The Lowdown: My annual attempt to unlock the NWSL Draft

Dan Lauletta January 10, 2017 168
Lee Billiard at the Chicago Red Stars table. Were these trade talks?

Lee Billiard at the Chicago Red Stars table. Were these trade talks?

In the world of wins, losses and draws, there remains one day when everyone can at least claim to have had a good day. Draft day. Overhyped by most in the states and misunderstood by most around the world, draft day is filled with limitless hope and unchecked emotion. For a few hours, young women who have devoted much of their formative years to soccer will realize their dreams of joining a professional team. Over the years the size of the draft room has grown exponentially, but they have yet to find a setting big enough to contain the exuberance.

Thursday’s NWSL draft will be the fifth of its kind, and many observers have tagged it the most unpredictable one so far.

“I think the first round is really unpredictable, which makes my pick an interesting pick,” Reign coach Laura Harvey, who holds the 6th pick, said. “It’s going to be interesting what other people do prior to me which will determine what I do. In years gone by I could probably predict what one to six would look like. But this year I don’t think I can do that. I actually like that. It’s great for the league.”

{FLASH SALE: Flash sold, will be North Carolina Courage | Statement from Sahlen family}

FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski entered the week one spot ahead of Harvey and said he has a few players in mind he believes will be on the board when it comes time for him to make the 5th pick. “If I can get one of those players, I will be very happy.”

Asked if he was confident in getting one of the targeted players, the two-time NWSL champion coach started to say yes and then trailed off into, “…all of them are very good players.”

Andonovski then harkened back to the first NWSL draft in 2013 when, sitting at No. 3, he was pleasantly surprised when the Red Stars and Spirit passed on Kristie Mewis. A year later the Blues turned Mewis into Amy Rodriguez, who scored all three of their goals in back-to-back NWSL Championship wins.

Back to this year’s event, the top of the draft has already been hit by the defections of Ashley Lawrence and Kadeisha Buchanan. The linchpins of West Virginia’s run to the College Cup final as well as John Herdman’s youth movement in Canada, the surefire 1st round picks recently joined Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon respectively.

Savannah Jordan, from Florida, is also a 1st round pick on most mock boards but has been linked to a move overseas. Complicating matters is that unlike the Canadians, Jordan has registered for the draft.

“I think you have to have multiple conversations with her and look for that honest answer,” Aly Wagner, who will be part of the league’s streaming draft coverage, said. “If it’s 50/50, I think it’s someone you take and you take her high.”

The scuttlebutt around the league is that Jordan is absolutely heading overseas but that she is still unlikely to be available after the 2nd round. In 2013 the Thorns took Amber Brooks at No. 24 even though she was already playing for Bayern Munich. She eventually joined the Thorns in 2014.
***
The Breakers currently control much of the day with five of the first 11 picks including the 1st and 3rd. Matt Beard recently chatted with The Equalizer’s Kieran Theivam, but he has been protecting the identity of the first pick like an international spy code.

Most of Beard’s competitors believe he will take Wisconsin’s Rose Lavelle at No. 1 with eyes on New Englander and Hermann finalist Morgan Andrews at No. 3. The Breakers also hold picks 8, 9 and 11. Beard acquired the 8th pick a few weeks after suggesting there was no way he would use all of his early picks (some of which were sent to Chicago for No. 8). There is sentiment the Breakers could unload one of the late 1st round picks to acquire two or more later selections.

There is a monkey wrench between the Breakers’ first two picks though. The North Carolina Courage, until Monday the Western New York Flash, sit at No. 2. Technical director Charlie Naimo told The Equalizer he is still running the draft. But will new ownership step in with a hands-on approach or let Naimo—who turned four 1st rounders in 2015 into an NWSL Championship a year later—operate autonomously?

At one time the Flash/Courage were eyeing internationally-capped BYU star Ashley Hatch at No. 2, but Duke’s Christina Gibbons grew up and played college soccer in The Research Triangle and could be too juicy for ownership to pass over. She is unlikely to stick around until No. 7 when the Courage have their second pick.
***
And then there are the goalkeepers. The 2017 keeper class is deep and is led by Stanford’s Jane Campbell. Kailen Sheridan from Clemson and national champion keeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme should also be in the mix. But which teams need keepers? And when is the right time to pull the trigger? In four drafts, only three goalkeepers have been selected inside the first two rounds. Take away Adrianna Franch at No. 6 to the Flash in 2013 and no keeper has been off the board before Taylor Vancil (Red Stars, 2013) and Katelyn Rowland (Kansas City, 2015) at No. 17.

Sammy Jo Prudhomme helped USC win the College Cup. Will she get a shout on draft day? (photo courtesy USC)

Sammy Jo Prudhomme helped USC win the College Cup. Will she get a shout on draft day? (photo courtesy USC)

The Spirit have yet to make a formal announcement about Stephanie Labbe, but Kelsey Wys tore her ACL in Australia and won’t be ready to start the season. So the rebuilding D.C. club could use a keeper. Sky Blue developed the Carolines—Stanley and Casey—last season and could use an upgrade. Is the 10th pick—they also own No. 4—too soon to pull the trigger? If not, their next selection at this point is No. 23. The Breakers like Abby Smith, but she has less than two full games of professional experience and had significant surgery last year. The Pride, Blues and Reign could all use some depth and development, but all three have solid starters.

As one coach said, there are more qualified goalkeepers available than ever before at a time when fewer teams than ever are looking for one.

So how will it all play out? See my guess at the 1st round below, but there are only a few things to be certain of. One is that no one knows what is going to happen, and the other is that there are few things better about covering NWSL than watching players in the hall react when their names are called.

