NWSL Draft Analysis

Jul 17, 2020; Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Youth National Team Experience


Since 2019, the majority of players drafted into the NWSL have had some level of youth national team (YNT) experience. When analyzing draft selections by round over the past three years, it is evident that these players are highly valued.

Every player drafted in the first round since 2019 has had YNT experience. As seen in the table below, 89% of those players made a youth or senior national team squad, and the rest had camp invites. These numbers are the highest of any of the rounds, which signals a good indicator of draft position.

Youth national team experience for first round NWSL draft picks.

The second, third and fourth round also contain YNT players, but at a steadily declining rate. The next table shows the YNT player distribution in those rounds, and the percentage of those players who made YNT squads.

Youth national team experience for second, third and fourth round NWSL draft picks.

Players with YNT experience can be found in any round, but are coveted at the top of the draft. YNT experience not only signals the ability to play with higher level competition, but the additional playing time allows coaches to gather more information before drafting them.

Playing Time as a Freshman


The term “breakout age” was coined by National Football League (NFL) draft analysts to identify the age at which college athletes significantly contribute to their team. Players who produce at a younger age are more likely to be successful at the next level, while those who contribute later in their college careers, are less likely to succeed.

The concept behind breakout age in the NFL is simple. If a player is talented enough to play with more seasoned and practiced individuals early in their career, they are more likely to have the ability to play and succeed at a professional level. This idea should also apply to the NWSL. The table below shows that a vast majority of the players drafted are starters their freshman seasons.

