2023 NWSL Draft Recap

2023 NWSL Draft First Round Selection Reyna Reyes (photo courtesy @reynareyes_16 on Instagram)

Now that the 2023 NWSL draft is over, we can take a look at how well the Dossier performed and compare it to last year to see what we can learn. We’ll go round by round and look at overall performance, and talk about why we missed who we missed.

Round One

Eleven out of the twelve players selected in the first round were on the Post-Season Dossier. Only Alyssa Thompson, the recent high school graduate and Stanford commit, was not on the list. In the future, if any non-collegiate players are called up to the full National team, we can be sure to add them, just in case.

Round Two

Round Two went just as well as round one, eleven of the twelve players taken in the second round were on the Post-Season Dossier. Jordan Silkowitz, the Iowa State goalkeeper, didn’t make the list. Silkowitz didn’t meet the usual Dossier requirements, but was mainly left off because there are typically only a few goalkeepers selected every year. This year, a world cup year, there were SIX goalkeepers drafted. The most out of any NWSL draft. Out of the seven goalkeepers on the Post-Season Dossier, five registered for the draft, and four of those five were drafted. We may need to rethink how many goalkeepers are carried on the Post-Season Dossier for future years.

Round Three

Round three saw three players selected who were not on the Post-Season Dossier, let’s take a look at who they were, and give a brief summary of their accomplishments.

Lyza Bosselmann – 2022 WCC Goalkeeper of the year, and made an All-WCC freshman team. Similar to Jordan Silkowitz in the previous round, an update to goalkeepers will be on the books for next season.

Riley Tanner – Two time 2nd team all SEC, 18 point senior season, South Carolina transfer.

Lena Silano – 2022 Big West Offensive player of the year, Silano is the second Long Beach State player to be selected in the past two years. 25 points in 2021 and 38 in 2022. Should have seen this one coming.

Round Four

Slightly worse here in the fourth round than in the third, but still a promising improvement overall. Four of the players in the fourth round were not on the Post Season Dossier.

Rylan Childers – A 20 point performance in 2022, 35 career goals and 35 career assists, with 94 career starts. Childers fits a the profile of a consistent productive starter, we focused more on games started this season with promising results, Childers is in that mold.

Iliana Hocking – 5th year midfielder with 48 starts

Giovanna DeMarco – DeMarco was actually included in one of our mock drafts the previous season, but didn’t make a Dossier either year. Much like Childers, DeMarco was a productive, consistent starter for Wake Forest, who rarely received acclaim.

Madelyn Desiano – Only 35 career starts due to injuries, but Madelyn has youth national team experience and several impressive assist totals to her name. She should have been listed, an error of omission.

Overall Impressions

At the conclusion of the draft, the Post Season Dossier contained 39 of the 48 selected players (81%). A big improvement from last year, where we missed 16 of the draftees (68%). Let’s take a look at a comparison of Dossier performance between this year and last year, and then get into a few of the reasons for the improvement.

Extra Years of Eligibility

Last year saw a mass of players choose to go back to school for an additional year, instead of declaring for the draft. A lot of those players found their way on to the Dossier two years in a row, declared this year, and were drafted. This was a loaded draft class, and one that was little easier to predict.

Round Discrepancies

Later rounds seem to trend much more toward coach or front office preference, so they don’t seem to follow the same rules as the first two rounds. Through the first two rounds last year we only missed four players, and it was only two missed players this year. Rounds three and four? Well, check out the graph below.

Yikes, that 2022 third round! This may take looking into team preferences to figure out, but it could be a fun exercise. Let’s look to see if any specific teams are drafting outside the Dossier more than others.

Over the last two seasons, 63% of the Wave’s picks have not been Dossier listed, Washington is also going off book. But shoutout to Portland and Chicago who haven’t made a pick that wasn’t on the Dossier in the last two years. This doesn’t tell us too much, but it’s an interesting tally to keep, and may show draft tendencies in future years as things progress.


The Post-Season Dossier contained 81% of the players drafted this year and the Pre-Season Dossier contained 58%. Both improvements from last year, but both with space to grow. The Pre-Season Dossier doesn’t get much attention, but saw an improvement this year, after a reduction in both size and conferences included. For the upcoming 2024 season, we’ll try something new, and release it even earlier, in a few weeks perhaps, and see how that shakes things up.

Going into the 2024 draft, it looks like the focus will again be on the Big 7 conferences. As previously discussed (and it hit right on AGAIN this year), 90% of players drafted come from just seven conferences. This year will be focused there, and on players who meet the established Dossier criteria. Players in other conferences will of course be listed, but will find their way onto the Post-Season Dossier and position specific articles, like they did this year.

Look for more highlights on the Youtube channel this year!

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!