NWSL – 2020 NWSL Draft – Fourth Round Review

A few notes:

*All advanced stats are from inStat. Not all matches this season were scored by inStat, explaining why some games are missing for some players.

*IMPACT ratings are calculated by myself via a proprietary formula using inStat data. The IMPACT rating is on a 0-5 scale that is not adjusted for strength of schedule. Thus, a 1.50 in a top conference like the Pac-12/ACC means much more than a 1.50 in a mid-major conference. Additionally, IMPACT ratings for attacking players generally tend to be higher. A 0.90 rating for a forward may be unimpressive for a early pick, whereas a 0.90 for a defender competing in a top league may be much more impressive.

28 – NC – Addisyn Merrick – D (CB) – Kansas

Stats of Note [25 match sample]

IMPACT rating – 0.46

76% pass completion (36 passes per 90’)
72% defensive challenges won (6 per 90’)
77% aerial duels won
72% tackles won
1.7 dribbles per 90’ (72% success)
11/4.9 – ball recovery/turnover ratio per 90’
9 interceptions per 90’
1.24 major mistakes per match

It might be a mild surprise to see North Carolina go back-to-back with center-backs late in the draft, but the Courage can afford such luxuries given the overall depth to their roster. Merrick likely slipped this far due to concerns about her size, standing at just 5’5” which is quite undersized for a typical professional level center-back. But her numbers defensively were more than solid, and she outpaced Miramontez in many categories, including having a massive advantage in tackles. It should be noted that Merrick more than held her own in the air, though she also didn’t win a ton of aerial duels. Unfortunately, her major mistake rate is as concerning as Miramontez’s, but Merrick likely has time to improve given Carolina’s existing strength in depth. Continue reading

NWSL – 2020 NWSL Draft – Third Round Review

A few notes:

*All advanced stats are from inStat. Not all matches this season were scored by inStat, explaining why some games are missing for some players.

*IMPACT ratings are calculated by myself via a proprietary formula using inStat data. The IMPACT rating is on a 0-5 scale that is not adjusted for strength of schedule. Thus, a 1.50 in a top conference like the Pac-12/ACC means much more than a 1.50 in a mid-major conference. Additionally, IMPACT ratings for attacking players generally tend to be higher. A 0.90 rating for a forward may be unimpressive for a early pick, whereas a 0.90 for a defender competing in a top league may be much more impressive.

19 – CHI – Zoe Morse – D (CB) – Virginia

Stats of Note [21 match sample]:

IMPACT rating – 0.90

89% pass completion (67 passes per 90’)
69% defensive challenges won (4.4 per 90’)
76% aerial duels won
66% tackles won
9/4.4 – ball recovery/turnover ratio per 90’
6 interceptions per 90’
0.86 major mistakes per match

Morse was probably a little bit higher than Phoebe McClernon on some teams’ boards, as she probably played a little better in 2019, but I though McClernon’s versatility gave her a slight edge on my board. But Morse was still one of the nation’s top defenders last season and represents more prime value at this spot. College soccer pass completion numbers can be goosed a bit sometimes by defenders being allowed to knock short passes around by teams standing off them, but it’s hard not to still be impressed by Morse’s numbers, even if you take them with a bit of a grain of salt.

There’s not much to pick through and be worried about with Morse. She posts strong raw defensive numbers across the board and has a strong recovery/turnover ratio while racking up interceptions. The only real knock is that Morse perhaps didn’t show much inclination towards the occasional key pass or dribble, she’s just a pure defensive center-back. But technically strong, battle tested center-backs don’t fall off of trees, and they also don’t slip this far in many cases, so Morse could be a steal at this spot. Continue reading

NWSL – 2020 NWSL Draft – Second Round Review

A few notes:

*All advanced stats are from inStat. Not all matches this season were scored by inStat, explaining why some games are missing for some players.

*IMPACT ratings are calculated by myself via a proprietary formula using inStat data. The IMPACT rating is on a 0-5 scale that is not adjusted for strength of schedule. Thus, a 1.50 in a top conference like the Pac-12/ACC means much more than a 1.50 in a mid-major conference. Additionally, IMPACT ratings for attacking players generally tend to be higher. A 0.90 rating for a forward may be unimpressive for a early pick, whereas a 0.90 for a defender competing in a top league may be much more impressive.

10 – ORL – Konya Plummer – D (CB) – UCF

Stats of Note [16 match sample]

IMPACT rating – 1.88

75% pass completion (37 passes per 90’)
81% defensive challenges won (6 per 90’)
84% aerial duels won
79% tackles won
2.1 dribbles per 90’ (84% successful)
12/7 – ball recovery/turnover ratio per 90’
9 interceptions per 90’
1.06 major mistakes per match

Orlando was never going to stop at just one defender given the depth of their defensive need as well as the amount of picks they had traded their way towards coming into and during Thursday’s draft. The Pride seemed to be set up very well to succeed given the fact that nobody took a center-back in the opening round of the draft, with their need at the heart of the defense very apparent to anyone that had seen the club play in 2019.

