The NWSL is heading into its most aggressive season but with two formidable new growth groups becoming a member of the league. And earlier than a ball is even kicked in 2022, the competitors is already ramping up this offseason in terms of participant signings.
The previous couple of weeks and days have been busy with plenty of star players making strikes and squad shakeups taking place across the league. Now simply two days after the Expansion Draft, all 12 groups will probably be jockeying for place to accumulate younger expertise by way of the NWSL Draft.
As is customary, growth sides San Diego Wave FC and Angel City FC will get the first crack at selecting players. Last 12 months’s champions Washington Spirit do not have a choose till the top of the third spherical, so it might not be as busy on Saturday, however after the best way final season completed, it’s the remainder of the league’s accountability to catch up.
MORE: The seven players picked within the Expansion Draft
Table of Contents
How to look at the NWSL Draft
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 18
- Time: 2 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS Sports Network
- Streaming: fuboTV, Paramount+, CBS Sports HQ, Twitch (CBS Sports HQ), YouTube (CBS Sports HQ)
Get to know ’em 😎
Check out the checklist of registered players for the 2022 NWSL Draft introduced by @ally earlier than it kicks off on Dec. 18th at 2pm ET ⤵️
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) December 16, 2021
NWSL Draft guidelines
The draft will probably be performed as an ordinary four-round draft, with just a few tweaks concerning the pair of growth groups:
- San Diego Wave FC maintain the No. 1 draft choose due to a coin flip, however since there are two growth groups on this draft, they may rotate the top spot in every of the 4 rounds, that means Wave FC will choose first in Rounds 1 & 3, whereas Angel City will choose first in Rounds 2 & 4.
- The two growth sides will get two further picks on the finish of Round 2, giving the draft a fair 50 general picks.
DECOURCY: Spirit’s NWSL title was probably the most outstanding in U.S. sports activities historical past
Several picks have already been traded, together with two of the top three picks: Racing Louisville has Angel City FC’s first spherical choose (No. 2 general) from the commerce involving Christen Press and NC Courage has Kansas City Current’s first spherical choose (No. 3 general) from the commerce involving Sam Mewis.
NWSL Draft order
The full NWSL four-round draft order follows beneath. Two further picks had been added for the growth groups on the finish of the second spherical (famous with an *) to make for 50 general picks. (Angel City traded that choose to Houston Dash which in flip traded it to Racing Louisville FC.)
NWSL Draft prospects & top skills
Nearly 200 players have registered for the draft hoping to be one of many 50 picks on the occasion. The faculty ranks had been bursting with expertise this previous season, nevertheless it’s not as top-heavy as in recent times. Nonetheless, there’s an higher echelon, with the next players prone to go early within the draft.
MORE: New USWNT players make the case to be starters
Jaelin Howell (MF, Florida State)
All the excitement has Howell going first general to San Diego Wave, having confirmed her value over plenty of years at probably the greatest groups within the NCAA. Howell made three College Cups over her 4 years, gained a MAC Hermann Trophy (and will win one other), and has senior USWNT expertise. A pure No. 8, one can be hard-pressed to discover a extra skilled and battle-tested participant on this complete draft.
Naomi Girma (DF, Stanford)
Unanimously the top defender within the draft, Girma was injured final 12 months and selected to remain in faculty for one other season at one of many nation’s most vaunted applications. Stanford’s season was considerably of a disappointment, however her expertise is simple, ending as a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist two years in a row as a defender, a formidable feather within the cap.
Mia Fishel (FW, UCLA)
A two-time All American at UCLA, Fishel is simply a junior however took the chance to go away early with an opportunity to go excessive within the draft. She scored 36 instances in 59 matches throughout her three seasons at UCLA. The payoff for that efficiency was an October 2020 callup into senior USWNT camp, and being named a finalist for the 2020 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year award.
Claudia Dickey (GK, North Carolina)
We are getting into sleeper territory, and Dickey is the top goalkeeper within the draft. Goalkeepers aren’t fairly as prioritized within the draft because the outfield positions, however Dickey is a veteran with USWNT buzz (though the place is sort of logjammed in the intervening time). She had fabulous numbers at UNC, sporting a 75.5 p.c save share and 131.5 minutes/purpose conceded mark in her senior season.
Gi DeMarco (MF, Wake Forest)
One of the pure skills within the draft, DeMarco was a fixture for Wake Forest and supplies a versatility that’s tough to seek out. What retains DeMarco down the checklist is primarily her damage historical past, however a basic No. 8 who can play as a No. 6, DeMarco has calm ball management talents and fabulous area imaginative and prescient. She’s not a flashy participant, preferring to do the soiled work in midfield for a possession-oriented type of play, however she’s going to pop up on the scoresheet once in a while.