My first round

1. Boston Breakers: Rose Lavelle
2. North Carolina Courage: Christina Gibbons
3. Boston Breakers: Morgan Andrews
4. Sky Blue FC: Kayla Mills
5. FC Kansas City: Toni Payne
6. Seattle Reign FC: Ashley Hatch
7. North Carolina Courage: Savannah Jordan (trade alert on this pick)
8. Boston Breakers: McKenzie Meehan
9. Boston Breakers: Nickolette Dreisse
10. Sky Blue FC: Rachel Hill

Extra Time

-Laura Harvey is preparing for 2017 as if Hope Solo will not be on the Reign but said Solo can play for the club as long as she wants. The club has not yet received official word about U.S. Soccer de-allocating her.

-The Breakers signed Amanda Frisbie, a former 1st round pick whose career has been held up by injury and lack of playing time. She most recently played in Iceland.

-No one at the Courage event was asked about HB-2—at least during the live stream, and I have seen nothing to indicate it was asked after the fact. Expect that to change this week when the commissioner Jeff Plush goes in front of the national media.

-Nothing firm to report, but I am not expecting Whitney Engen to play in NWSL this season.

-Don’t be surprised to see the Red Stars dip into the international market this season.

-Finally, I thought there was something off about the statement released by the Sahlen family on Monday. First the opening. “…it has become apparent that the Western New York market is not the right fit for the NWSL and the future direction of the league.” That strikes me as more of a kill shot for Rochester than something more akin to “Hey, we’ve been at this eight years, invested umpteen million dollars, the focus of our business is changing, and with no profit in sight, it was time to sell.” And while it would have been little solace for fans whose team is leaving town, almost certainly forever, there was nothing resembling any sort of warm, fuzzy goodbye and thank you to the fan base.

Who’s with me on this?

  • I think there will be a lot of last minute trade craziness at the draft this year. There are A LOT of unsigned players hanging around the league right now.

    • MrTemecula

      Definitely. It is a deep draft…well…it is a deep draft every year since the league is only 10 teams deep. Teams should be trying to collect as many picks as possible just like the Patriots in the NFL or the Cubs in baseball. I would rather have 3 picks in the teens rather than 1 in the top 10 or 5 picks in the twenties than 2 picks in the teens. But, you still need a plan and somebody who can evaluate talent.

    • Steglitz49

      The unsigned ones could be hoping for a decent club in Europe and Japan. After all, the WC-19 squad is a lock already, maybe one or two spots max, and 2023 is a long way away.

    • Breakers fan

      I think so too. I think the Breakers reps – the head coach and GM – are going to experience a level of popularity, smooth-talking, buttering-up and schmoozing the likes of which they’ve never experienced before. Hope they can simply see all of that for what it is – somebody trying to stick his hand in your pocket, until you swat it away and say “no”. Not saying they can’t make a deal but just have it be one *you* like too, one you do for a reason that suits *you* and not just the other guy.

      • In the past they’ve had very little leverage because the players didn’t want to be there, so I think some of their past poor trades were forced on them a bit. Seems like that could change this year. Even at the bottom of the table, they’ve been on the cusp of doing something great. Lots of 1-pt losses and close contests.

        • Breakers fan

          Definitely a point that needs to be made – about a lack of leverage. There have been other moves though that don’t involve that factor that have been not the best, but we move on.
          I appreciate how you saw that they did do some good things last year – they had some wins and a bunch of 1 point losses, but besides their record we also have to acknowledge that they lost 4 or 5 of their best players from last year too: Mewis, Kallman, Schillgard, Pathman and McCaffrey and now Engen may not be back either. But some new players have been brought in – Haavi, Oyster, Frisbie, however they’re unproven at this point in time, so it’s a battle to establish the team, – so many unknowns. To me a fun battle, especially with all the high draft picks they have.

    • Breakers fan

      Slicey, could you please name the unsigned players that you are aware of? It’d be a fascinating list to see. I think Whitney Engen is one of them… not 100% sure.

      • This is from AllWhiteKit.com They have a 2-parter about the draft. These are the unsigned players as listed from the first 5 teams. I know somewhere on EQ there is a list of rosters with current(ish) signings.

        Also, a few hours ago Dan Lauletta reported hearing that Averbuch & Groom have negotiated a contract with FCKC, so that reduces the list of non-contracted players by two. Still some big names on the list.

        Boston
        DEF – Engen

        Chicago
        FW – Green

        KC
        DEF – Averbuch
        MF – O’Reilly
        FW – Groom, McCarty, Kastor

        Houston
        GK – Henninger
        DEF – Ochs

        NC
        DEF – Hinkle
        FW – McDonald, Rosana

        • Breakers fan

          Thanks. May not be a foregone conclusion that Hinkle and McDonald stay in Carolina.I predict Hinkle does but if they go for a forward maybe McDonald won’t. One would think O’Reilly will lobby to play at NC. Engen – no clue but I think she lives in NC too, if I’m not mistaken. The others don’t interest me all that much, partly due to plain ignorance about them. Summer Green was good as a youngster – will be interesting to see if she can regain that form.

        • mockmook

          Rosana has also signed

          I suspect most of these players eventually sign (unless the draft makes them irrelevant).

        • kernel_thai

          O’Reilly is interesting because, if I understand the rule, a team that has a player drop from allocation has first dibs on the player but doesn’t control her rights for a year like they would with a standard contract.

          • Hmm. The rules change so much I can’t keep up with all of them.

            If that’s true, then that would really suck for KC. If they have first dibs, but can’t come to terms on contract then she is free to go where she wants? Or would KC still have the rights to trade her?

          • Som Termanni

            From what I understand, the MOU provides that only if the player’s contract was terminated by USSF (Engen, Solo), with the added caveats that the NWSL team is required to offer them the same contract as the highest-played non-allocated player (so likely a max $39k contract, which in some cases might be a cap squeeze), and that if the terminated player declines the NWSL offer in order to play in Europe, the team cannot collect a transfer fee. If they don’t or can’t sign, the player becomes a normal discovery-eligible player.

