Picks – 22, 32
GK – Harris
DEF – Alleway, Berryhill, Camila, Levin, Monica, Krieger
MF – Edmonds, Kyle, Weatherholt, Witteman
FW – Belanger, Burkenroad, De Vanna, Hagen, Morgan
GK – Bledsoe
DEF – Catley, Pressley
MF – Evans
FW – Fields, Spencer
Two things are quite noticeable when trying to analyze the Pride for the forthcoming draft. One, they’ve still got a handful of players out of contract, which complicates trying to figure out which direction the club’s going to go. And secondly, Orlando’s first pick is in round #3, which definitely lengthens the odds of finding a true contributor right off the bat, even in a class like this.
Ashlyn Harris should return as the club’s #1 in goal, but the backup situation isn’t settled as of right now, with Aubrey Bledsoe out of contract and coming off a serious injury. Last year’s third choice, Kaitlyn Savage doesn’t return, so the club might be looking for another option with their second pick, though there are plenty of other holes to fill on paper.
On the backline, the Pride made a big splash in acquiring Ali Krieger, which should ensure that the right-back slot is filled for the foreseeable future. A much bigger question at the moment is who takes on the left-back slot if the out of contract Steph Catley does not return. Cami Levin is an option, but the Pride may want to consider another left-back for depth at the very least with one of their two picks, though new signing Camila can fill either full-back role if needed. Centrally, the club would appear to be set with the retuning Monica and Laura Alleway, but depth is pretty much non-existent, with Toni Pressley out of contract and the only other option really on paper second-year player McKenzie Berryhill.
The loss of Becky Edwards to retirement leaves a pretty sizable gap in the center of midfield that will need to be filled. Kaylyn Kyle and Kristen Edmonds are two prime contenders to fill some of the midfield starting spots, the latter especially after a breakthrough campaign in 2016. Most of the other options on the roster that could fill the vacant spot from Edwards’ retirement are still pretty raw, meaning the Pride may look to use one of their two picks to add some competition at the very least.
The frontline is obviously a concern as well, as you wonder where the goals are going to come from until Alex Morgan returns. Having Jasmyne Spencer out of contract at the moment doesn’t exactly help matters either. Getting Lisa De Vanna for a full season could work out well if she’s on form, but that’s far from a guarantee. Otherwise, it may be up to hoping that the likes of Edmonds, Josee Belanger, and Sarah Hagen can knock them in. Adding some additional depth wouldn’t hurt, but there are other positions of need.
Biggest Needs: CM, LB (if Catley doesn’t return), CB depth, GK depth (if Bledsoe doesn’t return), FW depth Continue reading