As has been standard in Major League Soccer, each team in the NWSL will choose a certain number of players to protect, preventing the expansion Houston Dash from poaching those players, the remainder will be available for Houston to choose from.
It's an irony for Brian Ching to be involved in this process (as the managing director of the Dash) after his experience when the Dynamo left him unprotected and he headed to Vancouver for a period before being quickly traded back to Houston.
The list of protected and unprotected players from each club will be due on Wednesday, which will lead to the inevitable locker-room politics that accompany such a list with one shock always bound to appear, such as Ching was when he was unprotected.
Houston Dash can select up to two US allocated players, one Canadian allocated player and one Mexican allocated player and any club with more than two US allocated players must leave at least one US allocated player available, making it likely that Houston Dash will select a full set of allocated players.
Houston Dash will be able to select two players from each club, although if they select a US allocated player they will not be able to select a second player from that club, in addition if the first player they select from the club is not a US allocated player that team will be able to move an unprotected player to the protected list.
The non-playoff clubs, Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, Seattle Reign and Washington Spirit will be allowed to protect ten players while the playoff clubs, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns, Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash will only be allowed to protect nine players.
Any player on loan from another league, non-allocated internationals or with a contractual agreement limiting movement will be protected automatically, but will still count as one of the ten or nine players allowed to be protected.
Any player that Houston acquire from the Expansion Draft will have the conditions of their contract transferred to the Dash, except in the case where the player was claimed from waivers but remains unsigned, in that case the responsibility to negotiate a new contract will fall on Houston Dash.