Crystal Dunn selected first in NWSL College Draft

Jennifer Gordon January 17, 2014 97

Crystal Dunn was the No. 1 overall selection by the Washington Spirit in the 2014 NWSL College Draft. (Photo by Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

PHILADELPHIA — The 2014 NWSL Draft got off to the start everyone expected when the Washington Spirit made University of North Carolina midfielder Crystal Dunn the first overall pick.  The Dash followed by taking Kealia Ohai making Dunn and Ohai the first college teammates ever to be drafted 1-2 in a women’s pro league.

The 2nd round began with a trade.  The Thorns re-acquired Meleana Shim from the Dash in exchange for the No. 11 pick and a player to e named later.

Check back here throughout Friday for updates.  (note that traded pick notes only apply to draft-day trades.)

Round 1

1. Washington Spirit:  Crystal Dunn, D/M/F, University of North Carolina

The first name off the board in this draft was never in question and rightfully so. Dunn is not only capable of playing multiple positions, but is capable of playing them extremely well. She’s played right back for the both club and country. Dunn also scored 14 goals this year for UNC playing in the midfield. The Spirit’s midfield seems full and they have Ali Krieger at right back. It will be interesting to see where Mark Parsons put her, but expect Dunn to be placed in a position to score goals.

2. Houston Dash:  Kealia Ohai, M/F, University of North Carolina

Ohai coming off the board at number two is definitely more debatable than her UNC teammate going first. While Ohai is a fast striker, capable of playing on the wing, Houston could have opted for a midfielder instead. Houston acquired several attacking options via trade and the expansion draft, but they only have three midfielders currently on the roster. Given uncertainty surrounding Tiffany McCarty and Stephanie Ochs, is hard to say whether Ohai will see time on the wing or up front. She has some Houston connection through her sister Megan, who is married to Texans LB Brian Cushing.

3. Chicago Red Stars:  Julie Johnston, M, Santa Clara

A two-time All-American, Johnston was the captain of the U-20 Women’s World Cup team and 2012 where she anchored the backline. She could play either a holding midfield position, on the backline or in a more offensive midfield position. She’s great in the air as well. She’ll likely play in a more defensive midfield position for Chicago.

4. Chicago Red Stars:  Vanessa DiBernardo, M, University of Illinois

DiBernardo is a creative and crafty midfielder who’s spent time in camp with the full National Team. Despite missing part of her senior season with a knee injury, she leaves as the all time leader in assists and third all time in scoring. She’ll be expected to contribute to the Red Stars attack right away with both Melissa Tancredi and Christen Press likely to miss the start of the season.

5. FC Kansas City:  Kasey Kallman, D, Florida State

Kallman is an All American and was a leader of a Florida State team that appeared in three straight College Cups. She was also a member of the 2012 U-20 Women’s World Cup team. She’s also capable of contributing to the Kansas City on set pieces as she can deliver some potent headers. Kallman fills a need for Kansas City as they’ve lost Lauren Sesselman and Desiree Scott looks like she’s headed to England.

6. Sky Blue FC:  Maya Hayes, F, Penn State

Hayes is a quick footed striker who’s scored 10+ goals a season at Penn State the past three years. In her sophomore year she scored 31 goals- more than anyone else in the country. She could use some work on her finishing, but this is a good pickup for Sky Blue who will likely miss De Vanna the first few months of NWSL action.

7. Seattle Reign FC: Amanda Frisbie, D, University of Portland

Frisbie scored 12 goals as a forward her junior, but converted to centerback her senior season where she excelled. Considered a top prospect before this year, Frisbie has even more value now as she’s proven she can play both sides of the ball. She earned first team All-American honors this year. Seattle needs upgrades on the backline and Frisbie will definitely help them. Frisbie is versatile, but she’ll mostly likely play either centerback or possible as an outside back.

8. Boston Breakers: Nkem Ezurike, F, University of Michigan

Ezurike is the first international off the board and rightfully so. The tall, fast, Canadian forward has all the making of a dominable offensive threat. Ezurike leaves Michigan as the Wolverines’ career points (118) and goals (49) leader. She scored 14 goals both her junior and senior season. Boston needs offensive firepower more than any other team after the loss of Sydney Leroux in a trade and Kyah Simon out for the season with an ACL injury. This pick takes up an international slot for Boston which sends a statement about how much Boston thinks she’s worth.

