Megan Rapinoe Not Protected by OL Reign for Upcoming NWSL Expansion Draft

Erin WalshDecember 10, 2021

TACOMA, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 29: Megan Rapinoe #15 of OL Reign reacts after the 2-1 win against Portland Thorns FC at Lumen Field on August 29, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images

United States women's national team star Megan Rapinoe has been left unprotected by the OL Reign for the upcoming National Women's Soccer League expansion draft, per ESPN's Caitlin Murray

The decision to leave Rapinoe unprotected makes her available to be taken by expansion clubs Angel City FC and the San Diego Wave during the Dec. 16 draft. 

The Reign have opted to protect Rose Lavelle, Bethany Balcer, Alana Cook, Angelina, Jessica Fishlock, Sofia Huerta, Quinn, Phallon Tullis-Joyce and Ally Watt.

Rapinoe was also left unprotected in last year's expansion draft and ended up not being selected by Racing Louisville FC. The 36-year-old has spent her entire eight-year NWSL career with the Reign, formerly known as the Seattle Reign. 

Rapinoe began her NWSL career in 2013 and has appeared in 86 total matches (72 starts). She's tallied 40 goals and 17 assists in that span. In 11 games (eight starts) during the 2021 campaign, she tallied six goals and two assists. 

The 2019 Ballon d'Or Feminin winner has also made 187 appearances for the USWNT, tallying 62 goals and 71 assists. She is a two-time Women's World Cup champion, won the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Ball and was named the best FIFA women's player in 2019. 

In addition to Rapinoe, USWNT stars Kelley O'Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) and Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit) were left unprotected by their respective clubs. Canada's Christine Sinclair, the all-time women's leading scorer, was also left unprotected by the Portland Thorns. 

Teams were allowed to protect nine players for the upcoming draft, including a maximum of one United States Federation player. Both Angel City FC and the San Diego Wave are allowed to select one player from each team. 

There are currently 10 teams in the NWSL. That number will increase to 12 in 2022.