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All You Need to Know: 2019 NWSL College Draft Preview

The 2019 NWSL College Draft is set to take place in Chicago at the United Soccer Coaches Convention.

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Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

It’s the first major NWSL event since the season ended back in September (yea, September feels so long ago), and the first one to officially lead us into the 2019 season. The NWSL College Draft will take place Thursday, January 10th at 10 AM MT at the United Soccer Coaches Convention at McCormick Place in Chicago. A live stream will be available for fans via Facebook.com/NWSL, YouTube.com/NWSL and nwslsoccer.com/collegedraft. (Download the NWSL App: iTunes App Store | Google Play)

Utah’s 2019 Draft Order

Utah Royals FC hold the 23rd, 27th, and 32nd picks. You may remember how, at one point, they held the number one pick as a condition of their franchise agreement when they joined the league in 2017, but they ended up trading it away last June to bring Christen Press to Utah.

Actually, Utah traded five draft picks to bring Press and Sam Johnson to Sandy, including their other first-round pick (which was acquired from Seattle at last year’s draft), a conditional first and second-round picks in 2020, and a conditional first-round pick in 2021. Eh, who needs draft picks, anyway? Chicago Red Stars now hold the number one pick. You’re welcome, Chicago. Thanks for sending us Press!

How will Laura Harvey pick this year?

Good question. Laura Harvey has not been a coach who places much emphasis on the draft, which may not be a great strength, but she’s Laura Harvey and can do what she wants, and she tends to trade away draft picks to bring experienced players (like Kelley O’Hara, Taylor Lytle, Christen Press).

To be fair, Harvey actually drafted pretty well last year by picking defender Taylor Isom from BYU and goalkeeper E.J. Proctor from Duke University. Both players would have been great additions to the roster, but then the Boston Breakers folded after the draft that dispersed many of Boston’s talented players throughout the NWSL, and sadly, Isom and Proctor found themselves looking in and missing an opportunity.

So, Harvey may actually fare well again in her choices. The hope is that those players will have a better opportunity to make the roster than the 2018 class, and with the addition of Utah Royals FC Reserves, younger players can still be a part of the RSL organization. When in doubt, trust Harvey!

Major NWSL headlines

  • Tierna Davidson has declared for the draft, foregoing her senior season of eligibility at Stanford. She made U.S. National Team rosters and started right alongside Becky Sauerbrunn in 2018 before fracturing her ankle last fall.
  • Sky Blue FC appears to be sticking around despite a call for General Manager Tony Novo to resign and for the club to treat its players like professionals. Its players, however, are asking for trades, and the draftees may not want to play there either. (I wouldn’t either.) This is a story worth monitoring.
  • Just because MLS released their 2019 season, don’t stay up waiting for the 2019 NWSL Schedule to be released anytime soon. Typically, the schedule gets released a month before the start of the season, so we still have about two more months.