9. Western New York Flash: Courtney Verloo, D/F, Stanford University

Verloo spent time on the Cardinal backline her first few seasons due to the offensive depth the team had. As a forward the past two seasons, Verloo scored 10 and 9 goals respectively. Verloo and Stanford had a rare off year and her production wasn’t what it should have been. A 5’9 she’s also got good size. With Sam Kerr likely out while Australia attempts to qualify for the 2015 World Cup, the Flash will need some more offensive weapons.

Round 2

10.  Houston Dash:  Rafaelle Souza, F, Ole Miss

The second round of the draft started with a real surprise with the Dash picking up Rafaelle Souza, a Brazilian. Souza scored 49 goals and 20 assists during her career at Ole Miss, so it’s not a surprise talent wise. Houston added Ohai in the first round and already have Stephanie Ochs, Tiffany McCarty and Ella Masar. Rather than a forward, Houston would have wise to pick a midfielder especially in light of the forward density of this draft.

11. Houston Dash (from Portland):  Marissa Diggs, D, University of Central Florida

Diggs is a standout central defender in a pretty deep class. She was named to a 3rd team All American ’13 and was a 2nd team All American ’12. She also earned defender of the year in for Conference USA in both 2012 and 2013. A fast and powerful player, Diggs is a great addition to the Dash. The Dash definitely needed some defenders especially since Whitney Engen will likely be unavailable for the first part of the season.

12. FC Kansas City:  Morgan Marlborough, F, Santa Clara

Marlborough is a great local pickup for Kansas City and adds depth to a shaky Kansas City striker core. Before transferring to Santa Clara, Marlborough earned to Big 12 offensive player of the year awards at Nebraska. She’s got great size coming in a 6’0. She scored 59 goals in three years at Nebraska, but does lack some discipline.

13. Boston Breakers:  Natasha Anasi, D/M, Duke

Anasi is a bit undersized at 5’6, but she won ACC Defender of the year in 2011 and is a two time All-American. She’s likes getting into the attack and is surprisingly great in the air despite her height. This pick adds depth to the Boston backline which it could use.

14. Western New York Flash:  Cloee Colohan, D/M, BYU

Colohan, a transfer from Portland is capable of playing either on the backline or in the center of the pitch. She was one of the best long distance shooters in the college game. She’s also proficient at placing set pieces. It will be interesting to see if Colohan can break into the Flash’s starting lineup as they seem to have a solid midfield and defensive core.

15. Sky Blue FC:  Hayley Haagsma, D/M, Texas Tech

This is the first real head scratcher of the draft. Haagsma is the a 5’7 defender from Texas Tech. This is a real reach and Sky Blue may end up regretting this one. There are plenty more better rated defenders still on the board and Sky Blue could have picked Haagsma up in the later round.

16.  FC Kansas City:  Jenna Richmond, M/F, UCLA

Richmond was part of one of the best midfields in the college game in 2013. The Bruin caught the attention of many people during UCLA’s run to their first national championship. Richmond as great size and skill. She’ll be a great addition to the best midfield in the NWSL.

17. Seattle Reign FC:  Megan Brigman, D, University of North Carolina

Brigman is a tough defender that capable of covering long areas. She was an important component of the UNC backline as she lead the Tarheels in minutes played as a sophomore and junior. With this pick, Seattle continues to improve the most shaky part of it’s squad. They are definitely drafting to fill needs.

18. Western New York Flash:  Kelsey Wys, GK, Florida State

With Aubrey Bledsoe and Erica Owens not declaring for the draft, Kelsey Wys is clearly the best keeper in the draft. This is a great pickup by the Flash who need a backup for one of last year’s rookie sensations, Adrianna Franch. Wys was the keeper for Florida State who as mentioned previously, made three straight runs to the College Cup Final Four. An ACC first team selection in 2012 and second team selection in 2010 and 2013, Wys has been battled tested against some great offensive talent.

