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News - Details

2023 NWSL Draft Full of US Youth Soccer Alumnae

January 13, 2023 11:00 AM


PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 13, 2023) - With the upcoming season just months away, the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Draft took place Thursday evening during the United Soccer Coaches Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Thirty-seven of the 48 draftees have roots that tie back to US Youth Soccer, with the Olympic Development Program (ODP), National Championship Series (NCS), and National League commonly highlighted.

Alyssa Thompson, a 2017 ODP Region IV Champion with Cal South, joins a long list of former US Youth Soccer alumnae to be selected first overall since the NWSL’s first draft in 2013. Former alumnae that were top draft picks include Naomi Girma (2022), Emily Fox (2021), Sophia Smith (2020), Andi Sullivan (2018), Rose Lavelle (2017), Emily Sonnett (2016), Morgan Brian (2015), Crystal Dunn (2014), and Zakiya Bywaters (2013).

“We say #EarnYourPlace within our elite ecosystem given how teams can only qualify for our USYS National Championships by winning,” said USYS CEO Skip Gilbert. “These women have taken that concept to heart by earning their place as some of our country’s best. We congratulate the many USYS alumnae moving on to the NWSL and wish them great success with their professional careers.”

The NWSL’s 2023 regular season will kick off on Saturday, March 25, with the Portland Thorns primed to repeat as champions after strengthening an already-formidable roster. By selecting USYS alumnae with all four of their draft picks, the Thorns, who now have the most titles in league history, bring in a talented draft class to bolster their pursuit of the franchise’s second consecutive title.

First Round
  • 1st Pick (Angel City FC) - Alyssa Thompson*
  • 2nd Pick (Kansas City Current) - Michelle Cooper*
  • 3rd Pick (Orlando Pride) - Emily Madril^
  • 4th Pick (NJ/NY Gotham FC) - Jenna Nighswonger*
  • 5th Pick (Portland Thorns FC) - Reyna Reyes*
  • 6th Pick (North Carolina Courage) - Olivia Wingate*
  • 7th Pick (Chicago Red Stars) - Penelope Hocking^
  • 9th Pick (North Carolina Courage) - Clara Robbins*~
  • 10th Pick (Kansas City Current) - Alexa Spaanstra^
  • 12th Pick (Portland Thorns FC) - Isabella D’Aquila^
Second Round
  • 13th Pick (San Diego Wave FC) - Sierra Enge*
  • 14th Pick (Chicago Red Stars) - Grace Yochum^
  • 15th Pick (Kansas City Current) - Gabrielle Robinson~
  • 16th Pick (Racing Louisville FC) - Kayla Fischer^~
  • 17th Pick (Racing Louisville FC) - Brianna Martinez*^
  • 18th Pick (Kansas City Current) - Jordan Silkowitz*~
  • 19th Pick (OL Reign) - Shae Holmes*
  • 20th Pick (Houston Dash) - Sophie Hirst^
  • 21st Pick (Orlando Pride) - Messiah Bright^~
  • 23rd Pick (Chicago Red Stars) - Allison Schlegel^
  • 24th Pick (Portland Thorns FC) - Lauren DeBeau*
Third Round
  • 25th Pick (Orlando Pride) - Tori Hansen^
  • 29th Pick (Racing Louisville FC) - Jadyn Edwards*^~
  • 30th Pick (Washington Spirit) - Riley Tanner*^~
  • 32nd Pick (Portland Thorns FC) - Lauren Kozal^~
  • 33rd Pick (San Diego Wave FC) - Lauren Brzykcy*
  • 35th Pick (Kansas City Current) - Mykiaa Minniss^~
  • 36th Pick (Houston Dash) - Lindsi Jennngs^
Fourth Round
  • 37th Pick (Washington Spirit) - Civana Kuhlmann*
  • 38th Pick (Kansas City Current) - Ella Shamburger*^~
  • 39th Pick (Orlando Pride) - Summer Yates*^~
  • 40th Pick (Washington Spirit) - Delaney Graham^~
  • 42nd Pick (Kansas City Current) - Rylan Childers~
  • 44th Pick (NJ/NY Gotham FC) - Iliana Hocking^
  • 45th Pick (San Diego Wave FC) - Giovanna DeMarco*^
  • 46th Pick (OL Reign) - Natalie Viggiano*^
  • 48th Pick (Houston Dash) - Madelyn Desiano*
* - US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program
^ - US Youth Soccer National Championship Series
~ - US Youth Soccer National League
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer)
US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sport organization in the country, is on a mission to provide world-class support, resources, and leadership, helping every member fulfill their goals on and off the field of play. US Youth Soccer registers nearly 2.5 million players annually. Through its programming, resources and leadership, US Youth Soccer is advancing the game for its 54 Member State Associations, 10,000 clubs and leagues and one million administrators, coaches, and volunteers. US Youth Soccer connects families and communities to the power of sports and its shared love of soccer. US Youth Soccer provides a path for every player, coach and referee offering programs that provide a fun, safe and healthy environment at every level of the game.