            Retirements from international play simply turn them into normal discovery-eligible players. The team retains rights through the end of the season in which they retire and can sign the player to a new contract if the schedule allows for it, but there are no other caveats.

          • kernel_thai

            But is there a time frame? R O’Reilly and Engen already discoverable or does their previous team hold their right exclusively until camps open in March? As Ive mentioned in other places, I could easily see HAO and NCFC as a match.

        • Interesting. I forgot Hinkle was un-allocated by USSF. But is now back in camp. Will she be re-allocated when the new list is out?

  • Jon Forsythe

    “Don’t be surprised to see the Red Stars dip into the international market this season.” I would be surprised to see this. Most likely delighted, but still surprised. And this coming from a CRS STH & fan.

    And I totally back you 100% on the assessment of that 1st line by the Sahlens. Defintely a FU to the Rochester/Buffalo fan base. They’d rather point finger as to the blame for their poor attendance for games rather than own up to the fact that they didn’t promote/advertise the team enough.

    • Steglitz49

      It is the Sahlens’s money. It is their right to spend it as they please.

      • Jon Forsythe

        I don’t believe I expressed an opinion that told you otherwise. Of course it is the Sahlen’s money. That’s wasn’t in question. And it is their right to spend it as they please. That also wan’t in question. Of course they can choose to spend it or not spend their money on promotions. And it is my opinion that they should have spent more. Do you not understand what opinions are? Do you understand that my statement of my opinion doesn’t strip the Sahlen’s of their rights? Are you a friend of the Sahlen’s? Or a Sahlen family member?

        • guest

          You must be new here. Steglitz is a well-known troll fond of listening to himself speak, suggesting players will (or should) quit soccer to get pregnant or married, and denigrating Christen Press for having the temerity to pose for the ESPN Body Issue (never mind Wambach, Krieger, Solo, etc). Ignore him.

          • Jon Forsythe

            No, I know he’s a troll. But that doesn’t mean you don’t show the troll what actual logic is.

          • Steglitz49

            S49 bows its head and scrapes its cloven hoof.

          • Steglitz49

            Som Termani and S49 know each other and enjoy exchanging views in a comradely spirit of mutual trust.

            Meanwhile, please register yourself so we can follow your comments, there is a good mouse.

          • Som Termanni

            I don’t know you or enjoy a damn thing with you. Between you and HO you run more traffic off of this site than you contribute.

          • Steglitz49

            You show your age — or lack of it, more correctly — but never mind, unless you are just an ignorant peasant.

            Carli Lloyd rules OK! Funny though that the USWNT had its worst season ever. Never mind. Who cares. The POTY is safely in American hands. Yeehaw!!!

          • Guest

            Well, I can see this is a waste of time! I thought this site was for discussing Women’s Soccer…..I guess I was wrong! See Ya JackAsses!

          • Steglitz49

            The phrase “in a comradely spirit of mutual trust” goes back to before when the Berlin Wall collapsed. It was a euphemism for an acrimonious meeting between the West and the Soviets where there were strong differences of opinion.

          • Steglitz49

            Get pregnant was what ARod did with perfection. Smart lass, our ARod. Syd too missed out on the debacle in Brasilia — not that it dented Carli’s stock too much, come to think of it.

        • Som Termanni

          Per the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, the team’s insistence on being based closer to Buffalo, far from where the team played, directly contributed to the pinch on marketing and promotional budgets. Lynn Williams also blames the marketing issues on the dual-city setup: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/sports/soccer/2017/01/09/flash-say-wny-market-not-right-fit-nwsl/96346844/

          > Flash players weren’t in Rochester much, if at all, other than to play in matches, and the club operated with a belief that as long as the team won fans would show up. The Sahlens did pump millions into running the Flash, but advertising and marketing budgets were always limited.

          > “I don’t think that helped us in the long run. I think it was hard to do marketing for games,” (Lynn) Williams said about the dual-city setup. “I think it’s hard to ask families that have little kids to drive an hour and a half to go to Rochester. I think that was a downfall in the whole marketing aspect.”

          Also of interest: the Sahlens appear to retain a marketing agreement for their meatpacking company with the Courage. (If Sahlen’s remains the jersey sponsor, that team’s kit will look positively shambolic.)

          > The organization hoped to identify another owner in the area but could not. Look for the Sahlen’s brand of meats, as part of the deal, to show up in Cary in some form. As recently as 2013, WNY was the envy of many other organizations. It was praised in 2011-13 for making the dual-city operation work, a setup that also led to its demise.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. Hear hear!

          • mockmook

            But then the players would have complained about the training facilities…

          • Breakers fan

            Pardon my ignorance: Is “shambolic” a good or a bad thing (in a uniform) ?

            Beyond that, thanks for the info in this article – good stuff.

        • Steglitz49

          Rochester NY pop in city 210k and urban 1m
          — if 1/2 of those are women and 1/2 are fit enough to go to games you have a pool of 52K and 250k to draw from. With 10 home game that = 5,200 or 25,000 per home game all virgins WITHOUT repeat offenders —

          Buffalo NY pop 260k and 1.1m — same logic gives 65k and 275k — 6,500 or 27,500 per game

          If the women of Rochester and Buffalo can¨’t be fagged to support their local WoSo team, why should the Sahlens throw good money after bad?

          After all, the Sahlens just won the NWSL Championship — as good as any place to trade from.

    • Bruce

      Not exactly sure what Dame’s draft strategy is at this moment. Trading down may have eliminated CRS chances of getting a top flight MF to fill the gaping hole on the left. Then again, this draft is a crap shoot, so a player like Payne/Fletcher might be available at 12.

      If they don’t come away with a significant upgrade to Comeau in this draft (or via trade/intl signing), I’d think you would have to call this offseason a bust.

