NWSL Draft results, trade tracker: San Diego Wave take Naomi Girma with No. 1 pick; OL Reign make four trades

The 2022 NWSL Draft is in the books and with the first overall pick, expansion side San Diego Wave FC selected Stanford centerback Naomi Girma, followed by WAC Offensive Player of the Year winner Marleen Schimmer out of Grand Canyon with their ninth pick. San Diego's expansion counterpart, Angel City FC, did not make their first pick until Round 3 as they landed Illinois midfielder Hope Breslin. 

All in all, 50 collegiate players were selected, with Racing Louisville FC and OL Reign boasting the most picks (six) and the Houston Dash with the fewest (No. 44 overall). For our winners and losers of Round 1, click here

No team had more first-round picks than the North Carolina Courage, who came away with three key pieces to add to each positional core on their roster. They addressed the middle of the park by going with Virginia Tech midfielder Emily Gray at No. 3, followed by the attack at No. 6 with Virginia forward Diana Ordoñez -- who scored 45 goals over three collegiate seasons -- and then the backline with Long Beach State defender Kaitlin Fregulia with the 12th and final pick of the round.

No team made more trades than OL Reign, as their front-office folks probably spent the majority of the draft working the phones and finalizing four separate deals, including a deal that moved them back into the first round and saw them take Hungarian forward Zsanett Kajan with the No. 8 pick. All in all, the Reign received Kajan (No. 8), Ryanne Brown (No. 21), Phoebe McClernon, $60,000 totaled in allocation money in exchange for the Nos. 10 and 15 picks (Caitlin Cosme and Madison Elwell), Kelcie Hedge, Leah Pruitt, Celia Jimenéz, a first and second rounder in 2023. That's a lot of moves -- all of which you can keep track of below with our trade tracker.

The Washington Spirit traded into the second round twice -- in back-to-back picks -- to select LSU forward Tinaya Alexander at No. 14 and Vanderbilt midfielder/forward Madison Elwell at No. 15. 

With the draft in the rear-view mirror, this is now a busy period for players that registered and did not get picked on Saturday. The undrafted players will be assigned as discovery eligible by Sunday, but may also return to school and retain their collegiate eligibility within 72 hours of the conclusion of the draft, per NCAA rules.

You can follow every pick and trade made during the draft below, along with our commentary from Saturday's selections:

Trade tracker

OL Reign get: No. 8 pick
NJ/NY Gotham FC get: Natural first-round pick in 2023 and $40,000 in allocation money

Houston Dash get: Midfielder Kelcie Hedge
OL Reign get: No. 21 overall pick (Ryanne Brown) and $15,000 in allocation money

Orlando Pride get: No. 10 overall pick (Caitlin Cosme), forward Leah Pruitt, defender Celia Jimenéz and a natural second-round pick in 2023
OL Reign get: Defender Phoebe McClernon

Washington Spirit get: No. 14 overall pick (Tinaya Alexander)
San Diego Wave FC get: $85,000 in allocation money

Washington Spirit get: No. 15 overall pick (Madison Elwell)
OL Reign get: $85,000 in allocation money  

Chicago Red Stars get: $20,000 in allocation money and Spirit's highest second-round pick in 2023
Washington Spirit get: No. 23 overall pick (Lucy Shepherd)

Orlando Pride get: NWSL rights to Canadian international Deanne Rose
North Carolina Courage get: No. 29 overall pick (Haleigh Stackpole)

Round 1

PICKTEAMPLAYERPOSCOLLEGE

1

San Diego Wave FC

Naomi Girma

D/M

Stanford

2

Racing Louisville FC

Jaelin Howell

M

Florida State

3

North Carolina Courage

Emily Gray

M

Virginia Tech

4

Racing Louisville FC

Savannah DeMelo

M

USC

5

Orlando Pride

Mia Fishel

F

UCLA

6

North Carolina Courage

Diana Ordoñez

F

Virginia

7

Kansas City Current

Elyse Bennett

F

Washington State

8

OL Reign

Zsanett Kajan

F

St. John's

9

San Diego Wave FC

Marleen Schimmer

M/F

Grand Canyon

10

Orlando Pride

Caitlin Cosme

D

Duke

11

Orlando Pride

Julie Doyle

F

Santa Clara

12

North Carolina Courage

Kaitlin Fregulia

D

Long Beach State

Round 2

PICKTEAMPLAYERPOSCOLLEGE

13

Portland Thorns FC

Sydny Nasello

F

South Florida

14

Washington Spirit

Tinaya Alexander

F

LSU

15

Washington Spirit

Madison Elwell

M/F

Vanderbilt

16

Racing Louisville FC

Charmé Morgan 

D

Oklahoma State

17

Kansas City Current

Chardonnay Curran

M/D

Oregon

18

Chicago Red Stars

Ava Cook

F

Michigan State

19

Chicago Red Stars

Sammi Fischer

M

Notre Dame

20

OL Reign

Claudia Dickey

GK

North Carolina

21

OL Reign

Ryanne Brown

F

Wake Forest

22

Portland Thorns FC

Gabby Provenzano

D/M

Rutgers

23

Washington Spirit

Lucy Shepherd

F/M

Hofstra

24

NJ/NY Gotham FC

Kelly Ann Livingstone

D

Georgetown

25San Diego Wave FCSydney PulverM/DWashington State
26Racing Louisville FCJordyn BloomerGKWisconsin

