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Washington Spirit announce 2021 NWSL allocated players

USWNT regular call-ups Kelley O’Hara, Emily Sonnett, and Andi Sullivan are on the Federation’s books this year

Courtesy of Washington Spirit

The Washington Spirit today announced that Kelley O’Hara, Emily Sonnett, and Andi Sullivan are on the NWSL’s list of allocated players. The player allocation process is a method by which national team players for the USWNT and Canada’s national team have their salaries paid by their federation rather than their NWSL club.

Last year, Washington’s only allocated player was Rose Lavelle, but offseason trades to acquire O’Hara and Sonnett and Sullivan’s place in Vlatko Andonovski’s plans have given the Spirit their largest total of allocated players since the 2018 season. This year’s list includes 32 players (22 from the USWNT, 10 from Canada), with Sullivan, who was previously on a multi-year contract with the Spirit, being allocated for the first time. O’Hara and Sonnett, meanwhile, are holdovers from previous years.

Changes to NWSL rules allowing clubs to directly sign USWNT players with allocation money had opened up the prospect of some significant changes to the Federation’s list of players on USWNT salaries. This has come up with the Portland Thorns, who have signed both Crystal Dunn and Lindsey Horan to contracts outside the allocation system.

Every NWSL team, save for expansion side Racing Louisville, has ended up with at least one allocated player. Interestingly, today’s announcement includes a note that Lavelle and Sam Mewis (both of whom are currently playing for Manchester City) “will receive an allocated salary from U.S. Soccer should they return to the NWSL for the 2021 Season.”

The current Spirit roster/contract breakdown, per past team press releases and B&RU reporting, is as follows:

Spirit contract statuses as of 2/25/2021

Number Player Contract status
Number Player Contract status
1 Aubrey Bledsoe "multi-year"
2 Trinity Rodman college draft pick in camp
3 Sam Staab through 2022 + option
4 Natalie Jacobs through 2022
5 Kelley O'Hara allocated by USSF
6 Emily Sonnett allocated by USSF
7 Saori Takarada through 2022
8 Averie Collins through 2022
9 Tegan McGrady through 2022
10 Ashley Sanchez "multi-year"
11 Jordan DiBiasi through 2022 + option
12 Andi Sullivan allocated by USSF
13 Bayley Feist through 2022 + option
14 Paige Nielsen through 2022 + option
16 Julia Roddar through 2022
17 Kumi Yokoyama through 2022
18 Devon Kerr through 2021 + option
19 Dorian Bailey through 2022 + option
20 Mariana Speckmaier college draft pick in camp
21 Anna Heilferty college draft pick in camp
23 Tori Huster through 2022
31 Sydney Schneider college draft pick in camp
33 Ashley Hatch through 2022 + option
N/A Tara McKeown college draft pick playing NCAA season