The NWSL preseason is set to kick off in the next couple of weeks, and most of the league’s 14 teams are facing some major roster-construction questions.
Between free agency, a flurry of trades, and several player signings, teams either have gaping holes in their starting lineups or depth charts that need to be filled before the regular season kicks off on March 16. Lucky for those teams, free agency is ongoing and the 2024 NWSL Draft is slated for Friday night.
Here are the biggest positional needs each team is facing.
Biggest need: Attacking midfielder
The Angels will need someone to fill the Savannah McCaskill-sized hole in their midfield. McCaskill, who found success playing as a No. 10 for Angel City last season, signed with the San Diego Wave on a three-deal as an unrestricted free agent earlier in the offseason.
In the 2023 regular season, McCaskill started all 22 games and co-led the team in goals. The engine to Angel City’s attacking approach, she completed the second-most key passes and the most passes in the final third among all Angel City players in 2023. She even led the entire league in progressive passes on the season. Without a suitable McCaskill replacement, Angel City’s midfield – and the team at large – might have a tough time adjusting to the new season.
Biggest need: Striker
Of the 11 players on Bay’s current roster, only two are forwards: Tess Boade and Rachel Hill. The Bay will need to sign more attacking talent – and specifically a striker – if they’re going to be truly dangerous in 2024.
Boade has elite vision and is a high-level passer but was best paired with the Courage’s Kerolin Nicoli, who is one of the best No. 9s in the league. Rachel Hill was one of San Diego’s go-to wingers in 2023, but she didn’t generate much in the attack and instead was more impactful on the other side of the ball. She registered 3.02 tackles per game, putting her in the 99th percentile among her positional peers last year.
It’ll be worth keeping an eye on who the Bay add to shore up their attack.