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Ahead of NWSL expansion draft, Portland protects 11 players, including Dunn and Horan

There were no surprises on the protected list of the Portland Thorns ahead of the National Women's Soccer League expansion draft for Racing Louisville FC.

The draft takes place at 4 p.m. Pacific Time on Nov. 12. The league announced players protected and unprotected from eight teams on Thursday, Nov. 5.

Teams were allowed to protect 11 players and no more than two United States Women's National Team allocated players. As expected, the Thorns protected midfielders Lindsey Horan and Crystal Dunn. Allocated players left unprotected are defender Becky Sauerbrunn, goalkeeper Adrianna Franch and the rights to winger Tobin Heath.

Here is the list of players the Thorns protected:

Forward Simone Charley, Dunn, Horan, defender Kelli Hubly, defender Meghan Klingenberg, defender Natalia Kuikka (international), defender Emily Menges, midfielder Rocky Rodriguez (international), Christine Sinclair (Canadian allocated player), forward Sophia Smith and forward Morgan Weaver.

The list of current players left unprotected by the Thorns:

Bella Bixby, Celeste Boureille, Marian Dougherty, Britt Eckerstrom, Marissa Everett, Franch, Tyler Lussi, Meaghan Nally, Emily Ogle, Madison Pogarch, Angela Salem, Sauerbrunn, Gabby Seiler and Christen Westphal.

The team also left unprotected the playing rights to these players, who are either retired or playing in other leagues:

Nadine Angerer, Heath, Andressa Machry, Nikki Marshall, Meagan Morris, Hayley Raso, Katherine Reynolds, Kat Tarr, Rachel Van Hollebeke and Sandra Yu.

Racing Louisville will become the 10th team in the NWSL in 2021. It will be allowed to select from unprotected player list a total of 18 players, not more than two from any one club. If Louisville selects an allocated UWSNT player, it cannot select a second player from that club.

Chicago, because of a previous trade with Louisville to protect all of its players, was not required to submit a list.

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