LA Villa FC forward Leah Pruitt meets with NWSL managing director Amanda Duff, right, after the North Carolina Courage selected Pruitt with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL Draft in Chicago on Thursday. [Robin Alam, NWSL]
CHICAGO – The Women’s Premier Soccer League saw 23 players from 14 clubs drafted during the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League Draft in Chicago on Thursday.
With more than half the selected players having played in the WPSL, the league once again showed it is the foremost competition for the development of amateur female athletes as they pursue their professional soccer aspirations.
Washington Spirit drafted five WPSL players, including four in the first round. MLVA Wolves teammates midfielder Jordan DiBiasi (No. 3 overall) and defender Tegan McGrady (No. 7 overall) will reunite again in the nation’s capital. They will be joined by defender Sam Staab of San Diego Parceiro Women (No. 4 overall) and forward Dorian Bailey (No. 8 overall), who played for the Kansas City Athletics in 2017.
Houston Dash also selected five WPSL players with its six selections, including three SoCal FC players — Defender Ally Prisock (No. 12 overall), defender Jazmin Jackmon (No. 21 overall) and forward/midfielder Grace Cutler (No. 22 overall). They will be joined by Kansas City Athletics midfielder CeCe Kizer (No. 13 overall) and Kayla McCoy (No. 18 overall), who played for the Washington Spirit Reserves in 2016.
North Carolina Courage selected LA Villa FC forward Leah Pruitt with the No. 5 overall pick.
Chicago Red Stars selected three players from its WPSL reserve side, all three in attendance and receiving thunderous ovations as they were introduced onstage from the hometown Red Stars supporters. Kayla Sharples (No. 26 overall) and Hannah Davison (No. 33 overall) have been back-line teammates for eight years and will continued that bond as NWSL teammates. Their Red Stars Reserves teammate, forward Jenna Szczesny (No. 35 overall), was selected minutes after Davison.
The Red Stars also selected Fire 98 SC forward April Bockin with the No. 31 overall pick. Bockin, whose WPSL club played in the same division as the Red Stars Reserves, boosted her draft stock with a strong summer followed by a season where she was recognized as the Big 10 Conference Forward of the Year at the University of Minnesota.
Cleveland Ambassadors and FC Dallas each had two players selected. Portland Thorns traded up to the No. 24 pick overall to select Ambassadors midfielder Emily Ogle, and Utah Roayls FC selected defender Madeline Nolf, Olge’s WPSL and collegiate teammate, three picks later.
Sky Blue FC selected FC Dallas midfielder/defender Julie James with the No. 11 overall pick, and North Carolina Courage made forward/midfielder Kaycie Tillman the No. 36 overall and final pick of the draft.
The WPSL is in its 22nd season and is the largest women’s soccer league in the world with more than 100 clubs from coast-to-coast. WPSL rosters feature elite collegiate, post-collegiate, international and standout prep student-athletes. Many of the United States’ most accomplished women’s players have played in the WPSL, including household names such as Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain.