) ever were drafted in an NWSL Draft since its existence in 2013.
  • 3 players were drafted from the two teams, UCLA and North Carolina, in the 2022 NCAA DI Women's College Cup championship.
  • Duke, Florida State and Alabama each had 3 players selected leading all college representations.

Players Selected By Team

Players Selected By Position


The NWSL and NWSLPA ratified the first-ever CBA in Feb 2022 and will run through Dec 31, 2026. The details of the actual CBA can now be viewed: click here


Minimum Salaries

2022: $35,000

2023: $36,400

2024: $37,856

2025: $39,370

2026: $40,945 


Any player who had a salary in 2021 over $22,000 will have their 2022 salary increased by a designated amount based on a predetermined range. For example, $22,000-$22,999 will have their 2022 salary increased by $13,000.

Any player who has a salary lower than $22,000 in 2021 will begin the 2022 season no lower than $35,000.


Competition Bonuses

Awarded to each Player on applicable Team:

NWSL Shield: $5,000

NWSL Champion: $5,000

NWSL Runner-Up: $3,750

NWSL Semi-Finalist: $2,500

NWSL Quarterfinalist: $1,250

Challenge Cup Champion: $1,000 (if held)

Challenge Cup Runner-Up: $500 (if held)


Awarded to selected players:

Best 11 Award: $5,000

Rookie of the Year: $5,000

Most Valuable Player: $5,000

Golden Boot: $5,000

Defender of the Year: $5,000

Goalkeeper of the Year: $5,000

All-Star Bonus: $2,000



With the recent sale of the Washington Spirit to Michelle Kang for $35 million and pending sale of Real Salt Lake for an estimated $400 million, we breakdown the recent sales, expansion fees and new stadium construction costs across Major League Soccer and the National Women's Soccer League. These United States based soccer leagues have become a hot-bed for investment from all sectors of business and with that investment comes the rise of soccer-specific stadiums. Franchises are not only investing in their players with development and training facilities, they are investing in the fan experience with building soccer-specific stadiums to create an atmosphere that larger stadiums cannot create.


Sale Prices

Recently known sale prices for Major League Soccer and National Women's Soccer League franchises.


Houston Dynamo + Houston Dash (2021): $400 million

Ted Segal, founder/president of real estate and finance companies, purchased both the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash for $400 million for controlling stake. This sale price does not include the stadium or training facility.

Orlando City SC + Orlando Pride (2021): $450 million 

Wilf family, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, purchased Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride for an estimated $450 million. This sale price includes the stadium an training facilities.

Real Salt Lake (pending, 2022): $400 million

David Blitzer and Ryan Smith are purchasing Real Salt Lake for an estimated $400 million. Smith is majority owner of the Utah Jazz, while Blitzer is a minority owner of the New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia 76ers and other international soccer franchises.

Washington Spirit (2022): $35 million

The Washington Spirit, reigning NWSL champions, were sold for $35 million to Michelle Kang to gain the controlling shares of the team. Kang initially bid $21 million for the team but then increased her amount to the $35 million in order to out bid Todd Boehly's $25 million. Boehly is co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers and Sparks.


Expansion Fees

Recently known expansion fees for Major League Soccer and National Women's Soccer League franchises.



Miami Fusion (1998): $20 million

Atlanta United FC (2004): $70 million

Inter Miami (2014): $25 million, part of David Bechham's contract with LA Galaxy with option to buy expansion franchise

Nashville SC (2017) & Austin FC (2018): $200 million

Charlotte FC (2019): $325 million


Sacramento, now San Diego (2019): est. $2 million

Kansas City Current (2021): $5 million


Stadium Costs

Recently known costs for brand-new built stadiums in Major League Soccer and National Women's Soccer League.


