Whipped this up in about fifteen minutes, but here you go…
1 – WSH – Ashlyn Harris – GK
Why exactly the Spirit are letting Harris walk without compensation is an absolute puzzler, but all signs point towards the Pride picking the USWNT’s #2 up to fill the void at starting goalkeeper. They’ll, of course, need good cover since Harris is likely to be with the U.S. at next year’s Olympics. Harris has played behind some shambolic defenses in her time with the Spirit, which should provide good practice considering the Pride aren’t likely to possess an airtight defense in their first year of existence.
2 – SEA – Meghan Klingenberg – D
The Pride are expected to ship this pick right to Portland. It should at least allow Seattle to keep the core of their team intact as they can’t lose another player in this draft. Klingenberg would probably shift to right-back if Steph Catley stays in Portland and move to left-back if the Australian departs. She should, at the very least, be a major upgrade to the Thorns’ defense.
3 – CHI – Taryn Hemmings – D
(Chicago protects GK Michelle Dalton.)
It’s tempting for the Pride to pick up Dalton as Harris’ understudy, but Hemmings was one of Chicago’s unsung heroes during their excellent 2015 campaign. Capable of playing in the center of defense or out wide, Hemmings should also provide some much needed veteran leadership to a squad that figures to have a good deal of youth on it in 2016.
4 – POR – Lianne Sanderson – F/MF
(Portland protects MF Meleana Shim.)
This one seems to be churning through the rumor mill as of late. If Sanderson is willing to stay in the U.S. this seems like an absolute no-brainer. Sanderson is in the prime of her career and could provide an invaluable spark to the attack when the likes of Alex Morgan are gone for the Olympics. Capable in an attacking midfield or forward role, Sanderson’s another battle tested player at this level who will be counted upon to be a big factor right away if she comes to the Pride.
5 – FCKC – Frances Silva – F
(FC Kansas City protects the rights to MF Jenna Richmond.)
Silva has looked like a player waiting for a chance to bust out as a full-time starter. She hasn’t had such a chance in an understandably crowded frontline for FCKC but has two rings and has had some great moments for the two-time champs. She’d probably be an immediate factor on the wing for Orlando and could develop into a solid starter in the league for the Pride.
6 – SBFC – Cami Levin – D/MF
(Sky Blue FC protects MF/F Taylor Lytle.)
SBFC actually has a lot more talent than you’d expect for a team that struggled so much last season, but with the club already stocked up on offense through some of the signings and my earlier expansion picks, I’m tipping them to pick up the versatile Cami Levin from the New Jersey side. Levin can play full-back or as a defensive midfielder and has the drive and motor that could make her a fan favorite for her new club.
7 – WNY – Chantel Jones – GK
(WNY Flash protects F Jasmyne Spencer.)
I’ve seen some people tab Sabrina D’Angelo for this pick, but why would the Pride take two goalkeepers that may be at the Olympics at the same time next year? Jones is what she is, an acceptable starter in a pinch and a plus-level backup. Considering some of the other clubs’ goalkeeping situations right now, I think the Pride will be able to live with that.
8 – BOS – (The Rights To) Andressa Alves – F/MF
(Boston protects MF Maddy Evans.)
Andressa’s currently under contract with Montpellier in France, but the fact that she chose to sign with Boston before residency took her away shows that she’s open to the idea of playing in the NWSL. She’s a world class talent that could be a major coup if she decides to sign on these shores again.
9 – SBFC – Shawna Gordon – MF
Gordon’s an experienced, hard tackling midfielder, and that’ll probably do for the Pride at this stage of the draft.
10 – WNY – Amanda Frisbie – D/F
I could see the Pride taking Elizabeth Eddy or the rights to Tatiana Coleman as well, but Frisbie’s been cursed by injury and basically being ignored by WNY’s coaching staff for much of last season. A fresh start could do her some good, and she could end up being a real diamond in the rough.