With both NWSL Drafts officially in the books, it’s time to look ahead to the 2022 season. The league announced key dates for the upcoming year featuring a balanced 22-game schedule, with each club playing a home and away match against every team.Here’s what to expect in 2022:

  • The Thorns received a serious boost with Sydny Nasello, who shockingly fell to the second round of the College Draft. The wide attacking forward will be right at home with Christine Sinclair and Sophia Smith on the Portland’s frontline

  • The Wave FC’s backline will be a force with Abby Dahlkemper and No. 1 pick, two-time Pac-12 Defender of the Year Naomi Girma

    , but their midfield lacks that same depth. Girma could be slotted up at defensive mid (she notched eight goals as a Cardinal) 

  • Gotham FC is all in this year. A bevy of new talent, including Kristie Mewis, Ashlyn Harris

     and Ali Krieger join Defender of the Year Caprice Dydasco and MVP nominee Margaret Purce along with a few other veteran standouts

  • With Alex Morgan’s departure, the Pride took a blow to their roster, but picked up midfielder Angharad James and snagged UCLA forward Mia Fishel at fifth. Fishel will be reunited her college head coach Amanda Cromwell in Orlando. Watch out for her to make an immediate impact and dominate up front with Sydney Leroux

  • The OL Reign were able to hold onto some of their stars, including Sofia Huerta and Rose Lavelle, but lost two defensive players in the Expansion Draft, along with notable internationals. They have serious holes to fill 

  • Welcome to Hollywood. Angel City’s front looks to be one of the best in the league, led by Christen Press. The squad also bolstered their defense by bringing in midfielder Dani Weatherholt to a backline anchored by Sarah Gorden

  • Louisville is starting fresh, with the newest addition of attacker Jessica McDonald. The club also grabbed young offensive stars Savannah DeMelo and Jaelin Howell in the Draft

The Courage are undoubtedly in a rebuild and used their top picks on players who can make an immediate impact. Selecting midfielder Emily Gray along with forward Diana Ordoñez will be a strong pairing up front.

2022 NWSL Championship Odds:

  • Portland Thorns +300 ($100 → $300)

  • OL Reign +400

  • NJ/NY Gotham +500

  • Washington Spirit +600

  • NC Courage +800

  • Houston Dash +1000

  • Chicago Red Stars +2500

  • Orlando Pride +3000

  • Angel City FC +3500

  • San Diego Wave FC +4000

  • Racing Louisville +4500

  • KC Current +5000

The Takeaway

If you’re not ready to place those 2022 championship bets just yet, maybe try waiting until after March’s Challenge Cup ahead of the regular season. The odds may be slightly less favorable, but the two-month competition will give you a better glimpse of what’s to come in the NWSL’s 10th season.

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