      • Steglitz49

        Que?!

      • mockmook

        It is HIGHLY likely that at least one of those will be available at #12 — but the trade was still stupid (they had a small chance of choosing Gibbons at #8)

        • Bruce

          I’d love to see Payne in a CRS kit. Not sold on Shaffer, as I’m not sure she is athletic (read, fast) enough to compete in the NWSL. Wouldn’t be a surprising pick though as CRS could use a potential second CAM not named Press.

          • mockmook

            Shaffer often played on the edge in college — not sure if that translates to the NWSL, but she isn’t slow-slow. (and even if she isn’t a burner, perhaps she can get away with it in CRS’ 4-4-2 Diamond — let the OBs earn their pay).

    • Who would they sign and where do they need the talent?

  • Som Termanni

    > The North Carolina Courage, until Monday the Western New York Flash, sit at No. 2. Technical director Charlie Naimo told The Equalizer he is still running the draft. But will new ownership step in with a hands-on approach or let Naimo—who turned four 1st rounders in 2015 into an NWSL Championship a year later—operate autonomously?

    In an interview with Rochester radio-based podcast “Soccer Is a Kick in the Grass” (http://www.soccerisakickinthegrass.com/Podcasts/2016/tabid/95/Default.aspx, 35:00), Steve Malik said Naimo’s work is being used for the draft, but NCFC GM Curt Johnson will serve as the organization’s “point man” for the Courage, which suggests _at least_ a superficial degree of new ownership involvement.

    Malik also mentions that an announcement on coaching will happen soon, that family and kids are concerns for Riley, and that the fate of assistant/frequent interim coach Steve Vallow (whom Malik called “a championship-winning coach in his own right”) won’t be determined until after Riley’s.

    • Steglitz49

      Maybe Malik can tease Lars Lagerbäck out of his retirement? Failing that, maybe Dennerby?

  • Som Termanni

    > The club has not yet received official word about U.S. Soccer de-allocating (Hope Solo).

    Last year, USWNT allocations were announced on Jan. 13, two days before the 2016 draft. We’re now two days before the 2017 draft. (Canada’s allocations were announced later.)

    Seeing as how Solo does not have a USWNT contract and is suspended into February, I see no path for USSF to be capable of allocating her even if they wanted to. Same goes for Engen.

    • Steglitz49

      The NWSL is hopeless …

    • mockmook

      All they have to do to allocate them is offer them a contract — how is there no path?

      • Som Termanni

        Sorry–to be clearer, I don’t think USSF has a path to keep Solo on the Reign because they can’t allocate her before the Reign lose rights to her. Because of her suspension, they won’t re-sign her until _after_ any non-draft allocation distribution happens. So my understanding is that her allocation and the Reign’s rights to her would both lapse, Solo becomes unattached, and if USSF subsequently re-signs and re-allocates her, her rights would go through the unattached allocation process (for which IIRC Washington remains #1 and Boston #2 via trade).

        • mockmook

          Thanks!!!

  • Guest

    I hope this is not how the first round goes as an FCKC supporter. I’d prefer Hatch to Payne though both talented. I am crushed that KC didn’t even try to make a move to raise up the draft order to get Lavelle or Andrews. We need an attacking mid terribly. Averbuch / HOA are not signed and seem like possible targets for NC….a girl can dream that trading those 2 would result in a higher place in the draft order.

    • KCFan

      I agree, KC has a need for an AM, and they’re already stacked at forward with Leroux, Arod, and Groom. They could trade one to move up in the draft. I can’t see Leroux leaving anytime soon though.

      • Steglitz49

        They could always ask Aya Miyama

      • Guest

        Agreed an excess of forwards like you mentioned. And assuming HOA wants to live in NC we have some trade assets. They are going to have to move fast though!

      • mockmook

        What are u guys talking about?

        Guest talks about KC should take a Forward and then moans that s/he won’t get an AM

        You want to trade to move up ONE spot

        Where KC is now, you can likely get any one of these:

        Driesse
        Shaffer
        E.Fletcher
        Dougherty Howard

        And, I think Morgan Andrews will still be on the board.

        • Steglitz49

          Does KC have any International slots to fill?

          • Hmm, not sure. They had to trade for one last year to sign Katie Bowen because they had previously traded all of their spots away. However, if they only traded them away for a year or two, they may be getting some spots back.

        • Guest

          Sorry that was confusing. My first priority is AM but the two elite ones will likely be gone by pick #5. I am think HOA will ask to be traded to NC and in that case we will need a winger as well. And with Lavelle and Andrews prob off the board Hatch would be my next choice to fill the need at winged.

          . And I like you other midfielders you suggested especially Driesse but I think of them as box to box and we have Laddish for that. Can Driesse run an offense Holiday style?

          • mockmook

            Driesse can be that AM or that DLP/DM — she may be THE ONE

            Take that to the pay day loan office…

          • Breakers fan

            Driesse is I think your poster college soccer gal of 2017 – is that fair to say? I mean that as a good thing, a compliment. Which team, in an ideal world, do you want her to go to?

          • mockmook

            Hmmm. The college player I guess I was most smitten with was the Andi Sullivan tearing through the Friendlies — I saw the future of WoSo, and then BAM!!!! The dream has died…. (to be continued after rehab)

            By naming who I want Driesse to go to, you want to make me pick a favorite NWSL team — You Bastard!!! 🙂

            No, I guess that isn’t true.

            I want to see Driesse on Boston because I can’t take seeing such a miserable team. And, I do reserve the right to jump on the bandwagon if they create a really fun, competitive team.

