NWSL College Draft 2019

My Thursday night was definitely well spent as it is one of my favourite times of the year. It was the NWSL College draft day, meaning it was a chance to see those players who could possibly be playing in the league next season. The draft list was huge however only 36 players made the list, it doesn't mean it is the end of the line for those who didn't get picked though as they still have different routes they could take.

This years draft was always going to be an interesting one as it was announced roster sizes would be increasing plus the World Cup is coming up meaning a lot of big names will be missing from the squads as the NWSL doesn't pause for the whole of the competition. With big names missing this gives a chance for a lot of these drafted players to put themselves out there for the clubs they are drafted to if they end up making an impression in pre-season and end up being added to the roster. 

My ones to watch where Tierna Davidson, Hailie Mace, Karin Muya, Jemma Purfield and Lucy Whipp. In my eyes Hailie Mace would be number 1 pick, however, with the late addition of Tierna Davidson this was up in the air as both women would be great additions to any team as both had USWNT call ups in the past. Muya, Purfield and Whipp were all on my ones to watch as these are English players who all attended University over in the states who come from huge English clubs in the past, Muya is Chelsea, Purfield is Doncaster Belles and Whipp is from Everton so all are looking to continue within the game and make names for themselves. 

Unfortunately only 2 of the ones I was watching got drafted, these were 1st and 2nd overall picks which was to be expected and it was Davidson who ended up taking the 1st overall pick, which in previous years has provided some fantastic players which are Morgan Brian, Crystal Dunn, Emily Sonnett, Rose Lavelle and Andi Sullivan all who have gone on to do brilliant things within the game. Hailie Mace ended up 2nd overall however, I really hoped this wouldn't happen as she ended up going to Sky Blue who have recently come under fire by fans and some players about the conditions their players live in and how their facilities are. They have also had a lot of players leave or be traded lately which to me seems a little strange something is quite clearly going on. Along with the 2nd pick Sky Blue also traded their 3rd pick to Washington Spirit with players to be named at a later date and the 29th overall pick in the 2019 draft. I spent most of my night trying to work out who the players could be so I can't wait for that to be revealed. this was the only trade in the 1st round and we had to wait for the 2nd round and 17th overall pick for the Portland Thorns to trade with the Washington Spirit, through this the Thorns gained the 31st 2019 overall pick and Washington's 2nd natural pick in the 2020 draft. 

The next trade to take place actually didn't take place until the 24th overall pick where Chicago traded the 31st and 35th overall pick with the Thorns in the 2019 draft, this actually benefited the Thorns quite a bit as they ended up receiving Emily Ogle who looks promising for the future. That was it for the trades and everything seemed to be plain sailing. Unfortunately none of the English ones I had my eye on got picked but honestly I am just glad they didn't end up at Sky Blue, who knows they could end up playing in the English leagues. It has also already been rumoured that Julia Ashley won't take her spot at Sky Blue and will in fact go for opportunities abroad but no one really knows until it is properly confirmed by either Sky Blue or the league. Now though is my favourite time as all the trades on the rosters tend to take place after the draft so who knows where any player in the league could end up and I think there could be a fair few big announcement coming in the next few weeks so I will be keeping a close eye on those.

So here is the draft list from Thursday in full minus the trades highlighted above (the list includes the pick, team, player & University they are coming from)...

1st Pick - Chicago Red Stars - Tierna Davidson - Stanford
2nd Pick - Sky Blue FC - Hailie Mace - UCLA
3rd Pick - Washington Spirit - Jordan Dibiasi - Stanford
4th Pick - Washington Spirit - Samantha Staab - Clemson
5th Pick - North Carolina Courage - Leah Pruitt - University Southern California
6th Pick - Sky Blue FC - Julia Ashley - University North Carolina
7th Pick - Washington Spirit - Tegan McGrady - Stanford
8th Pick - Washington Spirit - Dorian Bailey - University North Carolina
9th Pick - North Carolina Courage - Hayley Harbison - Pepperdine
10th Pick - Sky Blue FC - Paige Monaghan - Butler University
11th Pick - Sky Blue FC - Julie James - Baylor
12th Pick - Houston Dash - Ally Prisock - University Southern California
13th Pick - Houston Dash - Cece Kizer - Mississippi
14th Pick - North Carolina Courage - Lauren Milliet - Colorado College
15th Pick - Chicago Red Stars - Maria Sanchez - Santa Clara
16th Pick - Houston Dash - Betsy Brandon - Virginia
17th Pick - Washington Spirit - Bailey Feist - Wake Forest
18th Pick - Houston Dash - Kayla McCoy - Duke
19th Pick - Sky Blue FC - Kyra Carusa - Georgetown
20th Pick - Chicago Red Stars - Bianca St. Georges - West Virginia
21st Pick - Houston Dash - Jazmin Jackmon - Oregon
22nd Pick - Grace Cutler - West Virginia 
23rd Pick - Utah Royals - Michelle Maemone - Pepperdine
24th Pick - Portland Thorns - Emily Ogle - Penn State
25th Pick - Orlando Pride - Erin Greening - Colorado Boulder
26th Pick - Chicago Red Stars - Kayla Sharples - North Western
27th Pick - Utah Royals - Madeline Nolf - Penn State
28th Pick - Sky Blue FC - Kaylin Marckese - University of Florida
29th Pick - Sky Blue FC - Kenie Wright - Rutgers
30th Pick - Orlando Pride - Marissa Viggiano - North Western
31st Pick - Chicago Red Stars - April Bockin - Minnesota
32nd Pick - Utah Royals - Alexandra Kimball - University North Carolina
33rd Pick - Chicago Red Stars - Hannah Davison - North Western
34th Pick - Sky Blue FC - Sabrina Flores - Notre Dame
35th Pick - Chicago Red Stars - Jenna Szczesny - Loyola Chicago
36th Pick - North Carolina Courage - Kaycie Tillman - Florida State

So there you have it that is the list of players drafted, I really hope those that don't give up and carrying on trying to break into the teams via different routes. In terms of those who did get picked I can't wait to see which get signed fully and get game time, as over the years it has been some of the draft picks who have had a part in great moments throughout the season and some drafted players have gone onto great things. Plus they will have that big opportunity when the big names go to the World Cup.... can the league please just hurry up and begin as I am missing it.

See you soon

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