Round 3

19. FC Kansas City: Frances Silva, F, West Virginia

20. FC Kansas City: Mandy Laddish, M, Notre Dame

21. Boston Breakers: Jazmine Reeves, F, Virginia Tech

22. Chicago Red Stars: Hayley Brock, F, Maryland

23. Boston Breakers: Mollie Pathman, D/M/F, Duke

24. Sky Blue FC: Michelle Pao, D/M, Pepperdine

25. Portland Thorns FC: Emily Menges, D, Georgetown

26. Washington Spirit:  Molly Menchel, D, University of Virginia

27. Western New York Flash:  Annie Steinlage, D/M, University of Virginia

Round 4

28. Houston Dash: Jordan Jackson, M/F, Nebraska

29. Washington Spirit: Shasta Fisher, D, Virginia

30. Seattle: Ellen Parker, M, Portland

31. Portland: Elisabeth Sullivan, F, Mississippi State

32. Boston: Jami Kranich, GK, Villanova

33. Sky Blue: Elizabeth Eddy, F, USC

34. Boston: Kim DeCesare, F/D, Duke

35. FC Kansas City: Maegan Kelly, M, Marquette

36. Kristen Hamilton, F, Denver

  • newsouth

    Ohai was fun in the U20s but she’s an undersized striker at 5’4.5″ and not as powerful as A-rod. Cut the nonsense. It was a Brian Cushing on the wagon deal that went down in Houston. I would have taken Press and forced my hand like Portland, Then, I would have unloaded part of my roster to make Brian happy. But I’m going to take a guess with at least 2 MLS teams coming in 2015 that Press is only a half season allocation for 2014 and could end up in LA, NY or Portland next season if Morgan tries to jump ship to LA.

    • Lorehead

      There sure are a lot of ifs in that paragraph.

      • guest

        To be fair, that is newsouth’s specialty.

      • Pressured

        Lemme back up Newsouth. Newsouth may not be right about who did what and when, but there are clearly backdoor deals going down.
        My main desire is that the league is competitive, compelling, exciting, and grows a fanbase until the bandwagoners jump on for 2015. The fanbase needs to grow until the league can sustain decent salaries. At least the deals result with some players closer to home (or where they want to be) and the talent spread out.

        • guest

          NWSL is pretty competitive relative to the other leagues out there.

    • wosofan

      Ohai is better than A-Rod right now. Ohai has a high workrate, defensive abilities, can cross with her left or right foot, and has a strong shot from distance. Neither has a great soccer brain, but one player is just 22 years old.

    • kernel_thai

      The difference was leverage. If Portland didnt join there was no NWSL…that is huge leverage. The league was already prepared to go with the original eight teams before Houston came along. Houston had much less bite.

    • Evevic

      Size certainly hasn’t affected Marta, Messi or Neymar. She about the size size as Mia Hamm and I don’t think size will affect her. I also see her the U20s and she was impressive especially against Germany. I think she’s a better version on Heather O’reilley.

      • guest

        Size won’t affect Dunn, but she doesn’t have the technical skills Marta, Messi, or Neymar have. Not even close.

  • newsouth

    If Dunn slices up DMers in the NWSL and scores, will TS toy with her in a central attack for the NT? She’s Rampone with a scoring touch. I like to see BIG THINGS from this small lady.

    • xanthophobe

      She’ll stay as a defender for the NT. Our midfield is too crowded as it is, and while we have a plethora of defenders too, outside back is such a question mark and she’s definitely one of the better options, along with Krieger, Kling, and some others.

      • newsouth

        i know she’s a right or left back for the next 12 years but she is quite devastating when she gets up into the attack. play with her against teams that don’t match up with her speed on occasion, i’m not talking moving her to mid-field full-time. i predict in 10 yeas she maybe a FIFA PoY.

    • Greg

      Interesting thought. Rampone was a forward in college- not sure when she was transitioned to the backline, but by the 1999 WC she was listed as a defender. I think Dunn is an excellent player, and I’m excited to see her anywhere on the field for the national team.

  • dt

    How much do draft picks make compared to discovery players? I think Portland is clearing salary space for another international player that Riley wants.

    • Lorehead

      That’s negotiated between the teams and each player.

      Portland does seem to be trading all its draft picks away. Maybe they think it’s easy for them to sign discovery players?

      • rufan

        Is not this Riley’s MO? Focus on experienced players versus rookies?

        • Lorehead

          Although they then did the opposite in the fourth round, trading a player for a pick. Newsouth probably thinks she’s Alex Morgan.

          • KT5000

            I’m devastated by this. Weimer had a lot to offer; she could come into a game and connect right away, which is something the whole midfield couldn’t do for most of a season. It seems like such an odd move. Either she doesn’t jive with Riley’s plan, or he’s shipping people he thinks are making too much. (Pro Tip: don’t give away your “free” allocated players!!!!)

