Round Three Analysis
21 – POR – Tyler Lussi – F – Princeton
Third forward in the draft, though only #2 if you don’t feel Jordan is coming to Portland immediately. Lussi wasn’t a particularly highly ranked player on the Four Factors metric, and she didn’t do a ton against more highly regarded opposition, though some of that might be scheduling. I’m not sure how she’s not going to be buried on the depth chart here though.
22 – ORL – Danica Evans – F – Colorado
Thought the Pride were going to fill another need, but they need goals with Morgan gone for a few months (at least). Evans has ripped up opponents in Summer leagues but was inconsistent at college level at Portland for two years and at Colorado before her senior season. Probably a little bit of a reach though, even with upside.
23 – SBFC – Kailen Sheridan – GK – Clemson
Sky Blue needed an upgrade at keeper, and Sheridan, ideally, is the long-term solution at the position. In contention now for Canada at full international level, Sheridan has been a big part of Clemson’s revitalized defense for four seasons. Undeniably talented, but when the wheels come off, it’s ugly. Fills need, but I’d be more comfortable if she was learning from a steadier veteran hand.
24 – SBFC – Madison Tiernan – F – Rutgers
Club should be familiar with Tiernan given the Rutgers connection. Has had an up and down college career but had a great senior season for the Scarlet Knights. An absolute gunner who takes a ton of shots, sometimes to her detriment. Not going to be a star at next level but could be decent depth, though she probably would’ve been available late.
25 – FCKC – Alexis Shaffer – MF – Virginia
How she slipped to #25, we’ll never know. Didn’t get a ton of help from a raw frontline last year, causing her to try and do a bit too much. Great technical skill and does great damage in tight spaces. Really landed in the right situation and is probably going to have a chip on her shoulder after slipping this far. Another great steal for FCKC in the later rounds.
26 – SEA – Arielle Ship – F – Cal
Another that others like more than I do, but I think Ship has potential to be a solid pro. Would probably have been pushing for the first round last season but fell off a bit this past season as Onumonu took center stage. Biggest question is if she can do it against the biggest competition, as she’s been a bit of a flat-track bully in the past.
27 – NC – Jaycie Johnson – F/D – Nebraska
Johnson is an absolute stud if healthy but has had two ACL surgeries, the most recent in December. Excelled at forward at college level but might get moved back to full-back in pros. A whirling dervish of energy with the ball, somewhat reminiscent of Rose Lavelle with more cutting edge in front of goal. Could be a great pick down the line.
28 – HOU – Nichelle Prince – F – Ohio State
Canadian international has American citizenship, so she won’t count against the limit. Odd fit considering the lack of defenders on roster. Does a lot of the little stuff right when she’s not scoring in terms of workrate and pressing from the front. Inconsistent and didn’t score that much in long stretches for OSU. Could be a better pro than collegian.
29 – WSH – Meggie Dougherty Howard – MF – Florida
Spirit should be very familiar with Dougherty Howard considering their experience with her in the reserves. Really blossomed late in career and can play as playmaker or deeper role. Some questions over Florida midfielders translating to next level, but she could break the negative trend. Biggest key is finding a way to get her minutes in crowded midfield.
30 – SBFC – Catrina Atanda – MF – Clemson
Makes sense as a local. Undersized but is explosive with the ball at her feet and can score from distance or be a playmaker. I thought she could have been picked a round earlier, so getting her at #30 is another steal for SBFC. At the very least, Atanda should be a big injection of energy off the bench right away.