NWSL offseason: Ranking the 10 best free-agents available

Somehow, the offseason is here. Not only we will have an expansion draft, but the second year of free agency will shake up rosters even more. Here are our top-10 NWSL free agents.
Angel City FC v OL Reign: Quarterfinals - 2023 NWSL Championship
Angel City FC v OL Reign: Quarterfinals - 2023 NWSL Championship / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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While NJ/NY Gotham FC continue to celebrate a well-earned title (without a parade), the NWSL offseason has officially begun. This time around, it will work a little differently. Clubs will have a lot on their plate, focusing on locking down their players both out and under contract. The league has an expansion draft for two new teams in addition to the second round of free agency featuring an expanded pool.

Last year, individuals with at least six years of NWSL experience and an expiring contract were eligible to test the market. In 2023 any player with at least five years of service and an expiring contract is eligible for unrestricted free agency. These unrestricted individuals can sign with any team without their current club being able to match the qualifying offer within the first seven days. For restricted free agency, anyone with at least three years of service and an expiring contract qualifies.

Players cannot officially sign with clubs until Dec. 5, but if you're Gotham, you can get fined and get a head start. We're not knocking on those tactics. It worked. Guess who's holding the trophy? Now that we know about the new rules, let's dive into the top 10 players on the market.

Note: This ranking includes both restricted and unrestricted free agents

Ranking the NWSL's top 10 free agents of the offseason

10. Bianca St-Georges

There was not much excitement coming out of the Windy City this past season. The Chicago Red Stars' defense was the worst since Orlando's in 2019. Canadian Bianca St-Georges was one of the few positives.

The right-sided winger tied Yūki Nagasato for the team lead in goal contributions with five in 20 league starts. The 25-year-old is coming off back-to-back productive campaigns in the NWSL. With her age, there should be a lot of clubs interested in the services of the versatile wide player. Watch the Chicago vs. Portland game on June 18. It gives you almost everything you know to explain why St-Georges makes this list. The Canadian was giving Reyna Reyes, Emily Menges, and Meghan Klingenberg fits with her directness and speed in the wide areas.

She finished the league season in top form, netting three goals in her last five matches including a game-winner against Racing Louisville. Despite being snubbed a spot at the World Cup, Beverly Priestman has rewarded her for quality play at the club level with call-ups to the last two Canadian national team camps.

9. Becky Sauerbrunn

When Portland Thorns were shockingly eliminated at the hands of NJ/NY Gotham FC, the USWNT legend Becky Sauerbrunn made no comments about her future. She expressed in the post-game press conference alongside Sophia Smith that players fought for free agency, so the defender will take her shot at testing it.

When everyone looks at Sauerbrunn now, some think of her age. Sure, she's 38, No. 4 can make an instant impact on and off the pitch for any team. It would make the most sense for any club that intends to pursue her to be in a win-now situation. Time is not on her side. The St. Louis native still sat in the top four on the Thorns in pass accuracy during the regular season. There have been little to no rumors about the center back, but it has to be said that her club career may not conclude in the Pacific Northwest.