          • Silver Frost

            Riley and Thorns basically gave away a championship playoff game starter (Weimer) for a 31st overall draft pick who will most likely never play. Weird. I can’t wait to see her score against her old team in Portland.

          • MT

            Always have to keep the salary cap issues in mind with the Thorns’ moves. Also, they seem pretty rich in forwards at the moment.

          • Elaine

            Last count for the Thorns…5 forwards (Acevedo, Morgan, Sinc, McDonald, Sullivan), along with 2 GK, 8 defenders, and 6 midfielders. Do we know what is the roster size for this season? If 20 again, someone will be left off. Plus there’s this ongoing rumor of Riley bringing in another international. Where’s the space?

          • Lorehead

            It’s not a rumor; he told a reporter that he would like to. I don’t know if being able to get Shim back changed his plans or not.

          • Steglitz49

            Who cares? This is the team with the biggest crowds. They can do what they prefer.

          • Lorehead

            “The full roster shall be no less than 18 and no more than 20 total Players.” If that rule stays in place. That said, the Spirit have a reserve team.

          • KT5000

            Gah, I know!!! I’m taking deep breaths.

          • Empress

            Devastating to go from first to worst. How do you scrape yourself off the floor after this? At least Shim didn’t go to Houston afterall.

          • KT5000

            Are you being sarcastic?

            Weimer was one of my favorite players, and to see her leave for much less than I believe she’s worth (and it appears I’m not alone in that assessment) is difficult. Should I not express that because the Thorns won the championship?

          • LCLondoner

            I think Empress was referring to Weimer’s possible feelings, not yours. Ocho is one of my favorites, too, so I’m pretty pissed off about the trade. Even if I get the salary-cap issue, I don’t get why we take another forward when we have Sinclair, Morgan, Acevedo, and McDonald already. Why not take Maegan Kelly – though she might not have wanted to come – or Coral, who might have been a steal.

          • Empress

            Not sarcastic at all. How could you infer that? Shim was traded, and one week later she is back in Portland. Weimer must feel pretty down right now.

          • KT5000

            I apologize for incorrectly inferring.

            (I don’t think it’s impossible to see how it reads that way, though. When using “you” when replying to me, I thought you were addressing me. In the past there’s been a tendency for very strong reactions in Thorns-related discussions, too, so I thought you might have been poking fun at a Thorns fan for being upset when something didn’t go their way. But I couldn’t tell, which is why I asked.)

            And I guess you could say Shim was “exposed”, not traded. Well, they were both exposed in a scenario where *someone* was going to go. The Dash should’ve just taken Weimer!

          • Dorv

            Or you could trade a second round draft pick for someone and cut them three months later.

            #becausethatswhatwedid

          • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

            Based on being traded for a throw-away pick, Riley was going to cut her from the roster.

          • KT5000

            Yep. Just a shame. I hope she stays in the league, at least.

    • Lorehead

      Ah. We were wondering whether the Thorns would take a backup goalkeeper from the draft, and they sort-of did.

  • xanthophobe

    I think Kelsey Wys is great, but I do find myself wishing Aubrey Beldsoe and Erica Owens had declared for the draft.

  • wosofan

    I understand, from what I’ve read elsewhere, that Bledsoe is looking overseas, so that’s why she wasn’t in this draft. However, I wonder if Erica Owens realizes that she could’ve been drafted, had she entered? She just missed a chance to play this year. Kranich is not nearly as talented.

    Anyway, except for Kallman, who will fill Sesselman’s shoes easily, I’m disappointed with FCKC’s picks (Richmond and Marlborough). Richmond will not keep up at the NWSL pace of play (and does not have the technical ability of a player like Steinlage), and Marlborough is not a sound finisher, and her work rate has never impressed me. I think Silva may find some playing time though.

    • xanthophobe

      I wish Owens had declared. I think she’s fantastic–with Wys and Bledsoe, I think she was one of the best goalkeepers in the country. Her campaign in her junior year was also remarkable. That being said, while I would have picked her over Kranich, I think the latter’s experience on the U-20 helped. It’s a bummer to see some great players not declare.

    • Ron Bishop

      Nikki Krzysik will move into CD where Sesselman played. Krzysik was a NSCAA All-American with Sauerbrunn at Virginia.

      Perhaps FCKC will get the defense without the cautions and ejections.

  • Silver Frost

    Dash look to have picked wisely. They already have a good team, with more deals to come.

