NWSL Draft 2023: Prospects, order for clubs and where to watch
A new year means another NWSL Draft, with the occasion almost the starting point for excitement to build for the new season.
The January event is the first big date of the year for the league, with pre-season camps following later in the month, as the division's 12 clubs select the best talent in the U.S. college system.
In the 2022 edition, defender Naomi Girma was the No.1 pick, becoming the fourth Stanford player in the last five years to earn that title.
A year later, history was made as 18-year-old Alyssa Thompson became the youngest No.1 pick in the draft's history, as well as the youngest pick overall.
Who else was picked? GOAL has all you need to know about the 2023 NWSL Draft.
When was the NWSL Draft 2023?
|Date:||January 12, 2023|
|Time:||3pm PT / 6pm ET|
|Venue:||Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia|
The 2023 NWSL Draft took place on Thursday, January 12, 2023. It was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia and began at 6pm ET (3pm PT).
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2023 draft was the first to take place in-person since 2020, when it was held in Baltimore. Both the 2021 and 2022 editions were done virtually.
Where could you watch the 2023 NWSL Draft?
The 2023 NWSL Draft was broadcasted on the CBS Sports Network for the first hour, from 6pm to 7pm ET. Then, it moved to Paramount+ and CBS Sports HQ for the remainder of the event.
Overseas viewers were able to watch the draft live, for free, on the NWSL's YouTube channel.
Who was the No.1 pick in the 2023 NWSL draft?
Alyssa Thompson, the 18-year-old phenom who made her U.S. women's national team debut in October 2022, was the No.1 pick in the draft after a sensational four-team trade in the days before the event saw Angel City acquire the top pick in order to select the Los Angeles native.
Another incredible trade, which took place on the night, saw the Kansas City Current acquire the second pick from Gotham in exchange for USWNT star Lynn Williams.
With that, they chose Michelle Cooper, who had won the prestigious Hermann Trophy just days before after a season at Duke that saw the forward score 19 goals and register 11 assists.
Third on the night was Emily Madril, the defender - previously at Florida State - who spent the latter half of 2022 playing for BK Hacken in Sweden's Damallsvenskan, one of the best leagues in Europe for developing young talent.
Jenna Nighswonger, a finalist for the Hermann Trophy with Cooper after being named the ACC tournament MVP, went to Gotham with the fourth pick while Reyna Reyes, already a senior Mexico international, rounded off the top five, selected by the Portland Thorns.
2023 NWSL Draft order and picks
|1/1||Alyssa Thompson||FWD||Angel City|
|1/2||Michelle Cooper||FWD||KC Current (via trade)|
|1/3||Emily Madril||DEF||Orlando Pride|
|1/4||Jenna Nighswonger||MID||NY/NJ Gotham|
|1/5||Reyna Reyes||MID/DEF||Portland Thorns|
|1/6||Olivia Wyngate||FWD||North Carolina Courage|
|1/7||Penelope Hocking||FWD/MID||Chicago Red Stars|
|1/8||Sydney Collins||MID/DEF||North Carolina Courage|
|1/9||Clara Robbins||FWD/MID||North Carolina Courage|
|1/10||Alexa Spaanstra||FWD/MID||KC Current|
|1/11||Haley Hopkins||FWD||North Carolina Courage|
|1/12||Izzy D'Aquila||FWD||Portland Thorns|
|2/13||Sierra Enge||MID||San Diego Wave|
|2/14||Grace Yochum||MID||Chicago Red Stars|
|2/15||Gabrielle Robinson||DEF||Kansas City Current|
|2/16||Kayla Fischer||FWD||Racing Louisville|
|2/17||Brianna Martinez||DEF||Racing Louisville|
|2/18||Jordan Silkowitz||GK||Kansas City Current|
|2/19||Shae Holmes||DEF||OL Region|
|2/20||Sophie Hirst||DEF||Houston Dash|
|2/21||Messiah Bright||FWD||Orlando Pride|
|2/22||Jylissa Harris||DEF||Houston Dash|
|2/23||Ally Schlegel||FWD||Chicago Red Stars|
|2/24||Lauren DeBeau||FWD||Portland Thorns|
|3/25||Tori Hansen||DEF||Orlando Pride|
|3/26||Nicole Douglas||FWD||Washington Spirit|
|3/27||Angelina Anderson||GK||Angel City|
|3/28||Lyza Bosselmann||GK||Washington Spirit|
|3/29||Jadyn Edwards||MID||Racing Louisville FC|
|3/30||Riley Tanner||FWD||Washington Spirit|
|3/31||Riley Mattingly Parker||FWD||Racing Louisville|
|3/32||Lauren Kozal||GK||Portland Thorns FC|
|3/33||Lauren Brzykcy||GK||San Diego Wave|
|3/34||Lena Silano||FWD||Washington Spirit|
|3/35||Mykiaa Minniss||DEF||Kansas City Current|
|3/36||Lindsi Jennings||DEF||Houston Dash|
|4/37||Civana Kuhlmann||FWD||Washington Spirit|
|4/38||Ella Shamburger||DEF||Kansas City Current|
|4/39||Summer Yates||MID||Orlando Pride|
|4/40||Delaney Graham||DEF||Washington Spirit|
|4/41||Kristen Scott||FWD||Orlando Pride|
|4/42||Rylan Childers||MID||Kansas City Current|
|4/43||Sophie Jones||MID||Chicago Red Stars|
|4/45||Giovanna DeMarco||MID||San Diego Wave|
|4/46||Natalie Viggiano||MID||OL Reign|
|4/47||Ashley Orkus||GK||Kansas City Current|
|4/48||Madelyn Desiano||DEF||Houston Dash|
This was the first key event of 2023 for the NWSL, with pre-season camps beginning on January 23 before the season's official start date on March 25.