Philly Sports Live

NWSL: College Draft Recap


The inaugural NWSL College Draft took place today during the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana today. The eight teams that will participate in the first season of the NWSL selected 32 players that were eligible for the college draft.

The Chicago Red Stars had the first pick during today’s draft and wasted no time in selecting Zakiya Bywater, a forward from UCLA, as the number one pick. Bywaters was the 2012 Pac-12 player of the year. The second overall pick today went to the Washington Spirit, who selected selected forward Tiffany McCarty from Florida State. Midfielder Kristie Mewis of Boston College became FC Kansas City’s first pick. The fourth pick today went to Sky Blue FC, who selected defender Lindsi Lisonsbee-Cutshall from BYU. The Boston Breakers had the sixth overall choice and selected midfielder/defender Casey Short from Florida State. The first goalkeeper to be taken in the draft was Adrianna Franch of Oklahoma State, when she was selected seventh by the Western New York Flash. Penn State product Christine Nairn was selected by the Seattle Reign to help in their midfield and to round out the first round of the draft, the Portland Thorns selected defender Kathryn Williamson of Florida.

The four rounds of the draft played out as follows:

Round 1:

Chigago Red Stars – 1. Zakiya Bywaters, Forward (UCLA)
Washington Spirit – 2. Tiffany McCarty, Forward (Florida State)
FC Kansas City – 3. Kristie Mewis, Midfielder (Boston College)
Sky Blue FC – 4. Lindsi Lisonsbee-Cutshall, Defender (BYU)
Boston Breakers – 5. Casey Short, Midfielder/Defender (Florida State)
Western New York Flash – 6. Adrianna Franch, Goalkeeper (Oklahoma State)
Seattle Reign FC – 7. Christine Nairn, Midfielder (Penn State)
Portland Thorns FC – 8. Kathryn Williamson, Defender (Florida)

Round 2:

Chicago Red Stars – 9. Rachel Quon, Defender (Stanford)
Washington Spirit – 10. Caroline Miller, Forward (Virginia)
FC Kansas City – 11. Erika Tymrak, Midfielder/Forward (Florida)
Sky Blue FC – 12. Kendall Johnson, Defender/Midfielder (Portland)
Boston Breakers – 13. Mariah Nogueira, Midfielder (Stanford)
Western New York Flash – 14. Amy Barczuk, Midfielder (Colorado)
Seattle Reign FC – 15. Mallory Schaffer, Midfielder (William & Mary)
Portland Thorns FC – 16. Nicolette Radovic, Forward (Central Florida)

Round 3:

Chicago Red Stars – 17. Taylor Vancil, Goalkeeper (Florida State)
Washington Spirit – 18. Holly King, Midfielder (Florida)
FC Kansas City – 19. Whitney Berry, Midfielder/Forward (Kansas)
Sky Blue FC – 20. Ashley Baker, Goalkeeper (Georgia)
Boston Breakers – 21. Jo Dragotta, Midfielder (Florida)
Western New York Flash – 22. Vicki DiMartino, Forward (Boston College)
Seattle Reign FC – 23. Kristen Meier, Midfielder (Wake Forest)
Portland Thorns FC – 24. Amber Brooks, Midfielder (North Carolina)

Round 4:

Chicago Red Stars – 25. Jen Hoy, Forward (Princeton)
Washington Spirit – 26. Colleen Williams, Midfielder (Dayton)
FC Kansas City – 27. Nia Williams, Defender (Missouri State)
Sky Blue FC – 28. Becky Kaplan, Forward (Maryland)
Boston Breakers – 29. Maddy Evans, Midfielder (Penn State)
Western New York Flash – 30. Jackie Logue, Defender (Wake Forest)
Seattle Reign FC – 31. Haley Kopmeyer, Goalkeeper (Michigan)
Portland Thorns FC – 32. Roxanne Barker, Goalkeeper (Pepperdine)

The midfield seemed to be the most sought after in the draft with 14 of the 32 players being midfielders. With the attacking talent from the US, Canada and Mexican National teams, it is not surprising that only seven of the draftees are forwards. Defenders made up six total selections while five goalkeepers were drafted. Amber Brooks is the only member of the NCAA Championship winning North Carolina Tar Heels who was drafted into the NWSL. The University of Florida had the most players drafted with four total selections. For these players, being able to play with the best in the world will provide them with the chance to take their game to the next level and to see what it takes to represent your country on the National Team level.

As the teams are finally starting to take shape, this is when finding the right free-agents to complete your squad will become all that more important. Each team was able to complete a piece of their puzzle today and is now setting their sights on what they still need to be ready for the start of the NWSL season in April.