The Pride would end up shocking the room though, taking local product Konya Plummer with the tenth pick overall. The second and final international player taken in this draft class, Plummer has made waves at a young age by starting for and captaining the Jamaican WNT during their rapid rise, including at last year’s Women’s World Cup. Plummer’s stats for a decidedly middling UCF team last season stand out as a bright spot as well, as her d. challenge, tackle, interception, and aerial duel success rates are off the chart, even for a player playing in a mid-major conference like the AAC.

But there are also questions about the pick. Plummer’s pass completion % isn’t a complete disqualifier, but it’s far from ideal compared to some of the other center-backs coming from this class. The same could be said for her average amount of turnovers per 90’ played. The biggest worry on my end may not be from a pure numbers perspective though, as Plummer only has two seasons of NCAA DI experience, having transferred to UCF from the JUCO ranks. That may not be a long-term detriment, but it could mean that Plummer has a bit of a struggle to come in right away given the jump in talent level with the pro game. Fair or not, Plummer is going to be compared with the player that went one pick after her, Kaleigh Riehl, through the bulk of their NWSL careers. It may end up working out well for Orlando. But then again, it might not, and this pick, when considered in the context of the situation, could come back to haunt the Pride.
Continue reading

NWSL – 2020 NWSL Draft – First Round Review

A few notes:

*All advanced stats are from inStat. Not all matches this season were scored by inStat, explaining why some games are missing for some players.

*IMPACT ratings are calculated by myself via a proprietary formula using inStat data. The IMPACT rating is on a 0-5 scale that is not adjusted for strength of schedule. Thus, a 1.50 in a top conference like the Pac-12/ACC means much more than a 1.50 in a mid-major conference. Additionally, IMPACT ratings for attacking players generally tend to be higher. A 0.90 rating for a forward may be unimpressive for a early pick, whereas a 0.90 for a defender competing in a top league may be much more impressive.

ROUND ONE

1 – POR – Sophia Smith – F (LF, CF, RF) – Stanford

Stats of Note [20 match sample]:

IMPACT rating – 2.40

16 goals on approximately 14 xG
38% conversion rate
2.1 chances created per 90’
73% pass completion (19 passes per 90’)
1.3 key passes completed per 90’ (49% completion)
29% cross completion
43% aerial duels won
7 dribbles per 90’ (54% success)
3.2/12 – ball recovery-turnover ratio per 90’

Smith was always going to be the #1 pick in this draft if she indeed declared (barring a surprise early entry from teammate Catarina Macario), and she seems to have landed in a great spot right away. The Thorns have suffered as of late without a real quality #9, and Smith has the potential to be that player in time. If that’s her destiny, it may take a little bit longer to gel into that role, as she was tasked with playing out wide for Stanford. If Mark Parsons sticks with three at the back for Portland this year, Smith almost has to play centrally, though Smith could play there or wide left (when Tobin Heath is away) or wide right if the Thorns go to four at the back.

I was a lower vote than most on Smith coming into this season, as I wanted to see her prove it consistently over a full season after being cut down with injury midway through her rookie year. Concerns seemed to grow a bit as she missed early games this year, but Smith grew into the year and peaked at a great time, with her marvelous display in the College Cup semi-final against UCLA a crowning achievement for her short collegiate tenure.

In terms of parsing the numbers, Smith looks good in most areas. Her conversion rate, while not the best in the NCAA, is pretty darn good, especially given the number of chances coming her way. Smith’s passing numbers also point her out as likely one of this class’ best in distribution amongst forwards along with Tziarra King. Add in the dribbling numbers, and Smith could be a player with true star potential. She’s not great in the air, though her 43% success is higher than some forwards in this class, while the same could be said about her recovery-turnover ratio.

Overall, an excellent (if easy) pick for Portland, and they’ll likely be confident she was worth the price paid in acquiring the #1 pick. Continue reading

NWSL – Chris & Jon’s 2020 NWSL Mock Draft

Round 1

1. POR – Sophia Smith – F (LF, CF, RF) – Stanford
2. SBFC – Ashley Sanchez – F (LF, CF) – UCLA
3. SBFC – Kaleigh Riehl – D (CB) – Penn State
4. CHI – Taylor Kornieck – MF (MC) – Colorado
5. CHI – Morgan Weaver – F (CF) – Washington State
6. NC – Ally Watt – F (CF) – Texas A&M
7. ORL – Kelcie Hedge – MF (DMC, MC, LM) – Santa Clara
8. URFC – Tziarra King – F (LF, CF) – NC State
9. RFC – Phoebe McClernon – D (RB, CB) – Virginia