          • Breakers fan

            Loved that reply. Thanks for your choice! I wish I knew her game better..it’s just hard, right now, for me to get super-excited about a player when she’s really just a blank in my mind. Haven’t seen her play, (though I guess I did last year without really noticing her). I take your word for her quality. The draft is huge for the Breakers. (could I make a more obvious statement?) Meaning who they draft will be probably very significant to what we all see next year. Getting ahead of the game now, but there will then become a question of “who starts? who plays?” Will it be Salem and DaCosta, Ratcliffe, or 2 rookie midfielders, for example? Will Westphal start? If so, where? If they draft a top forward, will she play or mostly sit on the bench? Will Elby be at right back or a rookie? These will be the next questions, after the draft.

          • Breakers fan

            Forgot to add: I think you’ve already been a Breakers fan to some extent. At least you’ve tried, and then maybe were let down, so, yes!, you have a spot in the back of the bandwagon – more fun back there – open air.

          • Steglitz49

            She must join a French club so they can say “Bonjour Driesse”! (as in Bonjour Tristesse”)

      • Groom is local, so is Leroux now.
        I suppose it is possible Arod could be willing to be traded now that Holiday is no longer with the team, but she excelled in KC, so I assume she will stick around until she retires, too.

        That leaves Kastor (local) and McCarty as potential FWs to trade from KC. If HAO goes, maybe McCarty will go with her, depending on who they’re looking at in return.

        • Steglitz49

          I expect ARod to cash in her chips at the ripe moment. She has managed her life and pro-WoSo career to a tee. Probably better than Alex Morgan even.

      • guest

        leroux getting traded away from KC. lollll. i would love to see that drama unfold on twitter. lolll. though leroux is about due for her fourth trade.

    • Steglitz49

      KC is going to the frozen North, not south of the Mason-Dixon line.

  • Bruce

    NWSL has updated the list of players eligible for the draft. Was 164, now 184.

    Since they have overwritten the prior page, I can’t tell who’s been added. I did see, however, that U23 camp call-up Sydney Miramontez (CB) has added her name to the list.

    http://nwslsoccer.com/nwsl-reveals-preliminary-list-of-eligible-players-for-2017-draft

    • mockmook

      I believe Jaycie Johnson (injured) is also an add.

      Slim pickings in the adds — I’m still holding out hope for an epiphany in some holdouts by Thursday

      • Bruce

        Found the old page in google’s cache. Here are the new additions:

        Last Name: First Name: College/University Position(s) Played:
        Adams Amber Coastal Carolina University F, D
        Bard-Martel Maryse University of Memphis GK
        Barreiro Brianna University of Texas at El Paso D, M
        Battan Kavita University of Idaho F, M
        Bitzer Jenny Manhattan College D, M
        Borman Taylor Samford University M
        Boswell Bronwyn University of Evansville M, F
        Cronin April Valparaiso University F, M
        Doyle Ally Fordham University D
        Kenui Storm University of Hawaii, Manoa M, D
        Lewis Aaliyah Alabama State University F
        Listro Jordyn University of South Florida D, M
        Miramontez Sydney University of Nebraska Lincoln D, M
        Roering Jenna Santa Clara University F, m
        Smalls Sara University of Arkansas at Little Rock GK
        Terry Rachel Le Moyne college F, M

        • Bruce

          There are duplicates on the list of 184 which is why there are only 16 net new adds.

          • guest

            Thanks for highlighting the duplicates, I was having trouble making up my mind over which Marina Paul (Georgetown) to pick 😉 for what it is worth, Darienne Chapman (Tulsa) and GK Megan FitzGerald (Fordham) appear to be the other duplicates

          • mockmook

            Claire Wagner is the other duplicate

        • Breakers fan

          Thanks much for this, Bruce! I had started methodically going through the 2 lists to identify the additions but now I can stop! Is that how you did it, slowly going down each list? I noted when I was doing it the rash of “B” additions – made the job easier. These are players from smaller programs by and large. The odds are against them, but GMs have a few days to look into them, call their coaches, if they want, but I do feel that most teams have scaled back those efforts significantly at this point.

          • Bruce

            Copy/Paste into a spreadsheet and then let a few formulas do the work.

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you – that is something I am utterly and completely unable to do but that’s ok. Glad you can!

        • mockmook

          Thanks for that!!!

          • Bruce

            I’ll update again when they post more names.

      • Breakers fan

        It does appear to be slim pickings in the adds but I don’t like to jump too much to conclusions. About Jaycie J. — I have kept all three lists open as tabs and as it turns out she was on even the first list. Guess you just missed her but that’s probably because there were 3 Johnsons from the get-go. An intriguing little forward. Doubt she gets picked but she has produced.

        • mockmook

          ” I have kept all three lists open as tabs”

          Wow — you never close your browser or shut down you’re computer?

          I’m on my phone so I don’t have my lists — was just going from memory

          JJ had a chance of being a draftee but her injury stopped that — still, we may see her yet.

          • Breakers fan

            I have a desk top that I do just move to sleep. And I’m a not-ashamed flip-phone owner beyond that.
            Didn’t know about her injury – bad one? ACL?

          • mockmook

            ACL according to AWK — but I can’t find any other info:

            http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=15200

          • Steglitz49

            I would stay clear of a damaged ACL. Sometimes they heal fine and sometimes they don’t, and the outcome is unpredictable.

          • mockmook
          • Breakers fan

            That’s some nice form! I’d hate to be about 6 feet from that – enough room for the ball to rise into my face. Thanks for the pic!

          • Breakers fan

            Ok, very tough luck for Jaycie. I did like her when I saw her against Wisconsin. I hope she can recover and play in the League. I watched a few interviews with her – down to earth, unassuming, loves the game.

            Should amend the computer statement, not that anyone cares – I do shut down my browser sometimes , but have been keeping it open of late for just this reason of being able to compare the draft lists.

      • Breakers fan

        I shall tease ye here once again: I’ve done just a little amount of research into “the unknowns” on the list and so far have found 1 player who I really like a lot. Will reveal her name after the draft!

