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Sophia Smith selected No. 1 overall at NWSL College Draft

Sophia Smith
Sophia Smith is photographed at the December Identification Camp under Vlatko Andonovski. Photo by Hannah di Lorenzo/Equalizer Soccer.

Sophia Smith is the newest member of the Portland Thorns. At the National Women’s Soccer League College Draft on Thursday, the Thorns selected Smith with the No. 1 overall pick. The draft took place in Baltimore, Maryland. Days before the draft began, Smith’s name, as well as Ashley Sanchez’ name, was not on the list. Players have until the day before the draft to put their name into the pool of players and register.

Portland obtained the No. 1 overall pick on Jan. 8. The Thorns traded Emily Sonnett and the rights to Caitlin Foord to the Orlando Pride, in exchange for the pick. Orlando also picked up the No. 7 and No. 14 overall picks in this year’s draft.

Smith is currently in camp with the U.S. women’s national team. She was part of Vlatko Andonovski’s identification camp in December and earned her first senior call up in November. She also recently won the NCAA Women’s College Cup over North Carolina, winning the match on penalties. She was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player during the College Cup and was selected to the All-Tournament team.

In two seasons at Stanford, Smith featured in 33 matches, starting 27 games. She scored 24 goals and provided 11 assists. In her final season, Smith scored 17 goals and nabbed nine assists.

The first round provided some shocking selections and trades. The first five picks were tossed around, and ultimately the Thorns ended up with the No. 2 pick, too. Instead of taking Ashley Sanchez, the Thorns elected to pick Morgan Weaver, a forward from Washington State University.

The Orlando Pride found themselves in the top three of the draft, and used their pick to select Taylor Kornieck, a midfielder/defender from the University of Colorado.

Sanchez fell to the No. 4 pick, and was picked up by the Washington Spirit. She gave a short interview after her selection and a short speech, too. The forward left the University of California, Los Angeles to turn professional.

According to The Equalizer’s John D. Halloran, who was in Baltimore for the NWSL Draft, Mallory Pugh was part of the multi-team trade, and she will be heading to Sky Blue FC.

Other first-round draft picks included Ally Watt being selected by the North Carolina Courage; Evelyn Viens heading to Sky Blue FC; the Orlando Pride picking up Courtney Petersen; Tziarra King going across the country to the Utah Royals FC; and Reign FC finishing out the first round by selecting Kelcie Hedge.

Round Two Selections

  • Orlando selects Konya Plummer from UCF.
  • Sky Blue FC selects Kaliegh Riehl from Penn State.
  • Utah selects Kate Del Fava from Illinois.
  • Washington selects Natalie Jacobs from USC.
  • Orlando selects Phoebe McClernon from Virginia.
  • Chicago Red Stars selects Julia Bingham from USC.
  • Chicago selects Camryn Biegalski from Wisconsin.
  • Washington selects Averie Collins from Washington State.
  • Houston Dash selects Bridgette Andrzejewski from UNC.

Round Three Selections

  • Chicago selects Zoe Morse from Virginia.
  • Sky Blue selects Amanda “Mandy” McGlynn from Virginia Tech.
  • Orlando selects Cheyenne Shorts from the Univ. of Denver.
  • Houston selects Chloe Castaneda from UCLA.
  • Washington selects Katie McClure from Kansas.
  • Chicago selects Ella Stevens from Duke.
  • Portland Thorns select Meaghan Nally from Georgetown.
  • Orlando selects Abi Kim from California, Berkeley.
  • North Carolina selects Sinclaire Miramontez from Nebraska.

Round Four Selections

  • North Carolina Courage select Addisyn Merrick from Kansas.
  • Sky Blue FC selects Chantelle Swaby from Rutgers.
  • Orlando selects Chelsee Washington from Bowling Green State University.
  • Utah Royals select Cyera Hintzen from University of Texas, Austin.
  • Washington Spirit select Kaiya McCullough from UCLA.
  • Reign FC selects Sam Hiatt from Stanford.
  • Reign FC selects Meg Brandt from Nebraska.
  • Chicago selects Aerial Chavarin from Yale.
  • North Carolina selects Brianne Folds from Auburn.


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