2022 NWSL Mock Draft – V3.0

NWSL Draft Prospect Sydney Cummings (D – Georgetown) courtesy hoyaswsoc on Instagram

Now that players have officially registered for the NWSL draft, it’s time for another mock. Teaming up with Travis Clark from TopDrawerSoccer, we’ve put together a full four-round draft with the latest draft order. We alternated picks, TopDrawer has the odd picks, SoccerDossier has the even ones.

Fifty prospects, the largest college draft yet, and most of them were listed on our prospect list. Check out the draft below!

Round One

1.01 – San Diego – Jaelin Howell (M – Florida State)

It seems clear from media reports that the central midfielder will be the pick here for San Diego. Howell’s an addition that should be able to compete for minutes right away.

1.02 – Louisville – Naomi Girma (D – Stanford)

Girma is the top defender in this draft class, and has the resume to prove it. Plenty of youth international experience, two time Pac-12 defender of the year, and a Hermann trophy semifinalist two years running.

1.03 – North Carolina – Mia Fishel (F – UCLA)

Adding Fishel to a talented crops of forwards gives her the benefit of learning from the likes of Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald, while also adding to the club’s depth up front.

1.04 – Louisville – Savannah DeMelo (M – USC)

USC’s No. 10, DeMelo becomes one, if not the best attacking midfielder in this draft class. CeCe Kizer plays the role well for Racing, but Louisville prioritizes midfield depth after losing (potentially) Parker Goins or Savannah McCaskill in the expansion draft.

1.05 – Orlando – Diana Ordonez (F – Virginia)

A prolific scorer at UVA, it will be fascinating to watch Ordonez, who could be a hit in the right circumstances. The direction new head coach Amanda Cromwell takes here is going to be a fascinating one, and taking a shot at a forward could be one avenue.

1.06 – Houston – Sydny Nasello (F – USF)

A MAC Hermann semifinalist with a 27 point senior season, Nasello dribbles her way into the first round to a Houston team that may lose some attacking depth in the upcoming expansion draft.

1.07 – North Carolina – Emily Gray (M – Virginia Tech)

One of college soccer’s most underrated players during her time in Blacksburg, Gray’s quality and skills both on and off the ball make her a prime first-round prospect.

1.08 – Gotham – Sydney Cummings (D – Georgetown)

A stretch? Maybe, but Cummings and several other Georgetown players will have their names called this year, and early. Sydney has international experience on the Guyana National team, and was First Team All Conference at Georgetown this year after her transfer from Brown.

1.09 – San Diego – Caitlin Cosme (D – Duke)

The expansion franchise can go in a number of different directions with several roster slots available. Cosme recently wrapped up a stellar season at Duke, helping to anchor one of the nation’s best defenses from a center back role.

1.10 – OL Reign – Raleigh Loughman (M – Michigan)

Loughman was a key piece in Michigan’s Big Ten tournament win and their run in the College Cup. A midfielder who can create and score, she fills a need left by several key loan departures for the Reign.

1.11 – Chicago – Sammi Fisher (F – Notre Dame)

Adding attacking options is never a bad thing, and Fisher is coming off an impressive senior season with the Irish. She posted career highs in goals (13) and assists (6) while leading the Notre Dame offense.

1.12 – Kansas City – Julie Doyle (F – Santa Clara)

Doyle has recently spent time training in London, and her speed on the wing was evident at Santa Clara. She checks all the boxes for someone who should go in the first round.

Round One Recap:

If you’ve seen our previous mock drafts, you’re familiar with a lot of the names here. You’re also seeing a lot of them much higher than they were previously, due to the amount of players who went either overseas or back to school for another season.

Round Two

2.01 – Portland – Izzy Rodriguez (D – Ohio State)

The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in the spring season, Rodriguez is an experienced left back that can bolster Portland’s defensive depth. She could potentially be tried as a left center back.

2.02 – San Diego – Marley Canales (M – UCLA)

Youth caps with the US national team, multiple-time all Pac-12, AND she’s from San Diego. A good fit in the top of the second round as the Wave grow their midfield core.

2.03 – OL Reign – Ryanne Brown (D – Wake Forest)

A quick defender that has a bit of versatility, Brown had a great fall with Wake Forest. She has the defensive attributes to stick as a depth defender, at minimum.

2.04 – Louisville – Kelly Ann Livingstone (D – Georgetown)

Livingstone strengthens the Racing defensive line as they continue to build next to Emily Fox. First team All Big East, and a center back that led one of the best defenses in the country this season.