Round 3

PICKTEAMPLAYERPOSCOLLEGE

27

San Diego Wave FC

Belle Briede

F/M

Stanford

28

Angel City FC

Hope Breslin

M

Illinois

29

North Carolina Courage

Haleigh Stackpole

F/M

Ole Miss

30

Racing Louisville FC

Jenna Menta

F

Wake Forest

31

Orlando Pride

Jada Talley

F

USC

32

OL Reign

Kaile Halvorsen

F/M

Santa Clara

33

OL Reign

Olivia Van der Jagt

M

Washington

34

NJ/NY Gotham FC

Hensley Hancuff

GK

Clemson

35

Chicago Red Stars

Sarah Griffith

F

Purdue

36

Angel City FC

Lily Nabet

M

Duke

37

Chicago Red Stars

Kayla McKeon

M

Arkansas

38

Washington Spirit

Audrey Harding

F/M

UNC-Wilmington

Round 4

PICKTEAMPLAYERPOSCOLLEGE

39

Angel City FC

Miriael Taylor

F

Hofstra

40

San Diego Wave FC

Kayla Bruster

D

Georgia

41

Kansas City Current

Jenna Winebrenner

D

TCU

42

Racing Louisville FC

Sydney Cummings

D

Georgetown

43

Kansas City Current

Izzy Rodriguez

D

Ohio State

44

Houston Dash

Ryan Gareis

F

South Carolina

45

North Carolina Courage

Marisa Bova

GK

Purdue

46

NJ/NY Gotham FC

Raleigh Loughman

M

Michigan

47

OL Reign

Marley Canales

M

UCLA

48

Portland Thorns FC

Natalie Beckman

F

Denver

49

Chicago Red Stars

Jayda Hylton-Pelaia

D

Arizona State

50

Washington Spirit

Jordan Thompson

D

Gonzaga

Live updates
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And we've got the first pick!

San Diego Wave FC have taken Naomi Girma from Stanford. Naomi can play as a center back or a midfielder and will bring a lot to the Wave. Her passing ability can help anchor the midfield for years. Another California native will also be joining the Wave adding to the fanfare around their first season.

December 18, 2021, 7:16 PM
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NWSL 2022 Draft ticks past 4 hours

A long running bit of NWSL Draft culture is often the joke bet of whether or not the event will run over or under four hours. With a 2 p.m. start today, they event is approaching five hours. The new question will be whether or not the event will run over or under five hours. Stay tuned!

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December 18, 2021, 11:45 PM
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December 18, 2021, 11:08 PM
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December 18, 2021, 10:43 PM
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December 18, 2021, 10:28 PM
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December 18, 2021, 10:05 PM
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December 18, 2021, 9:24 PM
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NWSL Schedule Frame work announced

  • Challenge Cup March 19 to May 7 
  • 22-game regular season (first balanced schedule since 2014)
  • 6 teams in playoffs (Top 2 teams earn first round bye)
  • NWSL Championship: Weekend of Oct. 28
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Waiting on the final pick of round 1

We're nearing the end of the first round! OL Reign and Orlando make a trade, as the Pride move into the tenth spot for back to back selections and pick defender Caitlin Cosme out of Duke at No. 10 and forward Julie Doyle from Santa Clara at No. 11. OL Reign get defender Phoebe McClernon and Pride will also receive two players to be named later and a natural second round pick in 2023. 

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December 18, 2021, 8:03 PM
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San Diego selects Marleen Schimmer with the ninth overall pick. Back to back international picks off the board now with Schimer being from Germany. Just as good scoring or creating, Schimmer can contribute anywhere in attack and will be dangerous floating from either wing.

December 18, 2021, 8:02 PM
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Savannah DeMelo takes questions from the media

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With their newly acquired pick, OL Reign have selected Zsanett Kajan from St. John's University.

Quite the forward run is happening as the Reign will be adding to their forward options both now and for the future. Coming off of a season with 17 goals and six assists, Kajan was involved in everything which bodes well for transitioning to the league.

December 18, 2021, 7:56 PM
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KC Current select Elyse Bennet

Elyse Bennet goes 7th-overall to Kansas City Current. KC going on offense selecting a forward, the 21-year-old could have a big impact, literally, she stands at 5'10. 

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What a get for the Courage

Diana Ordonez, a true number nine out of Virginia will add a lot to North Carolina's attack. 57 goal involvements during 62 college matches is off the charts production.

December 18, 2021, 7:48 PM
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Mia Fishel (UCLA) drops to number five to Orlando Pride. It's a reunion for the Junior year forward with former UCLA coach Amanda Cromwell.

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Racing Louisville FC take Savannah DeMelo (USC) with the fourth pick overall. The 2 time Pac-12 forward of the year is a solid selection to add to Racing's forward core.

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