The 2023 NWSL Draft is officially in the books! The four-round draft took place during the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia and had plenty of surprises in store.
It was a historic draft, too, where forward Alyssa Thompson became the first player in league history to be drafted as the No. 1 overall pick — STRAIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL. What. A. Baller. Angel City FC secured the first overall pick in this year's draft from the NJ/NY Gotham FC in a trade earlier this January.
Here's the moment she was selected:
Some fun facts about this year's No. 1 overall pick:
She and her sister Gisele were the first high school athletes to sign a NIL deal with Nike.
Alyssa Thompson has WHEELS. She ran the second-fastest 100m dash in the state of California in 2022.
She was the youngest player to earn a call-up for a USWNT camp since legend Sophia Smith back in April 2017 (h/t Just Women's Sports). She got her first playing time for the USWNT senior team to the team subbing in for forward Megan Rapinoe back in October of 2022. Rapinoe is 19 years and 125 days her senior, per ESPN, accounting for the largest age gap between any two USWNT players to appear in the same game.
Congratulations to Alyssa and the entire list of incredibly talented players that heard their names called on Thursday night. Is the NWSL Draft a perfect system? No (André Carlisle explained why here). However, it's what we have. And for now, I'm just here to celebrate the recognition of talent.
Now, here's a look at the full list of 2023 NWSL Draft picks!
1. Angel City FC: Alyssa Thompson, Forward, Harvard-Westlake High School
2. Kansas City Current: Michelle Cooper, Forward, Duke
3. Orlando Pride: Emily Madril, Defender, Florida State
4. NJ/NY Gotham FC: Jenna Nighswonger, Midfielder, Florida State
5. Portland Thorns FC: Reyna Reyes, Defender, Alabama
6. North Carolina Courage: Olivia Wingate, Forward, Notre Dame
7. Chicago Red Stars: Penelope Hocking, Forward, Penn State
8. North Carolina Courage: Sydney Collins, Defender, California
9. North Carolina Courage: Clara Robbins, Midfielder, Florida State
10. Kansas City Current: Alexa Spaanstra, Forward, Virginia
11. North Carolina Courage: Haley Hopkins, Forward, Virginia
12. Portland Thorns FC: Izzy D'Aquila, Forward, Santa Clara
13. San Diego Wave FC: Sierra Enge, Midfielder, Stanford
14. Chicago Red Stars: Grace Yochum, Midfielder, Oklahoma State
15. Kansas City Current: Gabrielle Robinson, Defender, WVU
16. Racing Louisville FC: Kayla Fischer Forward, Ohio State
17. Racing Louisville FC: Brianna Martinez, Defender, Notre Dame
18. Kansas City Current: Jordan Silkowitz, Goalkeeper, Iowa State
19. OL Reign: Shea Holmes, Defender, Washington
20. Houston Dash: Sophie Hirst, Midfielder, Harvard
21. Orlando Pride: Messiah Bright, Forward, TCU
22. Houston Dash: Jylissa Harris, Defender, South Carolina
23. Chicago Red Stars: Ally Schlegel, Forward, Penn State
24. Portland Thorns FC: Lauren DeBeau, Forward, Michigan State
25. Orlando Pride: Tori Hansen, Defender, North Carolina
26. Washington Spirit: Nikole Douglas, Forward, Arizona State
27. Angel City FC: Angelina Anderson, Goalkeeper, California
28. Washington Spirit: Lyza Bosselmann, Goalkeeper, Gonzaga
29. Racing Louisville FC: Jadyn Edwards, Midfielder, New Mexico
30. Washington Spirit: Riley Tanner, Forward, Alabama
31. Racing Louisville FC: Riley Mattingly Parker, Forward, Alabama
32. Portland Thorns FC: Lauren Kozal Goalkeeper, Michigan State
33. San Diego Wave FC: Lauren Brzykcy, Goalkeeper, UCLA
34. Washington Spirit: Lena Silano, Forward, Long Beach State
35. Kansas City Current: Mykiaa Minniss, Defender, Washington State
36. Houston Dash: Lindsi Jennings, Defender, LSU
37. Washington Spirit: Civana Kuhlmann, Forward, Colorado
38. Kansas City Current: Ella Shamburger, Defender, Vanderbilt
39. Orlando Pride: Summer Yates, Midfielder, Washington
40. Washington Spirit: Delaney Graham, Defender, Duke
41. Orlando Pride: Kristen Scott, Forward, UCF
42. Kansas City Current: Rylan Childers, Midfielder, Kansas
43. Chicago Red Stars: Sophie Jones, Midfielder, Duke
44. NJ/NY Gotham FC: Iliana Hocking, Midfielder, Arizona
45. San Diego Wave FC: Giovanna DeMarco, Midfielder, Wake Forest
46. OL Reign: Natalie Viggiano, Midfielder, Wisconsin
47. Kansas City Current: Ashley Orkus, Goalkeeper, Ole Miss
48. Houston Dash: Madelyn Desiano, Defender, UCLA