Round 2

10. ORL – Evelyne Viens – F (CF) – South Florida
11. SBFC – Meaghan Nally – D (CB, RB, LB) – Georgetown
12. URFC – Courtney Petersen – D (LB) – Virginia
13. SBFC – Amanda Visco – D (CB) – Rutgers
14. ORL – Zoe Morse – D (CB) – Virginia
15. POR – Julia Bingham – D (LB), MF (LM) – USC
16. POR – Natalie Jacobs – F (CF, RF), D (CB) – USC
17. SBFC – Mandy McGlynn – GK – Virginia Tech
18. HOU – Aerial Chavarin – MF (DMC, MC) – Yale

Round 3

19 – ORL – Ella Stevens – MF (MC) – Duke
20 – SBFC – Camryn Biegalski – D (RB) – Wisconsin
21 – ORL – Bridgette Andrzejewski – D (RB, LWB), F (RF) – North Carolina
22 – HOU – Uchenna Kanu – F (LF, CF) – Southeastern University
23 – WSH – Stasia Mallin – D (RB) – Memphis
24 – CHI – Ricci Walkling – MF (DMC, MC) – NC State
25 – POR – Sinclaire Miramontez – D (CB) – Nebraska
26 – CHI – Konya Plummer – D (CB) – UCF
27 – NC – Abigail Kim – F (RF, CF) – Cal

Round 4

28 – NC – Shaelan Murison – F (LF, CF) – UC Santa Barbara
29 – SBFC – Taylor Aylmer – MF (MC, DMC) – Rutgers
30 – ORL – Kaiya McCullough – D (CB) – UCLA
31 – URFC – Natalie Winters – MF (DMC) – Iowa
32 – WSH – Ella Dederick – GK – Washington State
33 – RFC – Paula Germino-Watnick – F (LF), MF (AMC) – Georgetown
34 – POR – Cyera Hintzen – F (CF, LF) – Texas
35 – CHI – Kate del Fava – MF (MC) – Illinois State
36 – NC – Natalie Saddic – MF (DMC) – UC San Diego

NWSL – 2020 NWSL Draft Big Board FINAL

This is the final big board, per the final officially released list from the league. Anyone unlisted does not have a draftable grade from Jon and me.

