Team Grades from 2015 NWSL Draft


The NWSL Draft had its winners and its losers. However, we won’t really know who those winners and losers are until the end of the season. Some draft picks become key players even if they weren’t one of the top selections. Look at Erika Tymrak, a second round pick who has become one of the stars of the league. And some top picks don’t pan out or need to develop such as the first pick in 2013, Zakiya Bywaters.

With that being said, some speculation can be done to see what teams have the most promise coming out of this draft.

Portland Thorns: F

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If an actual pick isn’t made, you really can’t get a grade higher than an F. Although, they did score one of the league’s top strikers, Jodie Taylor, in a draft day trade.

Seattle Reign: D

They only had two picks. Havana Solaun and Kendall Romine are good for depth purposes (especially in a World Cup year), but they will be hard-pressed for playing time when the season roles around.

Washington Spirit: C

They added three quality players. Without any picks in the first round, it’s tough to get first-team quality players. Picking up three defenders in Megan Oyster, Caprice Dydasco, and Whitney Church, they addressed the needs they will have during the World Cup.

FC Kansas City: C+

Their situation is similar to the Seattle Reign’s. They have a team that really didn’t have many holes, especially ones that could be filled without a first round pick. Second round pick Shea Groom of Texas A&M could be one of the surprises of the draft class. The forward scored 16 goals in 2014, leading the Aggies to the College Cup.

Boston Breakers: B

The Red Stars held Boston hostage after taking local product Stephanie McCaffrey. Trading two draft picks to get the striker really didn’t affect the Breakers too much. They ended up getting a striker with national team potential, which is crucial after losing last year’s starting forwards Jazmine Reeves and Lianne Sanderson. College Cup game-winning goalscorer Jamia Fields of Florida State will surely help this team.Her athleticism and versitility make her useful as a winger or attacking midfielder.  The Breakers are one of the teams that is definitely better because of this draft.

Houston Dash: B+

They had the first pick and selected a player that may be the future of the US National Team. Morgan Brian of Virginia is phenonenal, but will likely miss 7-8 games to play in the World Cup. Their only other pick was fourth round selection Carleigh Williams, a defender from UCF.  They did acquire Portland Thorns striker Jessica McDonald in the three way trade that sent Jodie Taylor to Portland. That will surely be a boost to Houston’s attack.

Western New York Flash: A

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Esther González leads Gotham to victory over the Washington Spirit
Esther González leads Gotham to victory over the Washington Spirit /

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  • They had four first round picks, which will strengthen any team. Abby Dahlkemper and Sam Mewis led UCLA this past season. Both are pro-ready players that will be the core of the Flash. Jaelene Hinkle also adds to a Flash defense that had its struggles last year. Lynn Williams could have an impact at the forward position in 2015. Western New York will look like a different team next season after their struggles in 2014.

    Sky Blue FC: A

    Sky Blue FC managed to get a some pretty decent selections with only two picks in the first two rounds. Sarah Killion and Kristin Grubka fill holes and look pretty set for starting minutes in 2015. Sky Blue also secured the biggest steal in the draft in Stanford forward Chioma Ubogagu, a former US U-20 star who was projected by some to be a possible first round selection.

    Chicago Red Stars: A+

    The Red Stars made the best selections in the draft. It all started with their crafty play to get an extra two picks from the Breakers in exchange for the fifth pick Stephanie McCaffrey. Arin Gilliland will be important to the Red Stars back line with a good part of the defense missing during the World Cup. Danielle Colaprico will have the same effect for the depleted midfield in Chicago. The addition of Sofia Huerta gives the front line some much needed depth making the Red Stars look like possible playoff contenders for the first time.

    Next: AC Milan Lose Again