The NWSL is heading into its most competitive season yet with two ambitious new expansion teams joining the league. And before a ball is kicked in 2022, the competition is already increasing this offseason when it comes to player signings.
The last few weeks and days have been busy with a number of star players making moves and squad changes across the league. Now, just two days after the Expansion Draft, all 12 teams will be competing for positions to acquire young talent through the NWSL Draft.
As usual, expansion teams San Diego Wave FC and Angel City FC will be the first to select players. Last year’s champions Washington Spirit don’t have a choice until the end of the third round, so it may not be as busy on Saturday, but after last season ended, it’s the responsibility of the rest of the league to catch up. day.
How to watch the NWSL Draft
- Date: Saturday, December 18
- Hour: 2 pm ET
- Television channel: CBS Sports Network
- Transmission: fuboTV, Paramount +, CBS Sports HQ, Twitch (CBS Sports HQ), YouTube (CBS Sports HQ)
Get to know them ????
Check out the list of registered players for the 2022 NWSL Draft presented by @ally before it starts on December 18 at 2 p.m. ET ⤵️
– National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) December 16, 2021
Draft NWSL Rules
The draft will be conducted as a standard four-round draft, with a few tweaks regarding the expansion team pair:
- San Diego Wave FC has the first draft pick thanks to a coin flip, but since there are two expansion teams in this draft, they will rotate the top spot in each of the four rounds, meaning Wave FC will pick first in the first round. & 3, while Angel City will pick first in rounds 2 and 4.
- The two sides of the expansion will earn two additional picks at the end of Round 2, giving the draft 50 equal overall picks.
DECOURCY: Spirit’s NWSL title was the most notable in US sports history.
Several picks have already been traded, including two of the top three: Racing Louisville has Angel City FC’s top pick (No. 2 overall) from the trade involving Christen Press and NC Courage has Kansas City’s first-round pick Current (No. 3 overall) of the trade involving Sam Mewis.
NWSL Preliminary Order
Below is the full order of the NWSL four-round draft. Two additional picks for expansion teams were added at the end of the second round (marked with an *) to make 50 overall picks. (Angel City changed that selection to Houston Dash, which in turn changed it to Racing Louisville FC.)
|one||San Diego Wave FC|
|two||Racing Louisville FC|
|3||North Carolina Courage|
|4||Racing Louisville FC|
|6||North Carolina Courage|
|7||Kansas City Stream|
|8||NJ / NY Gotham FC|
|9||San Diego Wave FC|
|12||North Carolina Courage|
|13||Portland Thorns FC|
|14||San Diego Wave FC|
|sixteen||Racing Louisville FC|
|17||Kansas City Stream|
|18||Chicago Red Stars|
|19||Chicago Red Stars|
|22||Portland Thorns FC|
|23||Chicago Red Stars|
|24||NJ / NY Gotham FC|
|25||Wave of san diego*|
|26||Racing Louisville FC*|
|27||San Diego Wave FC|
|28||Angel City FC|
|30||Racing Louisville FC|
|3. 4||NJ / NY Gotham FC|
|35||Chicago Red Stars|
|36||Angel City FC|
|37||Chicago Red Stars|
|38||Spirit of washington|
|39||Angel City FC|
|40||San Diego Wave FC|
|41||Kansas City Stream|
|42||Racing Louisville FC|
|43||Kansas City Stream|
|Four. Five||North Carolina Courage|
|46||NJ / NY Gotham FC|
|49||Chicago Red Stars|
|fifty||Spirit of washington|
NWSL Draft prospects and top talent
Nearly 200 players have signed up for the draft in hopes of being one of the 50 picks at the event. The college ranks were full of talent last season, but it’s not as high as it has been in recent years. However, there is an upper echelon, and the next players are likely to enter early in the draft.
Jaelin Howell (MF, State of Florida)
All the rumors have seen Howell go first overall to the San Diego Wave, having proved his worth over several years on one of the best teams in the NCAA. Howell has won three College Cups in his four years, won a MAC Hermann Trophy (and could win another), and has superior USWNT experience. A natural No. 8, it would be difficult to find a more experienced, battle-tested player in this entire draft.
Naomi Girma (DF, Stanford)
Unanimously, the best defender in the draft, Girma was injured last year and decided to stay in college for another season in one of the most acclaimed shows in the country. Stanford’s season was somewhat disappointing, but her talent is undeniable, finishing as a semi-finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy two years in a row as a defender, an impressive feather on the cap.
Mia Fishel (FW, UCLA)
Fishel, a two-time All American at UCLA, is just a junior, but he jumped at the opportunity to leave early with a chance to reach high in the draft. He has scored 36 times in 59 games in his three seasons at UCLA. The reward for that performance was an October 2020 call-up for the USWNT senior camp, and being named a finalist for the US Soccer 2020 Young Player of the Year award.
Claudia Dickey (GK, North Carolina)
We’re entering sleeper territory, and Dickey is the best goalkeeper in the draft. Goalkeepers aren’t as high a priority in the draft as outfield positions, but Dickey is a veteran with USWNT enthusiasm (although the position is pretty stagnant at the moment). He had fabulous numbers at UNC, sporting a 75.5 percent save percentage and a mark of 131.5 minutes / goal conceded in his senior season.
Gi DeMarco (MF, Wake Forest)
One of the pure talents of the draft, DeMarco was a fixture for Wake Forest and brings versatility that is hard to find. What keeps DeMarco down on the list is mostly his injury history, but a classic No. 8 who can play like the No. 6, DeMarco has calm ball control skills and fabulous field vision. She is not a flashy player, preferring to do her dirty work in midfield for a possession-oriented style of play, but she will appear on the roster from time to time.