Kansas City Current, TBD name

  • est. Open 2024
  • est. $70 million
  • Soccer-specific stadium
  • First NWSL only stadium 

Columbus Crew SC, Lower.com Field

  • $314 million
  • Opened July 2021
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Austin FC, Q2 Stadium

  • $260 million
  • Opened June 2021
  • Soccer-specific stadium

FC Cincinnati, TQL Stadium

  • $250 million
  • Opened May 2021
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Inter Miami, DRV PNK Stadium

  • $60 million
  • Opened August 2020
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Minnesota United, Allianz Field

  • $200 million
  • Opened April 2019
  • Soccer-specific stadium

D.C. United, Audi Field

  • $400 million
  • Opened July 2018
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Los Angeles FC, Banc of California Stadium

  • $350 million
  • Opened April 2018
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Atlanta United, Mercedes-Benz Stadium

  • $1.6 billion
  • Opened September 2017
  • Multi-sport venue

Orlando City SC, Exploria Stadium

  • $155 million
  • Opened March 2017
  • Soccer-specific stadium
  • First stadium to host MLS, NWSL and USL teams as same time

San Jose Earthquakes, PayPal Park

  • $100 million
  • Opened March 2015
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Houston Dynamo FC, BBVA Stadium

  • $95 million
  • Opened May 2012
  • Multi-purpose stadium


MLS NWSL Sale Expansion Fee Stadium Costs

The National Women's Soccer League and the NWSL Players Association have agreed upon the first-ever Collective Bargaining Agreement that run through the 2026 season with an investment of almost $100 million over the course of the CBA. The two sides had been negotiating with each other since March 2021 and the deadline to reach an agreement without having a work stoppage was Feb 1, 2022. 

A few of the key items reported include:


Investment in Players

  • Minimum salaries will increase to $35,000 (60% increase); all players will received salary increases
  • Compensation for housing, transportation, retirement contributions, heath/life/disability insurance
  • Average total compensation will increase to $54,000 (30% increase)
  • Revenue sharing, with 10% of net broadcast revenue (if league is profitable in years 3, 4, and 5 of the CBA)


Free Agency

Official free agency for players in the NWSL will begin in 2023 with a transition to Unrestricted and Restricted Free Agency in 2024.


  • Players with six (6) years of service in the NWSL will receive full Unrestricted Free Agency


  • Players with five (5) years of server in the NWSL will receive Unrestricted Free Agency
  • Players with three (3) years of service in the NWSL will receive Restricted Free Agency


Defined Season

  • Players will be give a fixed season with a specific start and end window
  • A season will have a maximum number of games in a season
  • Players are guaranteed 42 days of vacation
  • Players will receive a seven-day in-season break


Health and Wellness

  • League will employ the following:
    • Medical Director
  • Teams will employ the following:
    • Team Physician,
    • Massage Therapist,
    • Sports Scientist,
    • Sports Psychologist,
    • Mental Health Clinician
  • Players will receive parental leave (new birth or adoption)
  • Mental health leave for up to 6 months for players who need it



  • NWSL will commit $255,000 - $300,000 in group licensing rights

2022 NWSL Expansion Draft: Dec 16,  2021 @ 7PM EST, CBS Sports Network / Twitch and YouTube Channels

Expansion Teams: Angel City FC, San Diego FC

Rules and Procedures: click here

The following is a list of the protected and unprotected players each team has designated 

Chicago Red Stars
Full Roster Protection (Acquired via trade)

Houston Dash
Protected Players

Jane Campbell (Federation Player - USA) 
Rachel Daly
Makamae Gomera-Stevens
Shea Groom
Haley Hanson
Katie Naughton
Nichelle Prince (Federation Player - CAN)
Maria Sanchez 
Gabby Seiler

Unprotected Players
Michaela Abam
Michelle Alozie
Joelle Anderson (College Protected)
Bridgette Andrzejewski (Rights)
Allysha Chapman
Taylor Comeau (Rights)
Nikki Cross (Rights)
Amanda Dennis (Rights)
Hannah Diaz
Marissa Diggs (Rights)
Lindsey Harris
Melissa Henderson (Rights)
Bianca Henninger (Rights)
Savannah Jordan (Rights)
Veronica Latsko
Kristie Mewis (U.S. Federation Player)
Christine Nairn (Rights)
Emily Ogle
Megan Oyster
Ally Prisock
Annika Schmidt
Sophie Schmidt
Jasmyne Spencer
Brianna Visalli

Kansas City Current
Full Roster Protection (acquired via trade)

NJ/NY Gotham FC
Full Roster Protection (acquired via trade)

North Carolina Courage
Full Roster Protection (acquired via trade)

OL Reign
Protected Players

Bethany Balcer
Alana Cook
Jessica Fishlock
Sofia Huerta
Rose Lavelle (Federation Player - USA)
Quinn (Federation Player - CAN)
Phallon Tullis-Joyce
Ally Watt

