We know who the lucky 16 Canadian women's national team players are, that will be part of the National Women's Soccer League's inaugural allocation draft -- but the question now remains, where will they all go?
It's a question that have been long awaited, and later today all will be revealed. However, before the official announcement is made, why not have a little fun with the metaphorical crystal ball by trying to predict how 16 women will be divided amongst the NWSL's 8 franchises?
Taking what we know about the players, such as their position, where they played during their college careers, any former WPS teams, and any subsequent connections with the American national team players that are set to be allocated, that may have resulted. Searching high and low through the threadbare amounts of information available, we came up with a forecast thanks to our trusty WTR Brand Allocation-Sim-O-Matic 8000 (patent pending worldwide), with what information we could glean from below:
|Adriana Leon||F||Notre Dame||Boxx|
|Bryanna McCarthy||FB||West Virginia|
|Carmelina Moscato||MF||Penn State||A. Krieger|
|Christine Sinclair||S||Portland||WNY Flash, Gold Pride||Rapinoe, Wambach|
|Desiree Scott||MF||Manitoba*||Leroux (?)|
|Erin McLeod||GK||Penn State||Washington Freedom (mJ)
|Jodi-Ann Robinson||F/M||West Florida||WNY Flash|
|Karina LeBlanc||GK||Nebraska||LA Sol, Sky Blue, Philly, magicJack
|Kaylyn Kyle||MF||Saskatchewan*||Leroux (?), O'Reilly (?)
|Lauren Sesselmann||D||Purdue||Sky Blue, Atlanta||O'Reilly|
|Mel Booth||D||Florida||Mitts, Wambach|
|Robyn Gayle||D||North Carolina||Parlow (coach), O'Reilly
|Sophie Schmidt||MF||Portland||magicJack||Wambach, Boxx, Rampone
(* - Denotes not an NCAA school. But you knew that already, right?)
It's not exactly the fullest of information tables, but given the knowledge that I had at hand, combined with the power of Google and logical reasoning, it was the best we could come up with in a pinch without trying to really dig into psychological profiles (a feature that we're working on for our Allocation-Sim-O-Matic 9000) and all that lovely stuff. And besides, mind-reading can be a bit of a tricky bit of business -- even trickier still is trying to predict which Americans and Mexicans will be joining the Canadians, which almost shorted out the ASOM8K.
As to the end result, there were some obvious connections, and there were some that weren't so obvious -- there were some results like for Kaylyn Kyle and Desiree Scott who have played for the W-League Whitecaps, but did not go to an American university, and would likely have little to no links with any of the American team players or WPS sides (Kyle does serve as a Right to Play ambassador, as do Heather O'Reilly, but that similarity is unlikely to produce any synergies), and there were absolutely easy ones like Christine Sinclair and Jodi-Ann Robinson (who played for the team we predicted her to be on last year while the Flash were in the WPSL Elite). And then there were ones where we chose to live dangerously...the results are what you can see below.
|Team||Player 1||Player 2|
|Boston Breakers||Diana Matheson||Lauren Sesselmann|
|Chicago Red Stars||Adriana Leon||Emily Zurrer|
|FC Kansas City||Bryanna McCarthy||Melanie Booth|
|Portland Thorns||Christine Sinclair||Robyn Gayle|
|Seattle Reign||Desiree Scott||Kaylyn Kyle|
|Sky Blue FC||Karina LeBlanc||Rhian Wilkinson|
|Washington Spirit||Carmelina Moscato||Erin McLeod|
|Western New York Flash||Jodi-Ann Robinson||Sophie Schmidt|
While it's likely that Portland will get Sinclair (as many are predicting) along with Megan Rapinoe, It's very unlikely that all of their choices will be realized: with Rapinoe, Sinclair and possibly Alex Morgan, Portland will a already possess one of the NWSL's top striking trios even before a ball has been kicked in anger. Therefore, while it's a popular pick to pair Sophie Schmidt with Sinclair, the ASOM8K felt that perhaps the UNC Tar Heel link between the Thorns' head coach Cindy Parlow would bring Robyn Gayle instead to bolster the Thorns defense. Other links would follow a similar mindset, with our machine predicting that Adriana Leon (a junior at Notre Dame) may follow fellow Fighting Irish Shannon Boxx to the Chicago Red Stars, along with Fighting Illini alum Emily Zurrer.
Two teams offered perhaps the biggest challenge, but in the end some sound logic solved those questions. The Seattle Reign was the first, since none of the 16 have any major connections with that city. However, the two that were projected to play for the Reign did ply their trade with W-League Whitecaps, which is based less than a stone's throw away from Seattle. And then there is Kansas City, which has perhaps the least amount of connection with women's soccer in the league (again, correct me if I'm wrong) and probably not exactly a hotspot for Canada's 16 at first glance -- so it's highly unlikely that FCKC would be a destination that will be high on Leon's and Bryanna McCarthy's lists, with the latter drawing the metaphorical short straw.
Otherwise, most others were clear sailing: Karina LeBlanc and Erin McLeod had connections with both Sky Blues and the old Washington Freedom, which could be a good indication of where they are going. Carmelina Moscato's connection with Ali Krieger could tie her with the Spirit. But then there were those who had zero connections at all: Mel Booth (from the University of Florida, and linked to Abby Wambach while there), Rhian Wilkinson (who is only known to have played with fellow Lady Vol Marie-Eve Nault, who is not included in the 16), and Diana Matheson (who was at Princeton, which does not appear to have an accomplice in the US ranks of the 55.) These were the dice rolls, and some like Matheson was determined geographically, while others...well, we'll let the fates decide.
Again, all of these could end up being completely wrong, or completely right -- we can't say for sure until the final list is revealed, but if you think there's something missing, or something is completely out to lunch, note that in the comments below!