College stars from around the country gathered in Chicago on Jan. 10 for the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) draft.
The pool of athletes included such talents as Tierna Davidson, the USA National Team defender from Stanford. She was recently U.S. Soccer’s Young Female Player of the Year. Also in contention is Davidson’s teammate from the national team, Hailie Mace. Mace plays for UCLA when she isn’t representing the stars and stripes.
As predicted, these two women became the top two draft picks in round one. Davidson was picked first to the Chicago Red Stars. She only registered for the draft in the final few days, and her inclusion represented the leagues easing of restrictions around allowing underclassmen to enter.
Mace was then selected by Sky Blue FC, which kicked off the controversy for the night. Mace had made it clear in pre-draft interviews that she had no intention of playing for Sky Blue FC if they selected her. Her declaration comes after reports from the club’s players that state they had suffered in substandard living and playing conditions throughout the season. This included living in homes with cardboard boxes for windows and practicing at a facility without running water. On top of poor management, Sky Blue FC won one game last season. Sky Blue FC also selected Paige Monaghan and Julie James in Round Two. They have not commented on the player conditions at the club.
Several top prospects did not enter the draft, including Natalia Kuikka, Bunny Shaw and Stanford’s star defender, Alana Cook. They are expected to pursue playing abroad, and the league has restrictions on international rosters.
The NWSL is the professional women’s soccer league run by the United States Soccer Federation. It is the highest level of soccer in the USA. Only established in 2012, the league now has nine teams across the country. The 2019 season will begin with preseason training camp on March 4th, with the regular season kicking off the weekend of April 13 and 14.
The full results of the draft are below from http://www.nwslsoccer.com/collegedraft:
- Tierna Davidson, Stanford (Chicago Red Stars)
- Hailie Mace | UCLA (Sky Blue FC)
- Jordan DiBiasi | Stanford (Washington Spirit)
- Sam Staab | Clemson (Washington Spirit)
- Leah Pruitt | University of Southern California (North Carolina Courage)
- Julia Ashley | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Sky Blue FC)
- Tegan McGrady | Stanford (Washington Spirit)
- Dorian Bailey |University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Washington Spirit)
- Hailey Harbison | Pepperdine University (North Carolina Courage)
- Paige Monaghan | Butler University (Sky Blue FC)
- Julie James | Baylor University (Sky Blue FC)
- Ally Prisock | University of Southern California (Houston Dash)
- CeCe Kizer | University of Mississippi (Houston Dash)
- Lauren Milliet | Colorado College (North Carolina Courage)
- Maria Sanchez | Santa Clara University (Chicago Red Stars)
- Betsy Brandon | University of Virginia (Houston Dash)
- Bayley Feist | Wake Forest University (Washington Spirit)
- Kayla McCoy | Duke University (Houston Dash)
- Kyra Carusa | Georgetown University (Sky Blue FC)
- Bianca St. Georges | West Virginia University (Chicago Red Stars)
- Jazmin Jackmon | University of Oregon (Houston Dash)
- Grace Cutler | West Virginia University (Houston Dash)
- Michelle Maemone | Pepperdine University (Utah Royals FC)
- Emily Ogle | Penn State University (Portland Thorns FC)
- Erin Greening | University of Colorado Boulder (Orlando Pride)
- Kayla Sharples | Northwestern University (Chicago Red Stars)
- Madeline Nolf | Penn State University (Utah Royals FC)
- Kaylan Marckese | University of Florida (Sky Blue FC)
- Kenie Wright | Rutgers University (Sky Blue FC)
- Marisa Viggiano | Northwestern University (Orlando Pride)
- April Bockin | University of Minnesota (Chicago Red Stars)
- Alex Kimball | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Utah Royals FC)
- Hannah Davison | Northwestern University (Chicago Red Stars)
- Sabrina Flores | University of Notre Dame (Sky Blue FC)
- Jenna Szczesny | Loyola University Chicago (Chicago Red Stars)
- Kaycie Tillman | Florida State University (North Carolina Courage)