Bay FC are preparing to make their NWSL debut during the 2024 season and while they build their roster, they’re making strategic moves. In preparation for the NWSL draft on December 15, the expansion club has acquired $235,000 in alternative allocation money from Racing Louisville, along with Louisville’s third-round draft pick for the 2024 NWSL Draft. In return, Bay FC shipped out their second-round pick in the draft and protection in the upcoming expansion draft, where Bay FC can select unprotected players from teams currently in the league.
At first glance, this deal appears to be straightforward—a means to protect Louisville’s players while also adjusting their position in the draft. Bay FC holds the number two overall selection, along with four other selections, for a total of five. Even considering the allocation money, it seems like a standard scenario until the term “alternative” is taken into account. While this might seem like a typo, it’s a genuine roster mechanic within the NWSL, just a slightly confusing one.
What is alternative allocation money?
Teams can utilize up to $600,000 of allocation money each season if their ownership group contributes funds to gain access to it. This allocation money can then be employed to reduce player salaries, ensuring they fall within the salary cap, which stood at $1.375 million during the 2023 season.
In this trade, Bay FC expanded their allocation money allotment to $835,000. This strategic move signals the likelihood of additional player acquisitions. Having already secured Alex Lorea from KC Current, Bay FC has utilized a portion of their standard allocation money allotment, necessitating the need for more funds. This increased allocation provides Bay FC with greater flexibility, particularly in the expansion draft, allowing them to target higher-caliber players beyond their initial selections. The transfer market demands adaptability, and this becomes particularly crucial as a team approaches their inaugural season of play.