NWSL draft round-up: Sophia Smith becomes the first ever teenager to be first pick in the league and forgoes last two years at Stanford to turn professional
Sophia Smith has become the first teenager ever to be first pick in the National Women's Soccer League.
The 19-year-old was drafted by the Portland Thorns in yesterday's college draft. Smith has played for the US U17 team and was called up to the senior side in 2017 for two friendlies against Russia.
The former Stanford University sophomore has left the prestigious school two years before completing her degree to turn professional in soccer.
She said: “In the back of my head, it is always where I wanted to end up. It was always an option. It was just a matter of deciding when, when that time would come. I felt it now. This was my time. And I’m so excited to be in the NWSL.”
A total of 35 players were drafted. Here is a team-by-team review:
Defending NWSL champions North Carolina Courage
First-round pick: Alleandra Watt who is a Texas forward.
Third-round pick: Sinclaire Miramontez, defender for Nebraska.
Fourth-round pick: Addisyn Merrick, defender for Kansas, and Brianne Folds, an Auburn midfielder.
Chicago Red Stars
Second-round pick: Julia Bingham, defender for USC, and Camryn Biegalski, defender for UW-Madison.
Third-round pick: Zoe Morse, midfielder for UVA, and Ella Steves, forward for Duke.
Fourth-round pick: Aerial Chavarin, forward for Yale.
First-round pick: Sophia Smith, forward for Stanford, and Morgan Weaver, forward for Washington State.
Third-round pick: Meaghan Nally, defender for Georgetown.
First-round pick: Kelcie Hedge, midfielder for Santa Clara.
Fourth-round pick: Sam Hiatt, midfielder for Stanford, and Meg Brandt, forward for Nebraska.
First-round pick: Ashley Sanchez, forward for UCLA.
Second-round pick: Natalie Jacobs, forward and midfielder for USC, and Averie Collins, midfielder for Washington State.
Fourth-round pick: Kaiya McCullough, defender for UCLA.
First-round pick: Tziarra King, forward for North Carolina.
Second-round pick: Kate Del Fava, midfielder for Illnois State.
Fourth-round pick: Cyera Hintzen, forward for UT-Austin.
Second-round pick: Bridgette Anrzejewski, forward for North Carolina.
Third-round pick: Chloe Castaneda, forward for UCLA.
First-round pick: Evelyne Viens, forward for South Florida.
Second-round pick: Kaleigh Riehl, defender for Penn State.
Third-round pick: Amadna McGlynn, goalkeeper for Virginia Tech.
Fourth-round pick: Chantelle Swaby, midfielder for Rutgers.
First-round pick: Taylor Kornieck, midfielder for Colorado, and Courtney Petersen, midfielder for UVA.
Second-round pick: Konya Plummer, defender for Central Florida, and Phoebe McClernon, defender for UVA.
Third-round pick: Cheyenne Shorts, defender for Denver, and Abi Kim, Forward for UC-Berkeley.
Fourth-round pick: Chelsee Washington, midfielder for Bowling Green.