Caeleb Dressel & Simone Manuel Absent From Any ISL Roster

After formally announcing four of its inaugural season rosters last week, the International Swimming League (ISL) held a press conference this afternoon to announce rosters for the final four teams – New York (NY) Breakers, Los Angeles (LA) Current, Team Iron, and London Roar.

While portions of the European rosters (Team Iron and London Roar) may have already been public knowledge from one-by-one announcements via social media posts, today’s announcement rounds out the rosters.

The majority of swimming stars from around the world have signed with a team; however, there are still several who have not – for unknown reasons that will vary from individual to individual. Most notably on the United States’ side, 2016 Olympic gold medalists Caeleb Dressel and Simone Manuel are absent from any roster as of today. That’s not to say that either of them, or any of the athletes listed below, will not have the opportunity in the future to sign with a team.

Other notable absentees from the United States include: Gunnar Bentz, Conor Dwyer, Robert Howard, Tate Jackson, Allison Schmitt, Micah Sumrall, and Dana Vollmer among others.

Other notable international absentees include: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), James Wilby (GBR), Bruno Fratus (BRA), Mehdy Metella (FRA), Piero Codia (ITA), Andrii Govorov (UKR), Tamas Kenderesi (HUN), Mack Horton (AUS), Grant Irvine (AUS), Bradley Woodward (AUS), Josh Beaver (AUS), Shane Ryan (IRE), Pernille Blume (DEN), Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), Erin Gallagher (RSA), and Svetlana Chimrova (RUS) among others.

As a reminder, the ISL format will be in short course meters (SCM) and will not include distance events (400 IM, 800/1,500 free), thus explaining the absence of an abundance of distance swimmers not as well-suited to the format.

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there are some pretty high-powered names on that list… surprising


In some ways, it makes sense though – they would be getting calls from every single roster, they may still be negotiating

Easy E

Are there caps? What if they are priced out or priced themselves out on accident. There’s only so much money to go around unfortunately


It’s like an economics lesson


As far as I can tell, there hasn’t been any explanation of finances at all (i.e. contracts, potential salary caps, salary minimums, incentives, etc). It’s a private entity, so I’m guessing they don’t have to divulge any of that information, and probably won’t if that’s the case.


Also Matt Josa’s a big name that isn’t on any roster I’ve seen


is Joseph Schooling on any team?


i guess Asians decided to skip it all together…


too bad… hope there will be more Asian swimmers joining. Siobahn Haughey signed with DC Trident, maybe there is still hope for more to join.


she trains in the US. but yeah. feel weird than no more asians will be competing.

I think the Asians have far less financial incentive to compete, with a home Olympics coming up. Those who medal in Tokyo 2020 will become fabulously wealthy. Asian swimmers in general receive better financial support than their counterparts. Even bigger for athletes in some countries, like South Korea: Olympic medals can get them out of mandatory military service.

It just isn’t worth the risk. ISL money is a nice starting point, but at the end of the day, the top competitors in year 1 might make $50k or so all-in. That doesn’t really move the needle in Asia versus what an Olympic medal will earn them.