Rank Name Position School
1 Sophia Smith F (LF, CF, RF) Stanford
2 Ashley Sanchez F (LF, CF) UCLA
3 Kaleigh Riehl D (CB) Penn State
4 Taylor Kornieck MF (MC) Colorado
5 Evelyne Viens F (CF) South Florida
6 Ally Watt F (CF) Texas A&M
7 Phoebe McClernon D (CB, RB) Virginia
8 Morgan Weaver F (CF) Washington State
9 Tziarra King F (LF, CF) NC State
10 Courtney Petersen D (LB) Virginia
11 Kelcie Hedge MF (DMC, MC, LM) Santa Clara
12 Zoe Morse D (CB) Virginia
13 Amanda Visco D (CB) Rutgers
14 Ricci Walkling MF (DMC, MC) NC State
15 Aerial Chavarin MF (DMC, MC) Yale
16 Meaghan Nally D (CB, RB, LB) Georgetown
17 Sinclaire Miramontez D (CB) Nebraska
18 Julia Bingham D (LB), MF (LM) USC
19 Camryn Biegalski D (RB) Wisconsin
20 Uchenna Kanu F (LF, CF) Southeastern University
21 Paula Germino-Watnick F (LF), MF (AMC) Georgetown
22 Cyera Hintzen F (CF, LF) Texas
23 Mandy McGlynn GK Virginia Tech
24 Bridgette Andrzejewski D (RB, LWB), F (RF) North Carolina
25 Ella Stevens MF (MC) Duke
26 Kaiya McCullough D (CB) UCLA
27 Stasia Mallin D (RB, CB) Memphis
28 Natalie Winters MF (DMC) Iowa
29 Konya Plummer D (CB) UCF
30 Meghan McCool F (CF, LF) Virginia
31 Katie McClure F (CF) Kansas
32 Natalie Jacobs F (CF, RF), D (CB) USC
33 Andrea Hauksdottir MF (DMC) South Florida
34 Alli Klug D (CB) Saint Louis
35 Addisyn Merrick D (CB) Kansas
36 Kate del Fava MF (MC) Illinois State
37 Shaelan Murison F (LF, CF) UC Santa Barbara
38 Natalie Saddic MF (DMC) UC San Diego
39 Samantha Dewey MF (AMC) Xavier
40 Jaci Jones MF (MC) Oklahoma State
41 Bri Folds MF (MC) Auburn
42 Katie Lund GK Arkansas
43 Madison Hammond D (LB, CB), MF (DMC) Wake Forest
44 Jalen Tompkins GK Colorado
45 Taylor Aylmer MF (MC, DMC) Rutgers
46 Abigail Kim F (RF, CF) Cal
47 Arianna Ferraro D (RB, LB) Louisville
48 Sarah Luebbert F (CF) Missouri
49 Samantha Hiatt D (CB), MF (DMC) Stanford
50 Grace Bahr D (CB) Xavier
51 Mikayla Krzeczowski GK South Carolina
52 Ella Dederick GK Washington State
53 Dani Rhodes F (CF) Wisconsin
54 Abby Carchio MF (MC) Brown
55 Tori Cannata F (LF, CF), MF (AMC) Arkansas
56 Annika Schmidt D (CB) Butler
57 Julia Lester D (CB) Florida
58 Bayleigh Chaviers D (RB) Miami (FL)
59 Tiernny Wiltshire D (LB), F (RF) Rutgers
60 Kaylee Dao MF (MC, DMC) Oklahoma
61 Serena Dolan MF (DMC, MC) Memphis
62 Raimee Sherle F (CF) Boise State
63 Alexis Mata GK Hawaii
64 Atlanta Primus F (CF), MF (AMC) Cal State Fullerton
65 Danika Serassio D (CB) BYU
66 Morgan Goff MF (DMC), D (LB, CB) North Carolina
67 MaKayla Waldner F (CF), MF (AMC) Mississippi State
68 Lizzy Braby F (RF) BYU
69 Olivia Vaughn F (RF, CF) Boston College
70 Autumn Smithers D (CB), MF (DMC) Notre Dame
71 Kimberly Hazlett F (RF), D (RB) Portland
72 Madeline Gotta MF (MC, DMC), D (RB) Gonzaga
73 Mary O’Hara MF (MC) Florida Atlantic
74 Hannah Adler MF (DMC) Denver
75 Lauren Crenshaw D (LB, RB) UTEP
76 Haley Crawford F (LF, CF), MF (AMC) James Madison
77 Kelsey Irwin D (CB) Virginia Tech
78 Kristen Amarikwa D (CB) San Jose State
79 Chantelle Swaby D (CB) Rutgers
80 Milan Moses F (CF) San Diego
81 Brooklynn Rivers F (LF, CF) Louisville
82 Ru Mucherera F (LF, RF) North Carolina
83 Kinga Szemik GK Texas Rio Grande Valley
84 Susannah Friedrichs D (RB) VCU