    • Lorehead

      And Mana Shim is back in Portland. That’s made a lot of people happy. I guess they’re hoping Nikki Washington has a big upside and didn’t fully recover from her knee injury last season, but they’re going to depend a lot on these picks for offense now.

      • Guest

        Giving up Shim was a mistake, but the owners are friends so they got a discount that wouldn’t likely have happened otherwise. Morgan complaining on twitter about it probably helped too. If this was the plan all along then her tweet didn’t make any sense.

        Dash are going to have to hope their draft pick and Washington they got from that work out and one of the two is a known dud already. Washington was either lazy or unable last year and that is before she was injured. Her injury was a blessing in that CPC could no longer play her ahead of much better players. Dash are accumulating question marks, underachievers, and late arrivals. It is going to be brutal the first half of the season for them at this rate and last year we learned how hard it is to dig out of an early hole.

        • Lorehead

          I thought at the time that giving up Shim was a gamble to protect Buehler for salary-cap reasons. Alex Morgan does not seem to be in the loop when it comes to player decisions. She tweeted about it during the draft, too.

          • guest

            LOL. Morgan does not get to decide who gets to play for Portland. She does not have that kind of power, despite what some here want to imply.

          • Steglitz49

            I doubt if Alex cares, unless you are referring to some other Morgan, and Morgan Pressel plays golf so that counts her out.

          • newsouth

            player tend to have some leverage with who the coach is in pretty much sport, but you know when it comes stadium, money matters, and business the owner don’t give a care if you are all world. i’m thinking his peak jordan probably had leverage. we’ve gone over this. morgan had an excellent 14-18 months and her base is turning that into a career. she should look this good with portland the way riley is loading the team.

          • Davis

            Shim was definitely sacrificed to protect Buehler in the expansion draft, which was a reasonable decision. I doubt very much that Paulson and Riley check with Alex Morgan before making a roster move. We got Shim back at an acceptable price, so it all worked out in the end.

          • Sydonia

            I hope Mana doesn’t hold too much of a grudge against Riley and Paulson. Players who are let go and then come back sometimes end up as bench warmers. Case in point: Ella Masar for Magicjack.

          • ruby4

            yeah accept paulson isn’t a certified psycho like whats his name was.

          • Steglitz49

            As far as I remember there were a number of issues at MagicJack.

          • Mirror

            Entirely different situation.

          • romel dias

            yes entirely!!

          • Steglitz49

            Do you live in the past? Is the past yourself?

          • romel dias

            oops!!

        • Lance Scallop

          Especially when Morgan is going to be in Houston next year anyway.

          /sarcasm

        • Guest2

          What does Morgan saying anything about Mana leaving have to do with anything? Geez she has a right to voice an opinion move along nothing to see here.

  • FCKCEvans

    Still worried about KC’s defense. Kallman is great we now have 3 really good center-backs without a left-back….And I don’t really get drafting Marlborough if the Hagen thing materializes. She is not better than Henderson.

    • Guest

      Trade a couple away for KO.

    • Pressured

      Robinson can play left. One of the CBs could move up next to Buczkowski.

      • KCJG

        Agree completely. I think FCKC did well with their picks. I suspect Kallman or Krzysik will move up and this team will be just fine.

        • FCKCEvans

          Outside backs are my worry. Between Brunn, Kallman, Krzysik, Buz, Laddish,Richmond we will be fine.

      • xanthophobe

        Richmond can probably take over Scott’s position. Obviously Scott was one of the best holding mids in the league (in my opinion, the absolute best), Richmond was one of the best contenders to fill that kind of hole.

        I would have loved to have seen Johnston on the board by the time FCKC picked (I thought Chicago would go with Kallman,but Johnston is no surprise either)

        Definitely interesting choices by the Blues, but I think it will turn out nicely for them.

  • Reality

    Chicago did well in getting Johnston and DiBernardo with an added bonus of Brock which will help to tide them over until Press arrives. This new roster will give Chicago more options in their attack which will be well suited to Press’s abilities. And LeBlanc in goal will provide solid defense. Dames said that he got exactly the players he was looking for…I’m curious to see how he will configure them throughout the season.

    • guest

      Chicago all of a sudden looks to be pretty decent.

      • Theodora

        DC, Seattle, CHI, on the upswing. Boston and Sky Blue going down. But I don’t foresee any big dents in parity.

        • Ben

          How in this world is DC on the up swing?

          • Theodora

            Some player called Dunn.