2.05 – Kansas City – Sarah Griffith (F – Purdue)

There aren’t many holes to fill for KC on its current roster, so it can shift to a best player available approach in the second role. Griffith is the reigning Big Ten Forward of the Year that’s likely to feature as a winger or wide forward depending on the tactical setup.

2.06 – Chicago – Gabby Provenzano (D – Rutgers)

Losing Sarah Gorden (and plenty of other talent) in the run up to the expansion draft leaves over 2000 minutes unaccounted for on the back line. The reigning Big Ten Defender of the Year helps patch that situation.

2.07 – Chicago – Giovanna DeMarco (M – Wake Forest)

A smart, quality central midfielder that can play deep, DeMarco’s quiet excellence this season was a big part of the accomplishments of a young Wake Forest team.

2.08 – OL Reign – Miri Taylor (M – Hofstra)

I’m surprised Miri declared with her ties overseas, but OL Reign has international slots available, and Taylor just capped off a 45 point season at Hofstra. Look for a team to take a chance on the England youth international early.

2.09 – Houston – Claudia Dickey (GK – North Carolina)

Jane Campbell is the No. 1 in Houston, but Houston is one of a handful of clubs that could look to land a goalkeeper. There are options, though Dickey’s coming off a strong career in Chapel Hill.

2.10 – Portland – Haleigh Stackpole (F – Ole Miss)

Portland lost Simone Charley and Tyler Lussi to Angel City, and they need depth at forward. Stackpole just had a 16 assist season (along with 5 goals) and should be a great addition next to Sophia Smith and Morgan Weaver.

2.11 – Chicago – Renee Guion (D – Clemson)

Defensive depth is the move here, with the Clemson left back going to Chicago where she is more than a capable backup to Arin Wright.

2.12 – Gotham – Natalie Beckman (M – Denver)

An 89 point career, with an 18 assists her senior year, Beckman provides depth up front to the young Gotham striking core.

2.13 – San Diego – Chyanne Dennis (D – USF)

The 5-foot-11 center back has good mobility and is one of the best defenders from outside the Power 5.

2.14 – ACFC – Daisy Cleverley (M – Georgetown)

This is Angel City’s first pick in the draft, and they take the New Zealand international to add to their midfield. Cleverley worked her way onto the Mac Hermann watchlist and earned all Big East second team honors this past season.

Round Two Recap:

Miri Taylor is a huge get for OL Reign if she decides to play in the NWSL instead of overseas in another league. It’s worth the risk, as we start seeing international players come off the board in the second round.

Round Three

3.01 – San Diego – Elyse Bennett (F – Washington State)

A tough, direct forward, Bennett is another attacking prospect that the new team can hope to come in and compete for depth in the final third.

3.02 – ACFC – Charme Morgan (D – Oklahoma State)

Morgan provides depth (or the ability to start) at the outside back position for the new expansion franchise. A previous All-Big 12 performer, Charme was key to Oklahoma State’s success the past few years.

3.03 – Orlando – Jenna Menta (F – Wake Forest)

There aren’t any other UCLA products to link with Cromwell with Fishel and Canales picked. Orlando goes with another forward here, as Menta played a fifth year at Wake after a decorated four-year career with Georgetown. She adds to the team’s depth out wide.

3.04 – Louisville – Athena Kuehn (M – LSU)

Depth and positional versitility are welcome at Louisville, and they take a player who can play the defensive midfield role or add minutes across the back line. Kuehn finished her college career at LSU after a productive few years at Minnesota.

3.05 – Orlando – Kayla Bruster (D – Georgia)

Bruster did earned Second Team All-SEC honors in the spring and has the mix of size and quality to cope with NWSL attackers.

3.06 – OL Reign – Mijke Roelfsema (D-Rice)

A Boston College transfer, the Dutch international goes to the Reign in the third round to cap off a season where she landed on the Mac Hermann Semifinalist list.

3.07 – OL Reign – Calista Reyes (M/D – Pepperdine)

The left-sided player can play on the left wing in a more forward-thinking role, though left back could be the way she sticks in the pros. The Nevada native provides quality and versatility.

3.08 – Gotham – Jayda Hylton-Pelaia (D – Arizona state)

A regular on the Jamaican international team, Hylton-Pelaia provides great outside back depth for Gotham, a team in need of defensive assistance.

3.09 – Chicago – Luciana Zullo (F – South Carolina)

A left-footed forward that played on the right side for South Carolina, she’s another versatile addition of a prospect that could end up in a number of spots for Chicago.

