The National Women's Soccer League concluded it's ninth annual draft with ten teams making 40 selections over four rounds. There were trades and historic amounts of allocation money floating between teams while players were selected.
Racing Louisville FC, NWSL's newest expansion team, held the first pick overall and the first draft pick throughout the remaining rounds. Elsewhere Kansas City NWSL, the league's other new team, made big money moves announcing their presence to the league.
Let's take a look at each round and the moves that happened throughout the event on Wednesday.
Emily Fox was the first selection to kick off the NWSL draft. The UNC defender is currently in U.S. women's national team camps preparing for upcoming friendlies, and is a versatile outside back. Trinity Rodman and Brianna Pinto followed at picks number two and three and then the wheeling and dealing started. KC NWSL made a draft day splash sending Sky Blue FC $175,000 in allocation money to jump into the fourth spot. SBFC later traded their eighth round pick to the Washington Spirit for an additional $100,000 in allocation money. Portland traded with Chicago to swap spots at six and seven and sent them their 32nd pick as well.
Racing Louisville FC - Emily Fox (UNC)
Washington Spirit - Trinity Rodman (Washington State)
Sky Blue FC - Brianna Pinto (UNC)
KC NWSL - Kiki Pickett (Stanford)
Racing Louisville FC - Emina Ekic (University of Louisville)
Portland Thorns FC - Yazmin Ryan (TCU)
Chicago Red Stars - Madison Haley (Stnford)
Washington Spirit - Tara McKeown (USC)
Orlando Pride - Vivana Villacorta (UCLA)
North Carolina - Deane Rose ( University of FL)
UNC would have another player selected with the top pick in the second round as Taylor Otto joined Emily Fox as a top pick by Lousiville. Sky Blue FC would use some of that allocation money along with the 13th pick and send it to Louisville in exchange for Jennifer Cudjoe. Cudjoe was selected by Louisville from SBFC during the expansion draft.
Racing Louisville FC - Taylor Otto (UNC)
Portland Thorns FC - Sam Coffey (Penn State)
Racing Louisville FC - Kristen Davis (Texas State)
Orlando Pride - Mikayla Colohan (BYU)
KC NWSL - Victoria Pickett (Wisconsin)
KC NWSL - Lucy Parker (UCLA)
KC NWSL - Addie McCain (Texas A&M)
Chicago Red Stars - Kelsey Turnbow (Santa Clara)
Washington Spirit - Anna Heilferty (Boston University)
North Carolina - Alyssa Malonson (Auburn)
There was less action in the third round as teams stopped flinging allocation money and picks around. Two teams, Houston Dash and OL Reign, were finally on the board to make selections after not having picks in the first two rounds. The Dash added Joelle Anderson from Pepperdine and Makamae Gomera-Stevens from Washington State. OL Reign selected left back Jimena Lopez, a great addition to the squad and a potential replacement for veteran Steph Cox. The first goal keeper of the draft was selected with the 29th pick, Sydney Schneider a Jamaican international from UNC-Wilmington.
Racing Louisville FC - Parker Goins (Arkansas)
Portland Thorns FC - Amirah Ali (Rutgers)
Sky Blue FC - Taryn Torres (Virginia)
Orlando Pride - Kerry Abello (Penn State)
Chicago Red Stars - Brianna Alger (Washington)
Houston Dash - Joelle Anderson (Pepperdine)
Houston Dash - Makamae Gomera-Stevens (Washington
OL Reign - Jimena Lopez (Texas A&M)
Washington Spirit - Sydney Schneider (UNC-Wilmington)
North Carolina - Myra Konte (Vanderbilt)
As the draft dragged towards the five hour mark, the final round played out more quickly with none of the team or league timeouts that had been used earlier amidst the heavy trade volume. But there was still lots of talent available in this round and the biggest standout was KC NWSL drafting Alex Lorea from Santa Clara, a highly rated defender.
Racing Louisville FC - Emily Smith (UC-Berkeley)
Chicago Red Stars - Channing Foster (Mississippi)
Sky Blue FC - Delanie Sheehan (UCLA)
Orlando Pride - Kaylie Collins (USC)
Chicago Red Stars - Alissa Gorzak (Virginia)
KC NWSL - Alex Loera (Santa Clara)
Portland Thorns FC - Hannah Betfort (Wake Forest)
KC NWSL - Brookelynn Entz (Kansas State)
Washington Spirit - Mariana Speckmaier (Clemson)
Sky Blue FC - Tess Boade (Duke)
A number of players are likely to join their NWSL clubs at the conclusion of their collegiate spring seasons. Among the various players headed back to complete their college seasons are first round selections Brianna Pinto (UNC) and Kiki Pickett (Stanford) who will return to complete their junior and senior seasons respectively.
The NWSL schedule is set to be released in the upcoming days, but a framework presented by the league has players reporting to club markets in February.