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Discussion in 'Saint Louis Athletica' started by Hope Solo Fan Belgiu, Aug 12, 2009.
are the looking for new players?
This is a long answer to a short question, so I will apologize in advance. Remember that most of this is speculation on my part, so don't take it as absolute fact.
They will be looking to sign players, but we're not sure what they need to be looking for yet. First, the team needs to decide which players they want back. There are 18 full roster players and 4 developmental players. The developmental players are automatically free agents and basically have been all season long since any team can sign any other team's developmental players at any time. Out of the other 18 players, some will have multi-year contracts and others will have contracts with team options for a 2nd season. The team will decide which of the 18, if not all, that they will keep. I would think most teams will try to keep most of their players and Athletica seems pretty happy with the players they have in general.
Then you will have an expansion draft and each team will be allowed to protect 9 or 10 of the players they have under contract. It's likely that each team will lose 2 to 4 players in the expansion draft for Philadelphia and Atlanta, the two new teams.
After that there will be a free agent signing period, when all players not under contract and not still with college eligibility can be signed. So there will probably be quite a few domestic (USA) players signed during this period, either from other teams or just newly signed players.
There will also be a college draft sometime in January. It will probably be in Philadelphia because the draft is usually held in conjunction with a national soccer convention (I believe it is the NSCAA). At the present time, Athletica does not have a 1st round pick in the 2010 draft because we traded that to Los Angeles for Fletcher & Welsh. That means our top pick in the college draft will be in the 2nd round, probably about the 17th pick overall. There is a conditional draft pick that we get from Sky Blue in a trade, but we aren't sure what that will be yet.
I imagine that teams will be able to sign additional international players, but league rules say that you can only have the negotiating rights to 6 international players at once and can only sign 5 international players.
Right now, Saint Louis' international players are Sara Larsson, Sarah Walsh, Daniela, Melissa Tancredi, and Eniola Aluko. They also own the negotiating rights to Brazilian player Ester, which they received in the trade for Sarah Walsh in exchange for Kerri Hanks, Francielle, and the negotiating rights to Renata Costa. I would imagine that Athletica would like to keep most of the same international players they have. Aluko and Daniela will almost certainly be back as long as neither are free agents and I would think Sarah Walsh would probably be, too. I'm a little less certain about Tancredi and Larsson. Both are a little bit older, Larsson just turned 30. Both have struggled with injuries although they've played well when they have been healthy. If they can, the team may opt to sign Ester over one of those two players or they could give up the negotiating rights to one of the internationals and pick up the negotiating rights to another player through the international discovery process (which I don't completely understand).
So after all that, the answer is yes, they will be looking to sign players to replace those they lose through the expansion draft and those they lose through free agency. They will get some through the college draft and some by signing their own free agents. Sorry for the length of the reply.
What an awesome reply. A pleasure to read!