NWSL College Draft order set for Friday

Meg Linehan January 16, 2013 26

The NWSL College Draft will be held this Friday at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis, IN. The draft order was announced today by U.S. Soccer. The draft will last four rounds, for a total number of 32 players.

Chicago will pick first in each round, and while U.S. Soccer had originally intended to use a “snake” format for the draft, the order will be maintained for each round.

The draft order is as follows:

1. Chicago Red Stars
2. Washington Spirit
3. FC Kansas City
4. Sky Blue FC
5. Boston Breakers
6. Western New York Flash
7. Seattle Reign FC
8. Portland Thorns FC

The draft order was conducted with a weighted draw after ranking each team’s allocations with the assistance of a panel of experts. The members of this panel and the criteria for rankings were not named by U.S. Soccer. All eight teams agreed to the draft order.

Look for teams to focus on BC’s Kristen Mewis, Penn State’s Christine Nairn, and Oklahoma State’s Adrianna Franch, and for all three to be picked early in the first round.

  • randomhookup

    Let’s see those mock drafts, boys & girls.

    • Steglitz49

      I am a little lost. With 4 draft picks, essentially you now have a first XI. Who would want to join these teams as a Free Agent? Will there be Reserve Team matches as most (though not all) European leagues have?

      We recently learnt that the 19-year-old Mana Iwabuchi, who plays for Japan, has started to play for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, who play in the German Div 2 (not the top league). OK. Hoffenheim has seriously deep pockets so no doubt pay handsomely, but they currently lie second in Div 2 and only the winner is promoted.

      • http://twitter.com/itsmeglinehan meg linehan

        There are free agents out there better than some of the top picks in the draft, and there are CERTAINLY free agents out there better than the 3rd and 4th round picks. The seven allocated + the four drafted are by no means guaranteed or expected to be the starting XI.

      • randomhookup

        There is no guarantee the 4 picks will make the squads (or even sign a contract). And, of course, some of the allocated players may not earn a starting spot either or may end up injured.

        There are still plenty of available free agents in the US and elsewhere. The W-League & WPSL & WPSL Elite had plenty of players who would like a shot and a number of WPS veterans never signed overseas. While it won’t be rich or glamorous, it will be a paid gig and there will be interest in playing.

        I don’t think there will be enough money for a reserve league, but it’s possible the teams may link up with local W-League or WPSL teams for reserve friendlies or even loans.

      • vert2013

        In theory if all allocated and drafted players sign contracts, there are still 73 open spots for free agents. It’s a pretty weak draft class this year, next years will be much stronger.

  • Keith Miller

    That order looks like they attempted to give the weaker teams the the better draft slots. Which is funny because KC definitely fared much better than third worst. KC’s run of good fortune continues!

    • Steglitz49

      Are KC the dark horse that might reach the top of the slippery pole?

      • http://twitter.com/itsmeglinehan meg linehan

        Still way too many factors to make a call, but I can see KC doing really, really well this year. So far they have the most defensive elements that could shut down an offensively stacked team.

      • vert2013

        KC are definitely the dark horses so far. I feel like a lot of people are overlooking them because they don’t have any big names, but all of their allocations are solid.

  • vert2013

    US Soccer said that allocation strength was a factor which is why I’m surprised WNY is so low, they got strong players, but they were still allocated 1 less than everyone else. Chicago definitely didn’t fare well in the allocation though.

    • Steglitz49

      That 24th slot will be filled and that 24th player will have the pleasure of playing in the #24 shirt for the rest of her career and when she retires, the #24 will be retired or ceremoniously burnt. Whom would you like to get to wear the 24?

      • AnnaY

        I do not understand this comment, especially in the context of the comment to which it is a reply.

        • Steglitz49

          “WNY … were still allocated 1 less than …” The USA’s DPs were one short because at the last moment one of the players preferred to continue to play in Europe. Instead of filling the slot in haste, it has been left empty and (as far as I understand) it will be filled in consultation between the head coach and Sermanni.