85 Briana Morris F (RF, CF) South Alabama
86 Arianna Veland MF (DMC) Illinois
87 Averie Collins F (LF, CF) Washington State
88 Kristina Fisher F (RF) Miami (FL)
89 Caeley Lordemann MF (MC) Colorado State
90 Brianna Jaeger D (CB) Marquette
91 Machaela George D (RB) Santa Clara
92 Julia Lenhardt MF (DMC) Oklahoma State
93 Taryn Jakubowski MF (MC) Creighton
94 Anja Koehler MF (DMC) Portland
95 Michaela Kovacs D (CB) Michigan State
96 Kristina O’Donnell D (LB, RB), MF (RM) Oklahoma
97 Maureen Kennedy D (CB) Bowling Green
98 Jaylen Crim F (RF), D (RB) Saint Mary’s (CA)
99 Tatumn Milazzo D (RB, CB) South Carolina
100 Jalen Woodward MF (DMC) USC
101 Kaylee Davis F (CF) Texas State
102 Brittany Wilson GK Denver
103 Maggie Smither GK South Dakota State
104 Briana Alston D (CB) Texas A&M
105 Shauny Alterisio D (CB) Central Connecticut State
106 Marjorie Boilesen MF (AMC), F (CF) Florida Gulf Coast
107 Amanda Fitzgerald GK Fairleigh Dickinson
108 Madison Laudeman D (CB) Loyola Chicago
109 Atu Mshana D (CB) Texas
110 Nikki Albrecht D (LB, CB, RB), MF (LM) Minnesota
111 Alexa Genas F (CF, LF) Campbell
112 Olivia Doak F (CF, RF) Lipscomb
113 Brianna Blethen D (LB) South Florida
114 Nina Predanic F/MF College of Saint Rose
115 Mary Meehan D (CB, LB, RB) SMU
116 Cheyenne Shorts D (CB) Denver
117 Marike Mousset D (CB, RB) Ohio State
118 Lexie Palladino MF (MC) Monmouth
119 Cassie Rohan MF (MC) Drake
120 Hailey Havlicek D (CB) Colorado State
121 Valeria Pascuet MF (MC) Rider
122 Alex Jackson D (CB) Navy
123 Madyson Brown D, MF Biola University
124 Evdokia Popadinova F (CF) Florida Gulf Coast
125 Samantha Jehnings F (CF) San Francisco
126 Maddy Gonzalez MF (AMC), F (CF) Santa Clara
127 Vanessa Kara F (CF, LF) Florida
128 Maegen Doyle F Bridgeport
129 Elexa Bahr F (CF, RF) South Carolina
130 Zsani Kajan F (CF) Saint John’s (NY)
131 Miciah Madison F (RF, CF, LF) San Francisco
132 Jaylin Bosak D (CB, LB) Creighton
133 Holly Daugirda MF (DMC, MC) Utah
134 Larkin Russell MF (DMC, MC) Portland
135 Emily Sands F (CF), MF (AMC) Penn
136 Julia Elvbo MF (MC) Ball State
137 Hannah Hoefs MF (MC) Loyola (MD)
138 Abby Small D (CB) Kansas City
139 Amanda Knaub GK Monmouth
140 Carly Nelson GK Utah
141 Miyah Watford F (CF), MF (AMC) Murray State
142 Nelia Perez F (RF, CF) Radford
143 Ally Reynolds F (RF) New Hampshire
144 Jessica Miclat MF (MC) UC Irvine
145 Sabrina Davis GK BYU
146 Mary Niehaus GK Saint Louis
147 Amber Michel GK San Diego
148 Aleah Kelley D (CB, LB) UC Irvine
149 Amanda Roy D (CB) UC Riverside
150 Courtenay Kaplan GK Radford
151 Karsyn Hasch D (CB) Murray State
152 Kristen Vinceguerra D (RB, LB) Villanova
153 Madie Gibson F (LF) Monmouth
154 Jessie Ray F (CF) Seattle
155 Maci Bower F (CF) La Salle
156 Taylor Cohen F Washington University
157 Sarah Segan F (CF) William & Mary
158 Stephanie Zuniga F (LF), MF (AMC) Colorado
159 Zandy Soree MF (AMC), F (CF) UCF
160 Tristin Stuteville GK Ball State
161 Chelsee Washington MF (DMC) Bowling Green
162 Kelsey Vogel D (CB) Seattle
163 Makenzie Lawrence F (CF) Southern Utah
164 Anna Gornell MF (DMC) Oral Roberts
165 Aqsa Mushtaq D Lenoir-Rhyne
166 Alivia Milesky MF (DMC, MC), F (CF) Ohio
167 Jessica Stanfill GK Richmond