        • In an attempt to not let other teams in on the secret, I presume? 🙂

          • Breakers fan

            Yes. I get all paranoid with the draft, quite admittedly! 🙂

  • Confucius

    Morgan Andrews First Pick!

  • Breakers fan

    Savannah Jordan’s phone must be ringing off the hook – unless she has given word on what she actually IS going to do – play here or overseas.

    • Steglitz49

      Nobody, as far as I know, have come up with any specific team. Not one.

      • guest

        i think jordan is bluffing to avoid the worst nwsl teams drafting her. hopefully some team calls out her bluff.

        • Is she worth the #1 pick anyway?

        • Steglitz49

          Sounds plausible.

  • Bruce

    Pick and trade conspiracy theories. What’s yours?

    Mine: NCFC picks and trade at #7 (Gibbons or Payne) for CRS picks #12 and #16. If NCFC has a preference for Cary, NC’s own Shaffer in the midfield, she should be available in at #12.

    • Breakers fan

      I could see Carolina, if they know who the Breakers want at #3, picking that player at #2 with the notion of plundering and pillaging the Breakers to send her over to them, similar to what ended up being McCaffrey for Colaprico and Gilliland in the draft a few years ago. They would be banking on the Breakers pretty desperately wanting the player they were targeting at 3 and willing to give up a lot for her. My guess is that if this happens I will not be happy with the result.

      I like yours – it makes some sense, esp. the Shaffer part, but I would hope that Chicago wouldn’t give up THAT MUCH for either of those 2 players – I don’t think they’re worthy of it.

      • guest

        Beard, with his comments about knowing exactly who he wanted at 1,3,8,9 etc, has sort of set himself up for hostage taking by NCC (or Sky Blue, or FCKC or Seattle) similar to Chicago’s stunt last year. Draft may be interesting just to see how Boston manages to screw up.

        • Breakers fan

          Well-said. That is out there as a possibility and for the reason you gave. He has put it out there that he wants specific players….the most. The question will be “how badly does he want them? how much more does he want *them* compared to who’s next on his list?” He may be able to absorb not getting precisely who he wants well because he also likes others a lot too. He put in a lot of study time — 1000% more than he could last year. And also: how are teams going to know who he wants at 8 or 9 or 11? I guess the way they’d find out is if he comes to them to try to get who they just took.

          And whether they “screw up” or not will not be determinable for, in my opinion, the whole NWSL season. Could even take a few years. In baseball teams give young, just-drafted players several years before any kind of verdict upon them is issued by cruel or happy fans. Probably less time is needed for soccer but we’re not going to know right away, though we think we might. We should still be patient – a year or two before we hand down our mighty judgments from the couch.

          • guest

            Evaluating how well a team’s draft picks work out usually takes a couple of seasons in soccer also. WNY had strong draft class in 2015 but struggled in 2015 season. WNY winning 2016 championship is better results than even WNY expected. Beard’s problem(s) in Boston require an almost across the board player upgrade which – even with great draft picks – is unlikely to pay off in 2017. One has to wonder, even if Boston drafts well in 2017, will Boston ownership leave Beard in place as coach if poor on field results continue for 2017 season

          • Breakers fan

            I agree completely. A pretty rare case of patience and calm rationality in a fan shown there – thank you for that. Your next question is a great one: Even given that it can take time for a very young team to develop, if the team has poor results next year will ownership continue to show faith in him by keeping him on? I have no idea. I think it’ll come down to the specifics of this season: Are their hopeful signs? Are there clear indications of a positive upward trend? Are the players happy? Do they want him to stay? I would have to think they could find out the answer to those questions.

          • Bruce

            Even though she looks unlikely to sign, does Boston own the rights to Engin? If that’s the case, he would be the most likely trade bait, right?

          • Steglitz49

            If Whitney choses to retire, the rights are not worth anything. As I understand it, Whitney has lost he allocation, in which case her salary must be born by the team.

          • Breakers fan

            I think so – they they own her rights – and I think she could be trade bait, though I know Beard likes her a lot and may try to keep her (she played with him at Liverpool, he went out and got her from Chicago)
            She went to UNC and I think lives in that area now. But with Engen I think one first has to ask “Is she retiring from professional soccer?” If the answer is “no”, then you can proceed with the possibilities related to her – keep her, trade her. A 3rd possibility is that Engen sits out this year to enable her to choose specifically who she wants to go to next year, assuming that team would want her but I doubt that happens,. I think if she told Boston now “I’d like to play in North Carolina” that they may try to make that happen for her, but it would depend, I hope, on if they could get what they think is equal value for her.

          • mockmook

            You’d take less than equal value (if you must) if it looks like she will jump ship regardless.

          • Breakers fan

            A good point I had not considered. Other teams may feast on that fact and not offer much but then they can shop her around and then the team who offers the most would get her. My guess is that they know what she’s going to do but that’s just a guess. The fact that they signed Frisbie and probably see her as a centerback – where she played in Iceland – indicates to me that they were trying to fill a hole at that position, a hole perhaps left by Engen not returning.

          • kernel_thai

            Well u have her for two years because NWSL contracts include a team renewal option.

          • mockmook

            She can walk away at any time if she is unhappy — then they get nothing in return.

      • Big day for you tomorrow, Breakers Fan. Good luck, I hope they do well.

        • Breakers fan

          Thanks, man, dude and bro. Same to you! I think you’re foremost a Sky Blue fan, right? I recall you live in Seattle so maybe the Reign is 2nd for you?

          • Yep. Sky Blue, and then I just generally get a kick out of all league happenings. But I do enjoy watching the two PNW the next best. Should be a good day.

          • Breakers fan

            Your hope for what position they go after first? Or perhaps a player you want? (and aren’t afraid to reveal here, not a la me?) Will you be able to see it streamed live? Luckily I will be able to.

