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NWSL Draft: Angel City makes Alyssa Thompson the 1st HS player taken No. 1 overall

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Alyssa Thompson is staying in LA with Angel City and all it took was a bit of NWSL draft history to make it happen.

With the first overall pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft, Angel City made the Harvard-Westlake forward the first high school athlete to hear her name for the first time in the league’s 10-year history.

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Thompson’s pick was widely anticipated after Angel City acquired the first overall pick from New Jersey/New York FC Gotham last week in a deal that saw him trade his No. 5 natural pick and second overall pick. round in 2024, as well as $200,000. Portland Thorns FC for Yazmine Ryan, then send Ryan and $250,000 to Gotham.

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The deal made the 18-year-old Thompson essentially the most expensive player in league history, as the previous most expensive cash distribution deal was the San Diego Wave acquisition of USWNT star Alex Morgan for $275,000. according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Moreover, Thompson’s agents said Luca Evans of the Times that she signed a three-year contract with Angel City, which they say is the largest for any NWSL player under 25.

Angel City certainly expects the price to be worth it. Thompson, who was previously set to play at Stanford, won the prestigious Gatorade High School Player of the Year award in 2021 with 48 goals in 18 games. No, this statistic is not a typo.

Thompson also one of the best school sprinters in California and made her debut on the USWNT senior team last year.

PLAYA VISTA, CA - JANUARY 12: Angel City Football Club president Julie Urman and first draft pick Alyssa Thompson pose in a jersey during the NWSL Football Club 2023 Angel City Draft at Nike LA on January 12, 2023 in Playa Vista, CA.  (Photo by Caitlin Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Alyssa Thompson looks like a future City of Angels and USWNT star. (Photo by Caitlin Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Thompson won’t be entirely unprecedented as the top player entering the NSWL with no college experience, as Washington Spirit star Trinity Rodman joined her team in 2021 after not playing a single game in her college career at Washington State. This move more than worked for Spirit.

First round pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft

  1. FC Angel City: Alyssa Thompson, F, Harvard-Westlake High School

  2. Kansas City Current: Michelle Cooper, F, Duke

  3. Orlando Pride: Emily Madril, D, Florida State

  4. New Jersey/New York Gotham FC: Jenna Nicewonger, M, Florida State

  5. Portland Thorns FC: Queen Kings, D, Alabama

  6. North Carolina Courage: Olivia Wingate, F, Notre Dame

  7. Chicago Red Stars: Penelope Hawking, F, Penn State

  8. North Carolina Courage: Sydney Collins, PhD, University of California

  9. North Carolina Courage: Clara Robbins, M, Florida State

  10. Kansas City Current: Alexa Spaanstra, F, Virginia

  11. North Carolina Courage: Hayley Hopkins, F, Virginia

  12. Portland Thorns FC: Izzy D’Aquila, F, Santa Clara


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