NWSL – 2020 NWSL Draft Big Board v1.0

This may be updated pending new additions to the list. Only players registered on the last released list and who we have good reason to believe are in the draft are included. Any players not listed have an “undraftable” grade from us.

Rank Name Position School
1 Sophia Smith F (LF, CF, RF) Stanford
2 Kaleigh Riehl D (CB) Penn State
3 Evelyne Viens F (CF) South Florida
4 Ally Watt F (CF) Texas A&M
5 Phoebe McClernon D (CB, RB) Virginia
6 Tziarra King F (LF, CF) NC State
7 Courtney Petersen D (LB) Virginia
8 Kelcie Hedge MF (DMC, MC, LM) Santa Clara
9 Zoe Morse D (CB) Virginia
10 Amanda Visco D (CB) Rutgers
11 Ricci Walkling MF (DMC, MC) NC State
12 Aerial Chavarin MF (DMC, MC) Yale
13 Meaghan Nally D (CB, RB, LB) Georgetown
14 Sinclaire Miramontez D (CB) Nebraska
15 Julia Bingham D (LB), MF (LM) USC
16 Camryn Biegalski D (RB) Wisconsin
17 Paula Germino-Watnick F (LF), MF (AMC) Georgetown
18 Cyera Hintzen F (CF, LF) Texas
19 Mandy McGlynn GK Virginia Tech
20 Bridgette Andrzejewski D (RB, LWB), F (RF) North Carolina
21 Ella Stevens MF (MC) Duke
22 Kaiya McCullough D (CB) UCLA
23 Stasia Mallin D (RB, CB) Memphis
24 Natalie Winters MF (DMC) Iowa
25 Konya Plummer D (CB) UCF
26 Meghan McCool F (CF, LF) Virginia
27 Katie McClure F (CF) Kansas
28 Natalie Jacobs F (CF, RF), D (CB) USC
29 Alli Klug D (CB) Saint Louis
30 Addisyn Merrick D (CB) Kansas
31 Kate del Fava MF (MC) Illinois State
32 Shaelan Murison F (LF, CF) UC Santa Barbara
33 Natalie Saddic MF (DMC) UC San Diego
34 Samantha Dewey MF (AMC) Xavier
35 Jaci Jones MF (MC) Oklahoma State
36 Bri Folds MF (MC) Auburn
37 Katie Lund GK Arkansas
38 Madison Hammond D (LB, CB), MF (DMC) Wake Forest
39 Jalen Tompkins GK Colorado
40 Taylor Aylmer MF (MC, DMC) Rutgers
41 Abigail Kim F (RF, CF) Cal
42 Grace Bahr D (CB) Xavier
43 Mikayla Krzeczowski GK South Carolina
44 Dani Rhodes F (CF) Wisconsin
45 Abby Carchio MF (MC) Brown
46 Tori Cannata F (LF, CF), MF (AMC) Arkansas
47 Annika Schmidt D (CB) Butler
48 Julia Lester D (CB) Florida
49 Bayleigh Chaviers D (RB) Miami (FL)
50 Tiernny Wiltshire D (LB), F (RF) Rutgers
51 Kaylee Dao MF (MC, DMC) Oklahoma
52 Serena Dolan MF (DMC, MC) Memphis
53 Raimee Sherle F (CF) Boise State
54 Atlanta Primus F (CF), MF (AMC) Cal State Fullerton
55 Danika Serassio D (CB) BYU
56 Olivia Vaughn F (RF, CF) Boston College
57 Autumn Smithers D (CB), MF (DMC) Notre Dame
58 Kimberly Hazlett F (RF), D (RB) Portland
59 Madeline Gotta MF (MC, DMC), D (RB) Gonzaga
60 Hannah Adler MF (DMC) Denver
61 Lauren Crenshaw D (LB, RB) UTEP
62 Haley Crawford F (LF, CF), MF (AMC) James Madison
63 Kelsey Irwin D (CB) Virginia Tech
64 Chantelle Swaby D (CB) Rutgers
65 Milan Moses F (CF) San Diego
66 Brooklynn Rivers F (LF, CF) Louisville
67 Ru Mucherera F (LF, RF) North Carolina
68 Kinga Szemik GK Texas Rio Grande Valley
69 Susannah Friedrichs D (RB) VCU
70 Briana Morris F (RF, CF) South Alabama
71 Arianna Veland MF (DMC) Illinois
72 Averie Collins F (LF, CF) Washington State
73 Kristina Fisher F (RF) Miami (FL)
74 Caeley Lordemann MF (MC) Colorado State
75 Brianna Jaeger D (CB) Marquette
76 Machaela George D (RB) Santa Clara
77 Taryn Jakubowski MF (MC) Creighton
78 Anja Koehler MF (DMC) Portland
79 Michaela Kovacs D (CB) Michigan State
80 Kristina O’Donnell D (LB, RB), MF (RM) Oklahoma
81 Maureen Kennedy D (CB) Bowling Green
82 Kaylee Davis F (CF) Texas State
83 Brittany Wilson GK Denver
84 Shauny Alterisio D (CB) Central Connecticut State
85 Marjorie Boilesen MF (AMC), F (CF) Florida Gulf Coast
86 Atu Mshana D (CB) Texas
87 Nikki Albrecht D (LB, CB, RB), MF (LM) Minnesota
88 Alexa Genas F (CF, LF) Campbell
89 Olivia Doak F (CF, RF) Lipscomb
90 Nina Predanic F/MF College of Saint Rose
91 Mary Meehan D (CB, LB, RB) SMU
92 Cheyenne Shorts D (CB) Denver
93 Marike Mousset D (CB, RB) Ohio State
94 Lexie Palladino MF (MC) Monmouth
95 Hailey Havlicek D (CB) Colorado State
96 Alex Jackson D (CB) Navy
97 Madyson Brown D, MF Biola University
98 Evdokia Popadinova F (CF) Florida Gulf Coast
99 Maddy Gonzalez MF (AMC), F (CF) Santa Clara
100 Vanessa Kara F (CF, LF) Florida
101 Maegen Doyle F Bridgeport
102 Elexa Bahr F (CF, RF) South Carolina
103 Zsani Kajan F (CF) Saint John’s (NY)
104 Miciah Madison F (RF, CF, LF) San Francisco
105 Jaylin Bosak D (CB, LB) Creighton
106 Holly Daugirda MF (DMC, MC) Utah
107 Hannah Hoefs MF (MC) Loyola (MD)
108 Abby Small D (CB) Kansas City
109 Amanda Knaub GK Monmouth
110 Carly Nelson GK Utah
111 Miyah Watford F (CF), MF (AMC) Murray State
112 Nelia Perez F (RF, CF) Radford
113 Sabrina Davis GK BYU
114 Aleah Kelley D (CB, LB) UC Irvine
115 Amanda Roy D (CB) UC Riverside
116 Courtenay Kaplan GK Radford
117 Karsyn Hasch D (CB) Murray State
118 Kristen Vinceguerra D (RB, LB) Villanova
119 Madie Gibson F (LF) Monmouth
120 Maci Bower F (CF) La Salle
121 Taylor Cohen F Washington University
122 Stephanie Zuniga F (LF), MF (AMC) Colorado
123 Zandy Soree MF (AMC), F (CF) UCF
124 Tristin Stuteville GK Ball State
125 Chelsee Washington MF (DMC) Bowling Green
126 Makenzie Lawrence F (CF) Southern Utah
127 Aqsa Mushtaq D Lenoir-Rhyne
128 Alivia Milesky MF (DMC, MC), F (CF) Ohio
129 Jessica Stanfill GK Richmond

