Last week there were some big announcements in Orlando as the newly minted NWSL side the Orlando Pride announced its first three signings in club history, led by probably the most marketable Women's Soccer player in the world, Alex Morgan. With the talented U.S. International forward, coach Tom Sermanni also brought in Canadian International midfielder Kaylyn Kyle and accomplished forward Sarah Hagen.
The Mane Land covered these signings and talked in depth on how they would impact the Expansion Draft, but before we get to the picks, we must understand the shape of how bringing in these players will impact the Expansion Draft.
The Hagen trade involved Orlando giving up a second round pick in 2017 NWSL College Draft and receiving KC's second round pick in 2016 NWSL College Draft. This deal suggests Orlando will not select certain KC players in the Expansion Draft. Rumors also have USWNT goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris joining the Pride, leaving the team with eight remaining selections. (The team's first selection presumably being Megan Klingenberg, who would be sent to Portland from the Morgan deal.)
Tom Sermanni generally does a nice job scouting players who are left unprotected, so fans should be excited that he will be able to find talent on other rosters. With his past, and considering that Orlando will be looking to build upon the potent attack started by its first three signings, do not be surprised if big name players are playing for the Pride this season.
A few rules that should be understand before we move into a round by round selection scenario:
- Each team may protect up to two U.S. allocated players. Any additional U.S. allocated players on a team’s roster must be left unprotected. The Pride will be allowed to select no more than two U.S. allocated players.
- In addition, Orlando will only be able to select up to two players from any one club, except if they select a U.S. allocated player in which case they may not take any additional players from that club.
- In the event Orlando selects a player who is not an U.S. allocated player that club may then designate an additional player to be added their protected player list.
Round One: Megan Klingenberg - Defender - Seattle Reign
The rights to this pick were traded to Portland in the Alex Morgan deal and many see this pick being Megan Klingenberg who then will head to Portland to complete the Alex Morgan and Kaylyn Kyle deal. If Klingenberg is selected, Seattle would be able to protect the rest of their roster as they would have lost a U.S. allocated player and Orlando would only have one more U.S. allocation selection left. SEA protected from further picks.
Round Two: Ashlyn Harris - Goalkeeper - Washington Spirit
Again, this pick seems to be a formality as Orlando is believed to be picking Ashlyn Harris, the U.S. goalkeeper who is from Satellite Beach, Florida who even said that she could be seen again here in Orlando. This would mean both U.S. allocation selections would be used by Orlando and both Washington and Seattle would be protected from any picks moving forward.
Round Three: Katrina Gorry - Midfielder - FC Kansas City
This is where Tom Sermanni's history with the Australian program will come into play. So far, Orlando still has two international slots available to them for the 2016 season, as they traded one away in the Morgan deal for the next two years, and using one here for a player like Katrina Gorry who can feed the ball to our goal scorers would be a smart move. Gorry is the current AFC Women Player of the Year and got her first cap for Australia under Sermanni in 2012. This move gives Orlando a strong attack and will allow Tom to concentrate on defense and depth moving forward. Do not expect The Pride to use both international slots in the expansion as there could be a Brazillian on her way. KC protects Amy LePeilbet.
Round Four: Rachel Quon - Defender - Chicago Red Stars
Sermanni cannot overlook Rachel Quon, a Canadian International who plays in the defense who Tom should know well after his stint as an assistant coach with them this past World Cup Cycle. Also a possibility here would be Taryn Hemmings, another defender from Chicago who could be a stalwart on the back line. CHI protects either Rachel Quon or Taryn Hemmings.
Round Five: Amy Barczuk - Defender - Boston Breakers
This pick could go a lot of different ways, Orlando has some good established forwards, but so far has not selected a central defender and this is where you could see that happen. Amy is the type of player who would fit well and could provide the cover in defense that Orlando will need as an expansion team. She currently plays for the Boston Breakers, and last year starting at central defender the 5'10" 25 year old played over 1600 minutes. BOS protects Maddy Evans.
Round Six: Maya Hayes - Forward - Sky Blue FC
With two forwards, two midfielders, and two defenders on the roster, and the spine of the team looking strong, this is where Sermanni may take a chance and shoot for some upside. Maya Hayes could be that; she was the sixth pick in last year's College Draft and has all the tools to succeed. Her potential has yet to be reached as seen when she led the US U-20 team to the World Cup in 2012 as the top goal scorer. SKY protect Kim DeCesare.
Round Seven: Sabrina D'Angelo - Goalkeeper - Western New York Flash
Considering Ashlyn Harris will likely be gone during the Olympics, it would be smart for Orlando to try and get a capable back-up for her here. Sabrina D'Angelo from the Western New York Flash is young, capable, and would be a player who could not only fill in aptly but has upside as Harris becomes even more involved with the USWNT. WNYF protect Elizabeth Eddy.
Round Eight: Jenna Richmond - Midfielder - FC Kansas City
This is where we could see the Pride go back to the same well again, as they could target Jenna Richmond the midfielder who won the NCAA Division One Championship with the UCLA Bruins in 2013. She has been a regular with the U.S. U-20 and U-23 sides and would play well in a midfield with other outstanding internationals. KC now protected from all selections.
Round Nine: Amanda Frisbee - Defender - Western New York Flash
Going back to Orlando needing players with upside, here the Pride will select Amanda Frisbie--a defender who, in 2013, was a Hermann Trophy finalist and was named the 2013 WCC Defender of the Year after transitioning from forward to center defense. WNYF now protected from all selections.
Round Ten: Toni Pressely - Defender - Houston Dash
With the last pick in the expansion draft after taking two goalkeepers, two midfielders, three defenders and a forward, the Pride would most likely shoot for another midfielder here. However, something is telling me that Orlando could go for another hometown kid in Toni Pressley who went to high school in Melbourne and played at Florida State. The reason being is that I can see Flavio Augusto da Silva wanting to use one of the international slots on a Brazilian midfielder, and with how much we know rules change in North American soccer maybe even two of them.
So there you go, this is our shot in the dark at the Expansion Draft. What do you think, are we right on what could happen or are we just totally bonkers?