3.10 – OL Reign – Shanade Hopcroft (M – Colorado)

Hopcroft has moved around a few times in college, progessivley going to larger and larger schools, and succeeding at every one. The former All-Pac12 player is also the owner of a great bicycle kick on YouTube.

3.11 – Chicago – Rachel Philpotts (M – Milwaukee)

It was a sensational season for the Panthers, and Philpotts was at the heart of it all as a defensive midfielder. She’ll need to show she can handle the athleticism of the league, but she is tough in the challenge and a good passer.

3.12 – Washington – Lauren Chang (M – South Carolina)

Chang has played over 1000 minutes every year she’s been at South Carolina, and has been All-SEC multiple times.

Round Three Recap –

Didn’t even have to move Mijke Roelfsema after Bella Munson (@muson_bella on Twitter) took her in the same spot in the third round in our previous mock. A lot of new faces, but Charme Morgan and Elyse Bennett headline a solid third round.

Round Four

4.01 – Angel City FC – Kaitlin Fregulia (D – Long Beach State)

This is the stage of the draft where local products and schools really get a long look. Fregulia is a solid center back from Long Beach that was named Big West co-Defensive Player of the Year this past fall. It was the second time she won the honor (2017).

4.02 – San Diego – Jada Talley (F – USC)

Agreeing with what Travis said in the pick before, the California born Talley re-entered the draft this year after her rights were claimed last year, and she stays close to home.

4.03 – Kansas City – Jenna Winebrenner (D – TCU)

Winebrenner took a fifth year at TCU after playing four seasons at Notre Dame. The central defender logged more than 2,000 minutes for the Big 12 program in the fall, helping them reach the NCAA quarterfinal and sweeping the conference regular season and tournament.

4.04 – Louisville – Mollie Belisle (F – Georgia)

The fifth leading scorer in the nation and the SEC forward of the year, Belisle takes her 15 goal senior season and adds to it at Louisville.

4.05 – Kansas City – Sydney Pulver (M – Washington State)

A defensive midfielder for the Cougars, Pulver finishes her career in Washington with nearly 100 appearances. She can mix it up and provide steel for the KC spine. Playing as a center back provides added versaility.

4.06 – Houston – Maddie Elwell (M – Vanderbilt)

Two-time all SEC and played over 1000 minutes as a freshman, Elwell adds quality depth to a Houston side that could lose a star midfielder in the expansion draft.

4.07 – North Carolina – Madiya Harriott (D – Vanderbilt)

If Harriott goes here, it would be back-to-back Commodores. Harriot had a great 2020-21 season, and battled injuries this fall. There is versatility here that would give her a shot at making the team, as she can play right back or defensive midfield.

4.08 – Gotham – Hensley Hancuff (GK – Clemson)

Gotham just lost Mandy Mcglynn to Sweden, and need a quality prospect to grow behind the newly acquired Ashlynn Harris. Hancuff fits that role, and the 6’3″ keeper is in a great place to grow with Gotham.

4.09 – OL Reign – Olivia Van Der Jagt (M – Washington)

The local angle could lead to Van Der Jagt, an every-game starter at UW since 2018. She’s a straightforward central midfielder that can connect play and isn’t afraid of battling for possession.

4.10 – Portland – Lucy Shepherd (F – Hofstra)

Multiple time All-CAA, an Aston Villa youth product, and the owner of 75 career points at Hofstra. Portland grabs more depth up front, even if it’s just playing rights, for the international departures of Sophia Smith.

4.11 – Chicago – Tinaya Alexander (F – LSU)

The approach to internationals in this draft will be an interesting one. Someone like Alexander showed that the can be a difference-maker at the NWSL level, but returning home to England could make more financial sense. Either way, grabbing her rights here wouldn’t be a bad move for Chicago.

4.12 – Washington – Jojo Harber (D – Stanford)

A veritile outside back with US youth national team experience, Washington ends the draft with a depth signing to play behind Kelly O’Hara.

Round Four Recap –

Alexander and Shepherd are two very talented prospects that the NWSL would be luck to have, whether they remain in the states is yet to be seen.

Several players could have gone in the final round here, Zsani Kajan (F – St. John’s), Ava Cook (F – Michigan State), Ameera Hussen (M – Washington), Lana Golob (D – VCU), to name a few. And make sure to note that two talented Brazillians, Thais Reiss and our very own Bethany Balcer Award winner Anna Paula Santos have declared this year as well, keep an eye on them.

Working to cover and predict the NWSL draft earlier than it ever has been before. Make sure to check out our other articles, and The Dossier, a list of NWSL draft prospects!