NWSL Draft 2023: Prospects, order for clubs and where to watch

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Alyssa Thompson USWNT 2022
Ahead of the new season, teams chose the best players in the U.S. college system, with Angel City selecting Alyssa Thompson as the No.1 pick

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.

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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

Round/PickPlayerPositionNWSL team
1/1Alyssa ThompsonFWDAngel City
1/2Michelle CooperFWDKC Current (via trade)
1/3Emily MadrilDEFOrlando Pride
1/4Jenna NighswongerMIDNY/NJ Gotham
1/5Reyna ReyesMID/DEFPortland Thorns
1/6Olivia WyngateFWDNorth Carolina Courage
1/7Penelope HockingFWD/MIDChicago Red Stars
1/8Sydney CollinsMID/DEFNorth Carolina Courage
1/9Clara RobbinsFWD/MIDNorth Carolina Courage
1/10Alexa SpaanstraFWD/MIDKC Current
1/11Haley HopkinsFWDNorth Carolina Courage
1/12Izzy D'AquilaFWDPortland Thorns
2/13Sierra EngeMIDSan Diego Wave
2/14Grace YochumMIDChicago Red Stars
2/15Gabrielle RobinsonDEFKansas City Current
2/16Kayla FischerFWDRacing Louisville
2/17Brianna MartinezDEFRacing Louisville
2/18Jordan SilkowitzGKKansas City Current
2/19Shae HolmesDEFOL Region
2/20Sophie HirstDEFHouston Dash
2/21Messiah BrightFWDOrlando Pride
2/22Jylissa HarrisDEFHouston Dash
2/23Ally SchlegelFWDChicago Red Stars
2/24Lauren DeBeauFWDPortland Thorns
3/25Tori HansenDEFOrlando Pride
3/26Nicole DouglasFWDWashington Spirit
3/27Angelina AndersonGKAngel City
3/28Lyza BosselmannGKWashington Spirit
3/29Jadyn EdwardsMIDRacing Louisville FC
3/30Riley TannerFWDWashington Spirit
3/31Riley Mattingly ParkerFWDRacing Louisville
3/32Lauren KozalGKPortland Thorns FC
3/33Lauren BrzykcyGKSan Diego Wave
3/34Lena SilanoFWDWashington Spirit
3/35Mykiaa MinnissDEFKansas City Current
3/36Lindsi JenningsDEFHouston Dash
4/37Civana KuhlmannFWDWashington Spirit
4/38Ella ShamburgerDEFKansas City Current
4/39Summer YatesMIDOrlando Pride
4/40Delaney GrahamDEFWashington Spirit
4/41Kristen ScottFWDOrlando Pride
4/42Rylan ChildersMIDKansas City Current
4/43Sophie JonesMIDChicago Red Stars
4/44Iliana HockingMIDGotham
4/45Giovanna DeMarcoMIDSan Diego Wave
4/46Natalie ViggianoMIDOL Reign
4/47Ashley OrkusGKKansas City Current
4/48Madelyn DesianoDEFHouston 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.