The 2023 NWSL draft saw California high school forward Alyssa Thompson move first overall to Angel City FC thanks to a series of wild trades made in the days leading up to the draft. Only 18 years old, the Los Angeles native is expected to contribute immediately and has unlimited potential if Angel City can develop Thompson well. In the regular draft going to high school first overall would have been the wildest thing to happen, but in the 2023 NWSL draft, it wasn’t such a normal thing.
Duke star Michelle Cooper was second while the top defense off the list was Emily Madrell of Florida State, who landed the Orlando Pride third overall.
With a record 12 total tackles during the draft, the Washington Spirit took control of the draft in the third round after the North Carolina Courage used their capital to put together four first-round draft picks. There are a lot of ways to build a roster in the NWSL but the draft, especially this roster, has talent up and down. With COVID allowing players to get a fifth year of eligibility and in some cases transfer to other schools, like Penelope Hocking of Penn State, this is a polished class and teams wanted to add depth, and many have done just that.
They’ll need that depth when the key players head into the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this summer, which is why not only have plenty of goalkeepers picked, but some teams like Kansas City Current have essentially opted for entirely new back lines. Hawking also saw her twin sister Eliana head to NJ/NY Gotham FC creating a new sibling rivalry in the league. It was an exciting and record-setting draft, which saw the US Women’s National Team advance Lynn Williams traded.
Here are the full draft results:
- 1. Angel City FC – Alyssa Thompson, FWD (Harvard-Westlake Prep)
- 2. Present-day Kansas City – Michelle Cooper, FWD (Duke University)
- 3. Orlando Pride – Emily Madrell, DEF (Florida State University)
- 4. NJ/NY Gotham – Jenna Nighswonger, MID (Florida State University)
- 5. Portland Thorns FC – Reyna Reyes, DEF/MID (University of Alabama)
- 6. North Carolina Courage – Olivia Wingate, FWD (University of Notre Dame)
- 7. Chicago Red Stars – Penelope Hocking, MID/FWD (Penn State University)
- 8. North Carolina Courage – Sydney Collins, DEF/MID (University of California)
- 9. North Carolina Courage – Clara Robbins, MID/FWD (Florida State University)
- 10. Kansas City Current – Alexa Spaanstra, MID/FWD (University of Virginia)
- 11. North Carolina Courage – Haley Hopkins, FWD (University of Virginia)
- 12. PORTLAND THORNS – Izzy D’Aquila, FWD (Santa Clara University)
- 13. San Diego Wave – Sierra Enge, DEF/MID (Stanford)
- 14. Chicago Red Stars – Grace Yochum, quarterback (Oklahoma State)
- 15. Kansas City Stream – Gabrielle Robinson, DEF/MID/FWD (West Virginia University)
- 16. Racing Louisville FC – Kayla Fisher MID/FWD (Ohio State University)
- 17. Racing Louisville FC – Briana Martinez, DEF/MID (University of Notre Dame)
- 18. Kansas City Current – Jordan Silkowitz, GK (Iowa State University)
- 19. OL Reign – Shea Holmes, DEF (University of Washington)
- 20. Houston Dash – Sophie Hearst, Harvard University.
- 21. Orlando Pride – Christ Bright (Texas Christian University).
- 22. Houston Dash – Jyllissa Harris, DEF/MID (University of South Carolina)
- 23. Chicago Red Stars – Allison Schlegel, MID/FWD (Penn State University)
- 24- Portland Thorns FC – Lauren DeBeau, MID/FWD (Michigan State University).
- 25 Orlando Pride – Tori Hansen, DEF (University of North Carolina)
- 26- Washington Spirit – Nicole Douglas FWD (Arizona State University)
- 27. Angel City FC – Angelina Anderson, GK (University of California)
- 28- Washington Spirit – Lyza Bosselmann, GK (Gonzaga).
- 29. Racing Louisville FC – Jaydn Edwards, MID/FWD (University of New Mexico)
- 30- Washington Spirit – Riley Tanner MID/FWD (University of Alabama)
- 31. Racing Louisville FC – Riley Mattingly Parker, MID/FWD (University of Alabama)
- 32. Portland Thorns – Lauren Kozal, GK (Michigan State University).
- 33. San Diego Wave FC – Lauren Brzykcy, GK (University of California, Los Angeles).
- 34- Washington Spirit – Lena Silano, FWD (Long Beach State University)
- 35. Kansas City Current – Mykiaa Minniss, DEF (Washington State University)
- 36- Houston Dash – Lindsi Jennings, DEF (Louisiana State University).
- 37. Washington Spirit – Civana Kuhlmann, FWD (University of Colorado)
- 38. Kansas City Current – Ella Shamburger, DEF (Vanderbilt University)
- 39- Orlando Pride – Summer Yates, MID/FWD (University of Washington)
- 40. Washington Spirit – Delaney Graham, DEF/MID/FWD (Duke University)
- 41- Orlando Pride – Kristen Scott, MID/FWD (University of Central Florida)
- 42. Kansas City Current – Rylan Childers, MID (University of Kansas)
- 43. Chicago Red Stars – Sophie Jones MID (Duke University)
- 44- NJ / NY Gotham FC – Iliana Hocking, DEF / MID (University of Arizona)
- 45. San Diego Wave FC – Giovanna Demarco, MID (Wake Forest University)
- 46. OL Reign – Natalie Viggiano, MID/FWD (University of Wisconsin)
- 47. Kansas City Current – Ashley Orkus, GK (University of Mississippi)
- 48- Houston Dash – Madelyn Desiano DEF (University of California, Los Angeles).
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