You can be forgiven for raising an eyebrow and doing a slight puppy head tilt when Angel City sent a whole boatload of money away to get the No. 1 overall pick to select Alyssa Thompson. There wasn’t much known about her other than the promise of her talent, that she was fast enough to win some meets in California. The question of how her game would translate from high school to the NWSL loomed.

Just a month and a half into the 2023 NWSL season and that last question already sounds silly. Turns out Thompson is more than pro ready, she’s rocketing toward superstar status, and the U.S. women’s national team is taking note.   

Where would Thompson’s World Cup appearance rank in history?

Thompson made her USWNT debut last year as a 17-year-old, but hadn’t been called up again until Mallory Swanson’s injury versus Ireland forced Vlatko Andonovski to get her on a plane. With Swanson’s injury keeping her out of the World Cup, there’s a good chance she’ll head to New Zealand, too.

Teenagers have made their way onto the USWNT before. Swanson made her national team debut at 17, same as Thompson. However, World Cups are only every four years, and Thompson getting into the squad at 17 and setting the NWSL on fire at 18, just months before the 2023 tournament, bodes well for her not only making the trip, but continuing to set records during.

Why should she make the team?

Cause she real good. Her plays soccer well. So good at the soccering she really do be. Thompson is just 18 but already has a professional highlight reel that’ll make you forget basic tenets of grammar. This past weekend she scored with an absurd shot, from an absurd angle, that absurdly hit both posts, and adding to the absurdity was her lookaway move before the strike  to freeze the keeper.

This isn’t just your average phenom, she’s smart, insanely fast with and without the ball, can control the ball and change direction at speed while dribbling, and has a powerful shot that’s already gotten by some of the NWSL’s best keepers.

How much will she play?

It’s hard to say but in the group stages you should expect to see a fairly broad allotment of minutes, particularly if the USWNT are able to build large leads against teams with gaps in talent and resources.

However, what this means is that some poor unsuspecting country is going to have Thompson unleashed on them and they will have done nothing to deserve what happens to them. I apologize in advance.

Tell us why we should be excited about this?

Thompson is massively talented and fearless. A lot of young stars who reach professional levels early are still refining their talents and simultaneously trying to find the outer edges of their abilities. It makes for a lot of fun as they surprise themselves and everyone watching with stuff they try and pull off.

Thompson is different. Her fearlessness and direct style of play suggests a confidence in her abilities and it’s everyone else who has to catch up.

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