          To start building some history and mystique around and for the NWSL, I thought that player should wear that shirt number — 24 (unless I miscounted and it should be 32). Someone always wants to wear 10 and another 6, though the higher numbers like 14 and 17 are not so sought after.

          After all, I doubt that we will have so many spectators at the opening match that we need a white horse to clear the field before kick-off. Maybe we will? Let’s hope so!

    • Kernel Thai

      If the assignment isnt made soon it becomes a moot point. Once drafted college players and free agent begin to sign contracts it will be too late to assign a 24th play. Who exactly could be the 24th player in the WNT who wouldnt have picked in the draft or signed as a free agent? Im srprised that slot didnt go to someone like Christen Press, who despite playing in Sweden will likely get a look this year. At the worst WNY would have gotten to rights to a quality player.

      • vert2013

        Thats kinda where I’m at. WNY needs to know who their allocation is so they can draft and sign free agents accordingly. I wish they had given Mewis the allocation spot. I think she’s more likely to make the NT than Winters, but she’s in the draft so that’s not going to happen.

  • George Nicholas

    One battle that everyone should keep their eye on is wether or not Washington picks French with their first pick. Harris looks to be finishing her contract in Europe and could miss first few weeks. Spirit does need a keeper to be able to start for her. When Harris comes back it will be a battle for the starting spot.

    • Steglitz49

      There is an excellent chance that Duisburg will release Harris early because Duisburg is lying in the middle of the table without chance of getting one of the 2 CL slots, let alone winning the league, while at the same time they are not under threat of relegation. Therefore, I would not waste a pick.

    • vert2013

      It’d be stupid to use a draft pick on a keeper in my opinion. Harris will miss at most a month and Washington is weak offensively. They should focus on building their midfield and attack.

  • http://twitter.com/KirstenKSU91 Kirsten R

    KC struck gold with getting the #3 slot, that combined with what some consider the 2nd best allocation could really help them build a serious contender.

    • Steglitz49

      There is sooo much talent in USA that the order of picking is not so relevant. What matters is to make the picks that pug your gaps. The needs will be different for each team.

      Does anyone know how big the pool from which they can pick is? 99?

      • randomhookup

        We may never know. I believe the players needed to indicate to the NWSL they were interested and available (“declare” for the draft). Previous women’s leagues did this and did not release the lists of the players who declared (though they may have provided raw numbers). Considering the short time for this to happen and the major decisions it will drive (“do I return to college for my last semester & miss games or leave now & finish college in the fall?), I would think they won’t have a massive number of players. It’s hard to even get the word out in the few weeks this has been planned.

        • Steglitz49

          It is better that we do not know.

          I would expect the young ladies want to finnish college first. This is not like Lindsey Horan going to Paris.

          • randomhookup

            For most of them, they only have a final semester to complete and since most women’s soccer scholarships don’t pay for everything, they would still have to pay quite a bit to go to school. They will all finish their degrees, but some want to finish up in May/June with their graduating class while others will jump at the chance to go pro now and finish in the fall.

      • Kernel Thai

        The draft this year isnt deep and drops off quickly. It could be argued that there r only five impact players followed by a lot of role players. The third pick gets them an impact player to add to the strong defense they got from allocation. If they didnt already have a top goalie (Barnhart) they prolly would go for Franch, an excellent young keeeper with local roots.

  • Kernel Thai

    Where Adrianna Franch shakes out will be interesting. The top four teams dont seem to need a GK assuming Washington is waiting for Harris. I certainly dont see them using the #2 pick to get a GK for a couple months. Boston has a young GK from the Mexican team. Hard to believe they would want their two goalies to be 18 & 21. That leaves WNY who has to figure if the talented Okl St keeper is more important than filling a need and getting a free agent GK. Personally, I think ull see Franch in WNY for a long time.

    • Steglitz49

      Harris’s team Duisburg, who won the CL 2009, are in serious financial difficulties according to a recent report. If their finances are not sorted out they will automatically be relegated 2 divisions. I would not be surprised if they let Ms Harris leave early to save some money.