          • I know everyone wants them to take a defender first but I’d like more attacking options. If Jordan is there at 4, I’d probably take her. Or I’d love Morgan Andrews but expect her to be gone already.

            I think Sam Kerr will be back, but if not, we’re in trouble.

          • Breakers fan

            You could do a LOT worse than to have Savannah Jordan on your team. She’s done nothing but succeed wildly everywhere she’s played. Could be a steal at 4. Where are they playing KO these days? Good luck with Kerr. She’s a fun player to watch – great athlete.

          • To finish out the year last season she played primarily on the wing- mostly midfield. I would like her to stay there

            Who are you hoping to draft at one?

            I will be following the draft in and out while I “work” tomorrow.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree – about KO.

            If Jordan were clear “I’m all-in with the NWSL, no desire to go overseas – it could be her……or Rose Lavelle. Since there’s all this doubt swirling around Jordan I think I’d take Lavelle first. Love watching her play. She’s not flawless just like anyone else but she’s a very good player. I was impressed with her effort and tenaciousness too – didn’t know that about her before the college season.

            Don’t work too hard tomorrow!

    • mockmook

      I think CRS needs qty more that quality more than NC

      With 2 and 7, NC makes their team unbeatable…

      • Bruce

        Fair point. CRS probably needs 3 new faces in the Midfield and OB. There isn’t enough depth on that team.

    • kernel_thai

      Not sure why Shaffer is more appealing than Gibbons who is from Raleigh.

      • Bruce

        Just a question of fit. One tends to play AMF, often centrally while the other seems to excel on the flank and at OB.

    • I don’t see Boston using all 4 first round picks.. I could see them using #1 and the later first round spots and maybe trading #3 for a player already established in the league.. who that would be, I have no idea, but They have more draft picks than open roster spots.

  • Bruce

    That look when you’ve been caught taking candy from a baby, again. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ecf16d73f783d8f173937dcb2d79ccb9fa4eae760c278a0b9231f178b3ae825a.png

    • guest

      LOL!

    • Breakers fan

      Is this from this year or a past year?

      • Bruce

        It’s from every year.

        • Breakers fan

          You’re right. That was good, though I don’t think the deals are necessarily always one-sided – I was ok with the McCaffrey one and we’ll see about this latest exchange of picks – will come down to who each team gets with their new picks.

  • guest

    there is no way boston can waste the #1 or #3 pick on savannah jordan if she is 50/50 about going to play in europe.

    • Breakers fan

      My guess is that come draft time teams will know her plans, that she will have told them, but it is possible that she will remain on the fence, you’re right. If she is still on the fence it’ll be interesting to see when she is chosen.

      • guest

        it will interesting to see if ashley hatch will now move up into the top five draft boards with the questions about jordan.

        • Breakers fan

          Indeed. And a decent chance I think, that even if Jordan says she’s going to play in the NWSL, Hatch will still go in the Top 5. Will come down to a) will teams draft primarily positionally or best player available, and then of course how they have her rated in those 2 categories. I’d love to have her on my team.

          • guest

            even if jordan says she wants to play in the nwsl now i would be hesitant to draft her with a top five pick. she likely didn’t get an offer or the one she wanted from one of the top seven euro teams. it’s reasonable to think she might just wanna play in the nwsl for a year to improve her euro offers from the top seven clubs for the next year. seems risky.

          • Breakers fan

            Whoa….I had not considered that – thank you. That even if she does play in the NWSL this year it could be a last resort sort of thing for her and that she’ll be looking to jump over the pond next year again. That should try to be ascertained from her now, if possible.

          • guest

            then the other scenario is that savannah jordan is bluffing that she wants to go overseas just so the top five or so worst teams won’t hopefully pick her so she can go to a team more of her choosing. guess we won’t know for sure until the draft. whatever her motivations, boston more so than most of the other nwsl teams need’s to get a goo return on the #1 and #3 picks. they can’t afford to get nothing with either of those picks.

          • guest

            regardless of jordan’s motivations, if she is still on the board at boston’s #9 or #11 then that might be spot worth taking the risk for boston.

          • guest

            with the euro transfer window closing this weekend and no contract signed as of yet, i am beginning to think jordan is just bluffing. so at that #9 or #11 pick i think i’d pick jordan if i was boston there and call out her bluff.

          • Breakers fan

            Oh my God……wow…..you just blew my mind. That possibility never crossed my mind. What if she is doing that? She doesn’t strike me as the sly, devious, deceptive sort but I guess one never knows. Are you thinking Portland/Seattle here? As in: THEY know, but nobody else does??? I know you don’t *know* but it was brilliant of you to come up with this possible version of reality. If she’s doing that I would lose some respect for her. And yes, I agree about your last sentence. I hope they don’t trade any of their picks – unless, say pick 9 or 11 could bring you a few solid still-good later picks because your wish list is long and you feel you may know some sleepers who you feel will stick around – though that’s always a gamble.

      • mockmook

        I’d say somewhere at/after pick #13 by FCKC, teams would be willing to “waste” a pick to possibly get Jordan.

        • guest

          wasted in the sense boston need’s major help right now, not in two years. and who knows when boston will get the #1 pick again considering the likely addition of new nwsl expansion teams in the near future.

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, I think it’s possible that a team pretty near the top of the draft, even if Jordan says at this point in time “I’m playing in the NWSL this year but I do plan to look to go overseas next year” may gamble on taking her with a top pick, with the thought in mind “yes, I know what’s she saying about next year, but also it could turn out to be that if she has a great experience here she may want to stay on, despite what she’s saying now”. They may feel that’s a gamble worth taking. Whether it’s the Breakers who may decide to try that? I don’t know.