NWSL Draft – WoSo Independent Podcast #102 – The 2020 NWSL Draft Big Board Podcast

(Note: This podcast was recorded on Sunday evening. Players discussed have officially declared, or credible sources have indicated their declaration for the draft. Rankings may have shifted from the actual big board being posted due to new players being added after the recording of this podcast.)

Chris (@chris_awk) & Jon (@jonlipsitz) discuss their big board for the 2020 NWSL Draft. First, they discuss a trio of seniors who could shake up the big board if they declare before Thursday’s draft. Then, they talk about some of the sleepers from lower on the board. Finally, they go in detail about their Top 15 players as of the recording of the podcast.

NWSL Draft – Team Needs + WoSo Independent Podcast #101


For those without the time to listen to the podcast, I’ve provided a summary for each team below. We get much more expansive in the podcast.

Chicago

Temperature of the Room – Well, it’s not all positive after losing Sam Kerr to Chelsea. The good news though is that much of the rest of the team has been kept intact through the offseason. The one major player related acquisition has been Kealia Ohai, who will likely be given the chance to be the top scoring option here.

What They Need – The Red Stars have picks and no overtly glaring needs. Katie Naughton going the other way in the Ohai trade means some center-back depth would be of use, especially if the Davidson-Ertz combo is going to be first choice. Sarah Gorden had a breakout 2019 campaign, but the club could still use with some more depth behind Casey Short & Arin Wright as well. Otherwise, a pure defensive midfielder to replace the departed Nikki Stanton is likely a priority.

Houston

Temperature of the Room – Should be relatively positive. The Dash have largely filled many of their needs through deals and signings thus far. Katie Naughton should get every chance to seal a starting spot alongside Amber Brooks in central defense. The trade of Ohai brought a need for replacement scoring, and the Dash brought in Katie Stengel after a solid year in Utah. They also look to be giving Jane Campbell some much needed competition in goal by signing Lindsey Harris.

What They Need – Assuming the Dash aren’t going to give up on last year’s high draft picks in attack of CeCe Kizer and Kayla McCoy, Houston’s needs are still defensive. The teams still desperately needs a true ‘6’ to shield the backline, with the aging Sophie Schmidt not a long-term answer. While Naughton fortifies the central defense, the full-back position still looks potentially problematic. Allysha Chapman will be gone for much of the year for the Olympics and is getting up in years, while Haley Hanson doesn’t look best suited for right-back.

North Carolina

Temperature of the Room – Still pretty positive. The Courage were far and away the best team in the league last year and will return almost intact. The one big deal they did make may be a crucial one, bringing in the versatile Hailie Mace for McCall Zerboni. Otherwise, it’s largely the group that romped to a league championship last year. Mace’s versatility should be a boon with players missing time for the Olympics.

What They Need – Not a whole lot. If you’re operating under the assumption that the club will lose Abby Dahlkemper to expansion next year, another center-back to develop would be a nice addition. Additionally, a little cover at right-back might be warranted if Mace won’t play there, as Merritt Mathias and Hailey Harbison are both coming off injuries. Otherwise, it’ll largely be adding depth to provide competition for places, with goalkeeper and center-forward potential areas to target.

Orlando

Temperature of the Room – A little better than last year maybe, but not by much. The Sonnett trade should make them better in central defense in theory (if Sonnett doesn’t end up at right-back), but Orlando paid a pretty heavy price in trading out the #1 spot and now not having a pick until late in the first round. Caitlin Foord potentially heading to Europe, and the Chloe Logarzo debacle (not Orlando’s fault) also have hurt, while the squad still looks bloated and far too much like last year’s.

What They Need – Two of everything, really. The most pressing need probably is a true defensive midfielder, though the entire midfield was largely a shambles last year and hasn’t been addressed at all yet. The frontline could be passable with an Emslie-Leroux-Marta trio likely to be called upon with Alex Morgan unlikely to contribute much due to pregnancy and international duty. The defense still looks largely uninspiring. Sonnett should help, but the club will be hit be international absences of Krieger, Kennedy, and Zadorsky and really could use some younger talent to develop on the backline. And lastly, while Ashlyn Harris still should be starting in goal here, they really need an upgrade behind her in the long-term with neither of the current backups impressing last year.