Unprotected Players
Lauren Barnes
Amber Brooks
Maria Bullock (Rights)
Stephanie Catley (Rights)
Stephanie Cox (Rights)
Kiersten Dallstream
Ella Dederick
Madison Hammond
Kelcie Hedge
Sam Hiatt
Adrienne Jordan (Rights)
Tziarra King
Alyssa Kleiner (Playing Rights)
Jimena Lopez
Kristen McNabb
Sinclaire Miramontez
Cosette Morche
Theresa Nielsen (Rights)
Morgan Proffitt (Rights)
Leah Pruitt
Megan Rapinoe (Federation Player - USA)
Nikki Stanton
Rumi Utsugi (Rights)
Abby Wambach (Rights)
Dani Weatherholt
Lydia Williams (Rights)
Beverly Yanez (Rights)

Orlando Pride
Protected Players

Mikayla Colohan (College Protected)
Taylor Kornieck
Sydney Leroux
Phoebe McClernon
Alex Morgan (Federation Player - USA)
Courtney Petersen
Amy Turner
Viviana Villacorta

Unprotected Players
Kerry Abello (College Protected)
Kaylie Collins Claire Emslie (Rights)
Joanna Fennema (Rights)
Caitlin Farrell (Rights)
Megan Dougherty Howard
Gunnhildur Jonsdottir
Abi Kim
Carrie Lawrence
Camila Martins Pereira (Rights)
Erin McCleod (Federation Player - CAN)
Jade Moore
Toni Pressley
Ali Riley
Parker Roberts
Kylie Strom
Erika Tymrak
Emily Van Egmond (Rights)
Marisa Viggiano
Chelsee Washington
Brittany Wilson
Shelina Zadorsky (Rights)

Portland Thorns FC
Protected Players

Bella Bixby
Crystal Dunn
Lindsey Horan
Natalia Kuikka
Emily Menges
Olivia Moultrie
Raquel Rodriguez 
Sophia Smith (Federation Player - USA)
Morgan Weaver

Unprotected Players
Amirah Ali (College Protected)
Nadine Angerer (Rights)
Hannah Betfort
Celeste Boureille
Samantha Coffey (College Protected)
Marian Dougherty (Rights)
Britt Eckerstrom (Rights)
Marissa Everett
Shelby Hogan
Kelli Hubly
Meghan Klingenberg
Andressa Machry (Rights)
Nikki Marshall (Rights)
Meagan Morris (Rights)
Meaghan Nally
Madison Pogarch
Hayley Raso (Rights)
Katherine Reynolds (Rights)
Yazmeen Ryan
Angela Salem 
Becky Sauerbrunn (Federation Player - USA)
Christine Sinclair
Abby Smith
Katarina Tarr (Rights)
Rachel Van Hollebeke (Rights)
Christen Westphal
Sandra Yu (Rights)

Racing Louisville FC
Protected Players

Gemma Bonner
Kirsten Davis (College Protected)
Emina Ekic
Emily Fox
Cece Kizer
Katie Lund
Nadia Nadim 
Freja Olofsson 
Ebony Salmon 

Unprotected Players
Julia Ashley
Janine Beckie (Rights)
Caitlin Foord (Rights)
Parker Goins (College Protected)
Tobin Heath (Rights)
Alanna Kennedy (Rights)
Nealy Martin
Cheyna Matthews
Savannah McCaskill
Addisyn Merrick
Lauren Milliet
Yuki Nagasato
Taylor Otto
Kaleigh Riehl
Erin Simon
Emily Smith (College Protected)

Washington Spirit
Protected Players

Dorian Bailey
Aubrey Bledsoe
Bayley Feist
Ashley Hatch
Tara McKeown
Julia Roddar
Trinity Rodman
Ashley Sanchez
Sam Staab

Unprotected Players
Taylor Alymer
Camryn Biegalski
Averie Collins
Jordan DiBiasi
Morgan Goff
Anna Heilferty
Tori Huster
Devon Kerr
Lori Lindsey (Rights)
Joanna Lohman (Rights)
Paige Nielsen
Kelley O’Hara (Federation Player - USA)
Kariana Rodriguez
Sydney Schneider
Emily Sonnett(Federation Player - USA)
Andi Sullivan(Federation Player - USA)
Saori Takarada
Kumi Yokoyama