The New York Breakers will retain Marco Koch for 2021, but not Team MVP Michael Andrew in their first five picks.
Koch, a jackpot-master in the 200 breaststroke last year, did not originally appear on the list of protected athletes from which New York could choose to retain. But the team announced their first five retained swimmers today, including Koch among them. It’s not clear when teams were allowed to add names to their protection pools, but this confirms that the pools were not locked when they were announced earlier this month.
The other big surprise is that Andrew is not one of the first five names retained. Andrew was the #26 overall regular-season scorer last year, scoring a point more than Koch (#29 league-wide). The two were easily the top two scorers for the Breakers.
There are still future rounds of retention that could include swimmers not named today. But an absence could also suggest that a swimmer is not competing in the coming ISL season. We’ve reached out to Andrew for more information.
Outside of Andrew, the Breakers retained their top four available scorers from last year: Koch, Abbie Wood (#36), Joe Litchfield (#38), Arina Surkova (#55). #40 overall scorer Kasia Wasick did not appear on the team’s protection list and will likely join the draft pool.
Other key names not yet retained: Felix Auboeck (#115), Svetlana Chimrova (#131), Emily Escobedo (#144) and Alicia Tchorz (#151).
DRAFT/PLAYER RETENTION RULES
First, a quick refresher on personnel rules, as announced by the league:
Each team can retain up to 16 swimmers from their 2020 rosters across six different rounds of retention:
- 5 pre-selected athletes to retain
- 4 athletes announced in round 1 of retention
- 3 athletes announced in round 2 of retention
- 2 athletes announced in round 3 of retention
- 1 athlete announced in round 4 of retention
- 1 athlete voted on by fans (this round of retention comes after the first round of the ISL draft, though)
After that, players not retained will fall to the ISL Draft Pool, where the Aqua Centurions and DC Trident will each have a first-round pick. The Draft Pool will include unretained players, but also ISL rookies, like NCAA graduates and other new ISL additions.