Portland

Temperature of the Room – Depends on who you ask. Some are very down on the team for seeing players depart, including Midge Purce, but I’d argue they’ve made some very positive moves to shake things up after last year’s struggles. Raquel Rodriguez came over in the Purce trade and should provide some much needed depth in central midfield, hopefully making this team a little easier to watch after last year’s sometimes painful displays. The assumption is that Sophia Smith will land here with the #1 pick, which could solve a huge hole at the #9 slot that has been festering for a while now.

What They Need – Assuming Smith fills that #9 slot, the Thorns really need numbers. They have just 21 rostered players by my count as of this writing, with trades and departures really eating into their depth. Defensive depth is paramount now with Sonnett’s departure. Emily Menges is strong at center-back, but there is a big question of who plays alongside her. And while Ellie Carpenter looks a budding star on the right, the Thorns are largely dependent on the aging Meghan Klingenberg on the opposite flank, with little prove depth behind her.

Reign FC

Temperature of the Room – Gloomy. Losing your manager is one thing, but the go months without a replacement is another. Farid Benstiti has been tipped to be the next boss here, news that hasn’t exactly been met with glowing approval by most. The rest of the team looks essentially identical to the group that made the playoffs last year but that looked clearly like the fourth best team in the league. The Reign don’t lack for numbers, but standing still seldom works at this level.

What They Need – To start moving. This was a club that made the postseason despite some horrific injury luck, but they also benefitted from the incompetence of most of their chasing rivals for that last playoff spot, with no guarantees the pack will be that feeble this year. There are many options in the attack and in goal, but the rest of the squad is desperately in need of some youthful energy. The central midfield is talented but aging, and in the case of Jess Fishlock, coming off of serious injury. The backline was bailed out a lot by Casey Murphy in goal last year and could use with some fresh faces to add competition. Right-back is probably the priority, but they could probably use with more than just one new face.

Sky Blue FC

Temperature of the Room – Very positive. It took a while for Sky Blue to get rolling with roster revival after some big moves off the pitch, but the team made some very positive steps with a few trades. In addition to securing some picks next year, the team added some punch to the offense with Midge Purce while adding leadership and strengthening the spine of the team by acquiring McCall Zerboni. This still isn’t a great team, but they do appear to be making forward strides.

What They Need – An entirely new backline. The difference between Sky Blue and Orlando last year was Kailen Sheridan in goal, and this team can’t expect Sheridan to put in a near miraculous performance in goal again this year, especially considering she’ll likely be gone for the Olympics. Right-back is probably the biggest need, but I’m not a big fan of the Imani Dorsey experiment at left-back, while the center-back pairing of Estelle Johnson and Mandy Freeman has major questions due to age and injury. Upgrading the backup spot behind Sheridan also has to be a priority as well. Adding Purce to the frontline should help the attack, but SBFC are still remarkably short on true center-forward options, so it’d hardly be a surprise to see them use a first-round pick on one.

Utah Royals

Temperature of the Room – Not that great. Laura Harvey’s departure came very late into the offseason, and though the team quickly appointed Scott Parkinson as the interim boss, the club has largely sat on its hands in the offseason. There haven’t been any major trade acquisitions, while the club has seen Makenzy Doniak and Katie Stengel depart. On paper, the team still looks respectable, but it’d take a very brave person to tip them for a playoff run at this point.

What They Need – To not blow off the draft for once. Harvey’s draft record in her years here was abysmal, with the only player to really make an impact being Gabrielle Vincent, who was actually an undrafted free agent. Doniak and Stengel’s departure has raised a big need for attacking depth, with the club looking too reliant on Amy Rodriguez for offensive inspiration when Christen Press is away. Otherwise, there’s a distinct need for youth in central midfield and talent at full-back, especially with Kelley O’Hara’s recent injury struggles.

Washington Spirit

Temperature of the Room – Optimistic. Maybe overly so? The Spirit went high risk in the draft last year, mortgaging the future to rebuild their squad through the draft. It largely worked, but it’s also left the team with precious few picks this year. There was a major cull in the offseason, with many players being waived. Replacements have come from Europe, but the Spirit may be playing a dangerous game again, as while said players are talented, they also have no experience in this league, which could be a problem if they can’t adapt quickly.

What They Need – Pretty easy, really. They need a backup keeper behind Aubrey Bledsoe (well, two backups actually) and a true right-back. Tori Huster did a yeoman’s job out wide last year but can’t be the long-term answer at right-back for a title contender. Some might point towards the frontline, given the spotty production there, but Washington doesn’t lack for options right now. Whether they’re the right options is another matter entirely.