NWSL Allocation: Thorns seem to be clear winners, nab Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair

Marc Serota

Arguably the two best attacking players in the world will both suit up for the Portland Thorns during the inaugural NWSL season.

There seems to be pretty massive consensus that the Portland Thorns were the big winners of the inaugural NWSL allocation. Not only were they given United States star Alex Morgan, but they also managed to get Canadian sensation Christine Sinclair. Together, they were arguably the two best offensive players in the world.

Other than those two, the other 53 players allocated seemed be spread relatively even. The league said all along that competitive balance would be a major component in which players went to which teams, with an independent third party making the final decision after players and teams listed their preferences. All but one of the eight teams was given three United States national team players and two each from Canada and Mexico.

"This allocation process is obviously a big step in building the foundation for this league and each of the teams will benefit from a group of very talented players," NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey said in a statement. "This is always a difficult process, but we believe there was a fair distribution of talent across all eight teams and with the NWSL College Draft coming up in Indianapolis on Jan. 18, the rosters of the clubs will really start to take shape."

In addition to Morgan and Sinclair, the Thorns also got Tobin Heath, who started 4 of 6 games for the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The general consensus also seems to think the Seattle Reign did reasonably well for themselves. In addition to goalkeeper Hope Solo, they got midfielder Megan Rapinoe. Both played for the Sounders Women last year. The one downside with Rapinoe is that she's expected to join the Reign after the start of the season, as she's currently playing with Lyon in France.

Other notable players to be allocated included Sydney Leroux and Heather Mitts going to the Boston Breakers; Shannon Boxx and Maribel Dominguez going to the Chicago Red Stars; Lauren Cheney to FC Kansas City; Christine Rampone to Sky Blue FC; Ali Krieger going to the Washington Spirit; and Carli Loyd and Abby Wamback to Western New York Flash.

Full allocation list:

Boston Breakers
Sydney Leroux (USA)
Heather Mitts (USA)
Heather O'Reilly (USA)
Adriana Leon (CAN)
Rhian Wilkinson (CAN)
Anisa Guajardo (MEX)
Cecilia Santiago (MEX)

Chicago Red Stars
Shannon Boxx (USA)
Amy LePeilbet (USA)
Keelin Winters (USA)
Erin McLeod (CAN)
Carmelina Moscato (CAN)
Maribel Dominguez (MEX)
Dinora Garza (MEX)

FC Kansas City
Nicole Barnhart (USA)
Lauren Cheney (USA)
Becky Sauerbrunn (USA)
Desiree Scott (CAN)
Lauren Sesselmann (CAN)
Renae Cuellar (MEX)
Marylin Diaz (MEX)

Portland Thorns FC
Rachel Buehler (USA)
Tobin Heath (USA)
Alex Morgan (USA)
Luz Saucedo (MEX)
Marlene Sandoval (MEX)
Karina LeBlanc (CAN)
Christine Sinclair (CAN)

Seattle Reign FC
Megan Rapinoe (USA)
Amy Rodriguez (USA)
Hope Solo (USA)
Kaylyn Kyle (CAN)
Emily Zurrer (CAN)
Jenny Ruiz (MEX)
Teresa Noyola (MEX)

Sky Blue FC
Jill Loyden (USA)
Kelley O'Hara (USA)
Christie Rampone (USA)
Sophie Schmidt (CAN)
Melanie Booth (CAN)
Monica Ocampo (MEX)
Lydia Rangel (MEX)

Washington Spirit
Ashlyn Harris (USA)
Ali Krieger (USA)
Lori Lindsey (USA)
Robin Gayle (CAN)
Diana Matheson (CAN)
Alina Garciamendez (MEX)
Teresa Worbis (MEX)

Western New York Flash
Carli Lloyd (USA)
Abby Wambach (USA)
Bryana McCarthy (CAN)
Jodi-Ann Robinson (CAN)
Veronica Perez (MEX)
Pamela Tajonar (MEX)

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