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.
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^
* - 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.