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NWSL Draft grades: Kansas Metropolis Present earn an ‘A’; Washington Spirit make puzzling transfer

PHILADELPHIA — The National Women’s Soccer League welcomed 48 new players into the league during the 2023 draft on Thursday. A wild first round full of trades with player movement and swapped positions set the tone for the evening. Angel City FC selected 18-year-old forward Alyssa Thompson with the No. 1 selection overall, while the

NWSL Draft grades: Kansas Metropolis Present earn an ‘A’; Washington Spirit make puzzling transfer

PHILADELPHIA — The Nationwide Girls’s Soccer League welcomed 48 new gamers into the league through the 2023 draft on Thursday. A wild first spherical stuffed with trades with participant motion and swapped positions set the tone for the night. Angel Metropolis FC chosen 18-year-old ahead Alyssa Thompson with the No. 1 choice general, whereas the Kansas Metropolis Present traded ahead Lynn Williams to leap into the No. 2 spot, taking Duke ahead Michelle Cooper. The draft additionally closed out the night time with a commerce by the Houston Sprint. It was a deep draft class, and plenty of groups are strolling away with good additions to their rosters and a ton of constructive vibes.  

With the 2023 draft formally within the books, let’s grade groups on their general draft night time:

Angel Metropolis: B-

The Los Angeles facet made headlines within the day main as much as the draft once they participated in a four-team commerce to maneuver into the No. 1 slot. The transfer was reported to draft Thompson. Here is how Angel Metropolis acquired the highest decide:

  • Angel Metropolis FC obtained the rights to ahead Yazmeen Ryan from the Portland Thorns in change for $200,000 in allocation cash, together with ACFC’s 2023 first-round draft decide and 2024 second-round draft decide.
  • Angel Metropolis FC then traded Ryan’s rights and $250,000 to Gotham FC in change for the No. 1 draft decide within the 2023 NWSL Draft.

The membership in the end spent $450,000 to climb into the highest spot and chosen Thompson. A younger prospect with a excessive ceiling, Thompson may play alongside the entrance line relying on the staff’s plans to make the most of her. It was a daring transfer to make and will possible repay prior to anticipated. The membership additionally wanted to bulk up their goalkeeping core and did so by choosing one other California native — Angelina Anderson out of California-Berkely.

Need extra protection of girls’s soccer? Hear beneath and ensure to observe Attacking Third, A CBS Soccer Podcast dedicated to bringing you every thing you want to know from the NWSL and across the globe.

Chicago Purple Stars: C+

A staff that misplaced a number of gamers within the offseason to free company and retirement, the membership entered the draft needing to draft gamers in all areas. They began with three alternatives general however completed with 4 gamers. Penn State ahead Penelope Hocking was thought-about among the many high forwards within the draft class and was Chicago’s first choice at No. 7. 

The additions of Grace Yochum (Oklahoma), Ally Schlegel (Penn State), and Sophie Jones (Duke) are all attacking-minded gamers who can are available and compete for beginning roles for the membership. However no added defenders for depth offers them a decrease grade. 

Houston Sprint: B+

Houston traded out of the primary spherical however made it price it in a commerce with North Carolina Braveness. They obtained ahead Diana Ordonez and the No. 30 general decide. Ordonez is coming off a breakout season the place she broke the document for many objectives scored by a rookie with 12. Additionally they had a necessity for depth in protection and within the midfield. They achieved that by choosing gamers like Jyllissa Harris (College of South Carolina) and Lindsi Jennings (Louisiana State College).

Kansas Metropolis Present: A

The Present continued their streak of huge draft day strikes once they made a take care of NJ/NY Gotham FC to leap into the No. 2 spot. They chose high prospect and Mac Hermann Trophy winner Cooper with the decide and closed out the primary spherical with Alexa Spaanstra, a flexible ahead who may play within the midfield. 

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NJ/NY Gotham FC: A-

The staff started the day with the No. 2 decide, made an enormous quantity of strikes with the Present, Racing Louisville, and San Diego Wave FC — and nonetheless left with a top-five choice. The membership acquired USWNT ahead Lynn Williams from the Kansas Metropolis Present in a commerce for the No. 2 slot, then chosen Jenna Nighswonger within the No. 4 spot after a commerce with Louisville. The golf equipment’ transfer earlier within the week to accumulate Yazmeen Ryan additionally units them up properly for 2023. 

North Carolina Braveness: C-

They misplaced Debinha in free company and now Ordonez in a commerce and for the obtainable expertise within the first spherical made considerably complicated alternatives for his or her picks. They have been winners in final yr’s draft, however not on this one, sadly. However Clara Robbins (FSU) at No. 9 might be a steal. 

OL Reign: B-

OL Reign have an above-average roster and walks away with a considerably common grade. They depart the day with solely two picks however swung for the fences with a commerce. Laura Harvey picked up one other star participant in a commerce with Washington Spirit for USWNT defender Emily Sonnett

Orlando Pleasure: A-

The staff participated within the multi-team deal forward of draft day and purchased a bunch of allocation cash within the course of. They in the end misplaced out on the free company race for Brazilian worldwide Debinha however made good alternatives with their draft picks. Defender Emily Madril was probably the most highly-rated defender coming into the draft and the Pleasure wanted to focus on the backline. Additionally they stroll away with Messiah Vivid, a top-rated ahead out of TCU who scored 49 objectives in her collegiate profession.

Portland Thorns FC: B

The reigning champs picked up one other first-round decide in a commerce with Angel Metropolis FC, and opted to pick Reyna Reyes out of Alabama — a participant who can slot into the backline and midfield and develop right into a long-term resolution for his or her protection. 

Racing Louisville FC: C+

Racing Louisville traded out of the primary spherical and purchased Paige Monaghan in a commerce with Gotham FC for the No. 4 slot. She was their greatest pickup of the night time, alongside allocation cash, which provides them the typical grade. 

San Diego Wave FC: C+

The California membership jumped up within the draft order for the primary decide within the second spherical however did not have to actually flesh out main elements of their roster with this draft. They hit the jackpot with Naomi Girma in final yr’s draft, made good free company signings this offseason and had minor use for this yr’s draft. Nonetheless, midfielder Sierra Enge was a standout at Stanford and choosing up an additional goalkeeper in Lauren Brzykcy was a wise transfer.

Washington Spirit: D+

The Spirit wanted to bulk up their roster in order that they traded away USWNT defender Sonnett. Make it make sense. If Riley Tanner — a ahead/midfielder out of Alabama — can have a breakout yr and assist in the assault, maybe the staff will outscore the opposition on the pitch.

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