United States women’s national team defender Rachel Buehler is among the Portland Thorns FC players available for selection by the Houston Dash in Friday’s National Women’s Soccer League expansion draft. Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc and defender Tina Ellertson of Vancouver also will be available for selection.
The defending NWSL champions, the Thorns were allowed to protect nine players. Those players are: Jackie Acevedo (Mexican national team player), Amber Brooks, Tobin Heath (U.S. national team), Allie Long, Nikki Marshall, Alex Morgan (U.S. national team), Rebecca Moros, Christine Sinclair (Canadian national team) and Kathryn Williamson.
Teams with more than two United States national team players were only allowed to protect two.
The Thorns can lose no more than two players to Houston. If the Dash select Buehler, they cannot select another Thorns player. Houston will select a total of 10 players from the eight other NWSL clubs.
Here is the list of Thorns players available for Houston to select: Buehler, Becky Edwards, Ellertson, Angie Kerr, LeBlanc, Jessica McDonald, Emilee O’Neil, Casey Ramirez, Meleana Shim, Nikki Washington, Tiffany Weimer, Michele Weissenhofer (2013 hold-over rights) and Courtney Wetzel.
The draft is scheduled for 8 a.m. Pacific time on Friday.