ROUND 1         
PickYearFirstLastYNT EXP?National Team LevelMade YNT Squad%GSFreshman Games StartedFreshman Points
12021EmilyFoxYesU20y100%134
22021TrinityRodmanYesyn/an/an/a
32021BriannaPintoYesAll, including seniory96%2520
42021KikiPickettYesu17, u20y96%246
52021EminaEkicYesU17 U19y94%1717
62021JazmeenRyanYesu18y100%2213
72021MadisonHaleyYessenior, U20y20%412
82021TaraMcKeownYesu20 and youngery65%1313
92021VivianaVillacortaYesu20, u19, u18y60%154
102021DeanneRoseYescanadian national teamy100%2121
12020SophiaSmithYesSENIOR TEAMy85%1116
22020MorganWeaverYesU23, NATIONAL TEAM CAMPy100%1917
32020TaylorKornieckYesU19, U20y100%2226
42020AshleySanchezYesU17-U23y96%2324
52020EvelynViensYescanadian national teamy100%1936
62020AllyWattYesU20y65%1714
72020CourtneyPetersenYesU14-U20y9%29
82020TziarraKingYesU23, NATIONAL TEAM CAMPn36%817
92020KelcieHedgeYesU15 TO U20y100%206
12019TiernaDavidsonYesU18-SENIORy100%216
22019HailieMaceYesU18-SENIORy79%151
32019JordanDiBiasiYesU18-U23y100%2311
42019SamStaabYesU19 U23y100%2011
52019LeahPruittYesu17, u20 campn100%1829
62019JuliaAshleyYesU20, U23y100%213
72019TeganMcGradyYesU17-SENIORy53%97
82019DorianBaileyYesU17-U23y62%87
92019HaileyHarbisonYesTRAINED U23 AND U20 campsn100%234
ROUND 2
PickYearFirstLastYNT EXP?National Team LevelMade YNT Squad%GSFreshman Games StartedFreshman Points
12021TaylorOttoYesU14-U20Y86%1910
22021SamCoffeyYesU18-U20y100%2020
32021KirstenDavisYesU18-U20y79%158
42021MikaylaColohanYesu17 campn82%911
52021VictoriaPickettYesCANADIAN NATIONAL TEAMy100%168
62021LucyParkerYesENGLAND NATIONAL TEAMy100%1810
72021AddieMcCainYesu-18 campn77%178
82021KelseyTurnbowYesU14-U20y91%2131
92021AnnaHeilfertyYesu-18 squady81%1713
102021AlyssaMalonsonNon100%206
12020KonyaPlummerYesJAMAICAN u21y94%1624
22020KaleighRiehlYesU18-U23y100%274
32020KateDel FavaNon91%215
42020NatalieJacobsYesU17-U23y75%1513
52020PhoebeMcLernonYesU23n18%40
62020JulieBinghamYesU18y84%213
72020CamrynBiegalskiNon100%200
82020AverieCollinsNon0%07
92020BridgetteAndrzejewskiYesn84%2120
12019PaigeMonaghanYesU23n74%1711
22019JulieJamesYesU20, U23n94%179
32019AllyPrisockYesU19y100%230
42019CeCeKizerYesU23y100%2329
52019LaurenMillietNon100%2110
62019MariaSanchezYesMEXICAN NATIONAL TEAMy100%2022
72019BetsyBrandonYesU14-U18y96%228
82019BayleyFeistNon53%106
92019KaylaMcCoyYesU23, JAMAICAy78%78
ROUND 3
PickYearFirstLastYNT EXP?National Team LevelMade YNT Squad%GSFreshman Games StartedFreshman Points
12021ParkerGoinsYesU18-U20y91%2125
22021AmirahAliYesy100%2117
32021TarynTorresYesU17y74%1717
42021KerryAbelloYesU14-U19y0%00
52021BriAlgerNon55%125
62021JoelleAndersonYesU19 CAMPn42%824
72021MakamaeGomera-StevensNon50%114
82021JimenaLopezYesMEXICAN NATIONAL TEAMy50%107
92021SydneySchneiderYesJAMAICAy12%222GA, 63SV
102021MyraKonteYesU18 TEAM POOLn95%210
12020ZoeyMorseYesU17-U20y100%214
22020AmandaMcGlynnYesU18-U23y84%1658SV 1.17GAA
32020CheyenneShortsNon100%171
42020ChloeCastanedaYesU17n9%22
52020KatieMcClureNon76%1612
62020EllaStevensYesU17-U23y74%1726
72020MeaghanNallyNon5%12
82020AbiKimYesU18-U23y76%169
92020SinclaireMiramontezYesu19, u20, u23 campn100%220
12019KyraCarusaYesU23, IRELANDn96%2216
22019BiancaSt. GeorgesYesCANADAy100%226
32019JazminJackmonNon100%220
42019GraceCutlerNon50%1113
52019MichelleMaemoneYesU14n53%103
62019EmilyOgleYesU20y100%2412
72019ErinGreeningNon28%54
82019KaylaSharplesNon100%220
92019MaddieNolfYesU18-U20y100%244
ROUND 4
PickYearFirstLastYNT EXP?National Team LevelMade YNT Squad%GSFreshman Games StartedFreshman Points
12021EmilySmithYesU18-U19y100%200
22021ChanningFosterNon100%2026
32021DelanieSheehanYesU18-U20y40%1013
42021KaylieCollinsYesU14-U15y16%317GA, 53SV
52021AlyssaGorzakYesU18-U20y95%216
62021AlexLoeraYesU17n100%211
72021HannahBetfortNon85%1711
82021BrooklynEntzNon88%1411
92021MarianaSpeckmaeierYesU20 VENEZUELAy94%1717
102021TessBoadeYesU17y0%03
12020AddisynMerrickNon67%142
22020ChantelleSwabyYesJAMAICAy100%222
32020ChelseeWashingtonNon95%186
42020CyeraHintzenYesU19y92%124
52020KaiyaMcCulloughYesU18 U20y100%212
62020SamHiattYesU20y56%53
72020MegBrandtYesU23n83%19
82020AerialChavarinYesn75%1223
92020BriFoldsYesU23n92%2219
12019KaylanMarckeseYesU19 CAMPn94%1614 GA, 54 SV
22019KenieWrightNon62%164
32019MarisaViggianoYesplayer pooln100%222
42019AprilBockinNon82%189
52019AlexKimballNon0%03
62019HannahDavisonNon89%162
72019SabrinaFloresYesU20, MEXICOy100%223
82019JennaSzczesnyNon95%2015
92019KaycieTillmanYesU17 U20y100%2516

We’ve applied the same categories to the defenders from the 2022 NWSL draft class here. This gives us a better sense of who may be selected in the first round. Further research into todays top NWSL players and their early playing time will follow soon.

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!