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Women's soccer league readying for second season

January 03, 2014|By Kevin Baxter
  • U.S. forward Abby Wambach takes a warm-up shot before the American team plays Brazil at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando.
U.S. forward Abby Wambach takes a warm-up shot before the American team… (Brian Blanco / Getty Images )

Soccer's fledgling women's professional league Friday released a list of 50 allocated players for the upcoming season.

The National Women's Soccer League, which debuted in 2013, is a joint effort of the soccer federations of the U.S., Mexico and Canada and is designed to give national team players a place to play between major international competitions. The federations subsidize the salaries of the 50 allocated players from their respective national team pools, with 26 coming from the U.S., 16 from Canada and eight from Mexico.

Among the allocated players dispersed to the nine teams Friday were U.S. stars Heather O'Reilly (Boston); Christen Press (Chicago); Amy Rodriguez (Kansas City); Alex Morgan (Portland); Sydney Leroux, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo (Seattle); and Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach (Western New York).

Press, from Palos Verdes, will be making her debut in the NWSL this season after playing professionally in Sweden, where she led the league in scoring.

Among the Canadian national team stars returning to the NWSL are Christine Sinclair (Portland) -- with 147 goals, the third-leading women's scorer of all-time -- and Erin McLeod (Chicago). Melissa Tancredi (Houston) is among the newcomers.

Mexico, meanwhile, is sending former University of Washington standout Veronica Perez.

Morgan's Portland Thorns won the inaugural league title.

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