        • Breakers fan

          Fascinating theory and speculation – we may have a chance to see how close you are to being correct. My guess is that the draft commentators will be talking about this very topic close to the beginning of the broadcast. Whether they will have accurate, up-to-date information about Jordan’s plans, I hope so.

        • Breakers fan

          Just to dig in to your thinking a bit more here – what led you to choosing that post-13 point of the draft?

          • mockmook

            Just to be clear, this would be a pick where they think they have a 50/50 chance of getting Jordan

            Around pick 13 the draftees are no longer “sure things”

            Also, several teams at 13 and above either have the talent or the picks to absorb a wasted pick imho

      • Steglitz49

        I thought that the European transfer window closes at midnight on Sunday.

        • guest

          if that is the case. i don’t know why the nwsl is holding the draft before the end of the euro transfer window. would seem to make more sense to hold it after the window closes to reduce team risk.

          • Steglitz49

            Search me.

    • guest

      uswnt nwsl and college players talk about wanting to play in europe. but they really mean playing for the top seven euro teams for contract and trophies. and all the top euro players want to play on those teams as well. so the limited roster spot competition will likely be fierce.

      • Steglitz49

        Why 7? Which 7 btw? Why not 8, as in the QF of the ladies Champions League?

        Could it be a round dozen?

        • dw

          Actually, only 3 until proven otherwise. No lucrative contracts for US players likely from the other 5. And I don’t think others will be willing to jump into an “arms race” if this year is a one-off due to US CBA shenanigans…

          • Steglitz49

            You mean in terms of money or success?

          • dw

            You know what I mean. 3 teams have established themselves as having the deep pockets to make high profile international signings. The others to a lesser extent, or even much lesser extent.

          • Steglitz49

            I am not sure what all the limitations are around the various European leagues. England has some sort of salary ceiling, Germany has a limit of 3 non-EU players and in France anything seems to be allowed, like in Sweden. Spain is a closed book to me.

            In Germany Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich and Frankfurt have traditionally had money, but also Potsdam and Bayer Leverkusen.

            In France, we know that Lyon and PSG have deep pockets but Montpellier has no difficulty in attracting top talent.

            In Sweden there is not much money these days but Spain has at least 3 clubs spending on the female of the species.

            England has Man City, Chelsea, and Arsenal with spending power, but Liverpool and Birmingham City have spent in the past, and Spurs, the Hammers and a few others are on the rise.

          • guest

            French D1 also has limit (4 i think) on non-EU players

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. The point remains that there are plenty of clubs that can spend.

            Alex, Ashley, Crystal and Kadeisha have in common that they have played for NTs. Ashley and Kadeisha in WC-15 as well as OG-16, while Crystal only in OG-16. Not many college seniors have those notches on their sticks.

            If Ms Jordan or anyone else want to play in Europe no doubt they can find clubs to suit them.

  • xanthophobe

    Interesting projections for the first round. I think Mandy Freeman is going to be a tempting player for Boston with one of its later picks. I’m not sure a team before the 8th pick will take her, but she’s a versatile defender and that’s something Boston could really really use, in my opinion.

  • Gary Diver

    Could someone please explain the secrecy and suspense involving Savannah Jordan? Also, last year people were excited about her, now few people seem to care.

    • mockmook

      It appears she is using the leverage she has to get

      1) the “right” NWSL club to take her

      2) entertain offers from overseas

      Looks like she’ll wait til after the draft to decide which way she goes

      • Gary Diver

        When is the last time a top NWSL draft choice decided not to play in NWSL after being drafted?

        • mockmook

          Not “top” but Dapne Corboz at #22 in 2015 is an example

          • Steglitz49

            Thus, the choice for Savanna seems to be Iceland or Manchester.

            Iceland probably has more cachet 5 years from now when she will be looking for an ordinary job.

        • Som Termanni

          The highest pick in 2014 to do so was Natasha Anasi (Boston, R2 #4, #13 overall). She instead signed with IBV Vestmannaeyjar in Iceland, where she still plays.

      • Breakers fan

        Is there some very recent news release that says basically what you’re saying here or are you speculating from the void, so to speak? Which would be fine and maybe all we have now, but I’m just wondering if you saw something that I haven’t seen. Thanks.

        • Steglitz49

          I have not seen anything. Not a whiff of a rumor unlike Alex, Ashley, Crystal and Kadeisha.

        • mockmook

          Speculation based on little hints that the EQ and other WoSo websites have dropped — but they may be speculating based on comments I’ve made at the EQ or other WoSo websites 😉

          • Breakers fan

            I vote for the latter explanation. 🙂

            I know I had to change my phone number.

            I think (hope!) we’ll hear early on in the draft coverage what her plans are. Whether they contain that open-endedness and lack of closure (is she still looking overseas for THIS year? Does she plan for sure to look again next year?) that could (will) cause her to drop in the draft, we don’t know.

            Gotta wonder this, though: If Jordan is picked at, say 13, instead of 1-4, how much less will her salary be? In other words, will she not jeopardize that with what she tells GMs right now?

          • Steglitz49

            Hints of where? Albi, Piteå or Avaldsnes?

      • That will make it hard on team to want to take a chance on her. I’m guessing she falls farther than her worth.

    • Breakers fan

      Don’t worry, people and teams still care. It could be just a pure lack of information. And the purported rumors of her overseas interest that are causing the climate about her that you are feeling.

  • Gary Diver

    I watched last year’s live-streamed NWSL college draft and enjoyed seeing the players who actually attended and made comments after being drafted. It added some spice to the proceedings.

    • Steglitz49

      I propose that if they can’t be bothered to attend the draft then their draft should be null and void and they not be allowed to play in the NWSL for 3 years.

  • #1Fan

    is this considered a strong draft?

    • Steglitz49

      Depends on whether it is stout or bitter, I guess.

    • Consensus seems to be decent but not super strong.. if that’s any help.. So I’d say it’s no 2010 draft.