Angel City FC acquires No. 1 pick in NWSL Draft – might it be Alyssa Thompson?

One week ahead of the NWSL draft, Angel City Football Club made two trades Thursday to get the No. 1 overall pick and reportedly has its sights set on Alyssa Thompson.

The L.A. Times was first to report the potential of Angel City selecting Thompson.

Angel City, who had the fifth overall pick, sent that pick and a 2024 second-round pick, along with $200,000 in allocation money, to the Portland Thorns in exchange for midfielder Yazmeen Ryan.

ACFC then traded Ryan and $250,000 in allocation money to NJ/NY Gotham FC in exchange for the No. 1 pick. The moves, according to reports, were made with the intention to draft and sign Alyssa Thompson.

Angel City offered a “no comment” on whom the club will take Thursday with the top pick.

Thompson, 18, recently made her U.S. national team debut and is signed to attend Stanford.

As of Thursday afternoon, the former Harvard-Westlake High star had yet to register for the draft and has until 9 p.m. PT Monday to register and be eligible for selection. The draft is set for Jan. 12.

“We were extremely proud of the product we put on the field in our inaugural season, but we have our sights set on making the playoffs and winning championships,” ACFC general manager Angela Hucles Mangano said in a statement. “We know that in order to achieve these goals, we have to set ourselves up for on-field success for many years to come, which is why we wanted to be able to control our destiny with the No. 1 overall draft pick of the 2023 Draft.

“We are focused on making as big of an impact on the field as possible, and we look forward to being able to do so in our second season.”

Angel City FC finished its inaugural season 8-9-5 and failed to make the playoffs, but exceeded expectations by selling 16,000 season tickets.

Thompson was the Gatorade Player of the Year in 2021 as a Harvard-Westlake sophomore. She hasn’t played high school soccer since, choosing to play for Total Futbol Academy’s U-19 team and was the only woman on the team.

Orlando Pride was also involved in the deal, acquiring $350,000 in allocation money for the No. 2 pick from NJ/NY Gotham FC.

Last year, 17-year-old Jaedyn Shaw went through a discovery process and eventually signed with the San Diego Wave FC.

In 2021, Olivia Moultrie, then 15, won a preliminary injunction that allowed her to sign a professional contract with the NWSL’s Portland Thorns.

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