          • Ben

            One player does not a team make.

          • Theodora

            OK, take Wambach from WNY, Morgan from Thorns, or Holiday from KC. Now what?

          • Ben

            Those teams also have some good core players. I’m not doubting the impact of one player on a team but not a team like Washington that needed several upgrades in multiple places on their team. Adding Dunn won’t magically fix all their problems and propel them to the top half of the league

          • D23

            I agree that they are on the upswing. A huge issue for the Spirit last year was the lack of players with experience and a number of injuries. Couple that with (at the start at least) a poor coach, who seemed to provide little structure and guidance and you got the Spirit mess. Their forward line this season is certainly more experienced and (I think) better. Their midfield with the addition of Nairn and Averbuch is much stronger and again more experienced. And as for the backline, it just needs to stay healthier than last year when it got hammered by injury (McCarty played in the back line it was so hard hit). And now add Dunn. They may not make the top half of the league but there were many close games for the Spirit last year when their roster was less strong, and much less experienced than it now is. I think they can have a considerably better season.

          • Ben

            Well let’s put it this way, there was no where for Washington to go but up.

          • Lorehead

            Morgan was injured during the championship run last year. Heath and LeBlanc both made more of a difference, I think, since their backups were not nearly as good.

          • kernel_thai

            I agree and Im a huge Dunn fan…this is exactly what happened last year when Krieger was their best player. Nothing against Krieger or Dunn but u can only effect the game so much from where they play. Washington needs a personality scorer to pair with Taylor (assuming Taylor holds up her end) They also needed to build a defensive wall in front of Harris and Im not sure theyve done that either.

          • Ben

            Same here. Of all the players drafted she is the only one I’m familiar with. It was a gimme that once Washington drafted her that she would make their team better. Will they be better compared to last year, sure, will they be better than other teams in the league, it doubt it. I still rank them 8th or 9th behind Houston.

      • Reality

        Despite the lousy field, both in surface and location, this should boost the attendance and make the Chicago fans happy and excited about the new season.

    • NYRick

      Chicago on the surface looks to be the most improved team with their offseason additions. Press, LeBlanc, Tancredi added. LeP back after missing all of last year, who knows about Boxx, but what a bonus that would be. Throw in the most underrated player in the NWSL in Chulpny too. And now this draft where they essentially got 2 of the top 4 seniors in the country to help in the midfield. It will be interesting to see how this all meshes, but at least the coach has something to work with this year.

      • LCLondoner

        Agreed. At least 5 teams – Seattle, Chicago, KC, WNY, and Portland, – look very competitive to me so far this year. I’d put Houston, Boston, Sky Blue, and D.C. a little behind right now, but with discovery and more trading to come.

      • Reality

        They have a variety of configurations to explore first without Press and then with her. Initially, They could deploy Chalupny, Johnston, and DiBernardo at mid and platoon the 4th slot with Osborne, Bywayters and Mautz. Tancredi would be at forward patrolling the box with fleet-footed Brock ready for some breakaways behind the defense and Hoy and Leon filling in. Once Press arrives, they could drop back either Tancredi or Bock to Mid depending on how they wish to configure the attack. An exciting time for Chicago…they should do well.

      • jasperjenkins

        The big challenge for Chicago this year is the same thing Seattle faced last year — hold on and get at least modest results until the cavalry arrives in summer. Both Press and Tanc are arriving in mid-season (and Tanc with who knows how much rust!). Add in a lot of other new personnel and there will be growing pains, especially as the new GK and defense get to know each other. They’ll be scary to face in late July and August, but they might not accumulate enough points from April through June to make the playoffs. That said, with this roster they should be major contenders in 2015 unless further expansion throws a wrench in current rosters.

      • Calci0

        “Most” Improved? I think Seattle may have a spot at that table. They added Leroux, Little, Beverly Goebel, Foxhoven, they still have the rights to Garciamendez, and just drafted Frisbie. And will add Rapinoe about the same time Chicago adds Press.

    • NYRick

      Still wouldn’t mind them somehow doing a backroom deal for KO without giving up much.

      • Silver Frost

        A healthy KO in CHI would just be unfair :).

        • NYRick

          KO is kind of made for the gritty roster that Chicago is assembling. Also think her comeback year would be aided by reuniting with her old college running partner. Even still playing left back (where she belongs), KO can really add to the attack and go forward. With the addition of JJ and an attack oriented DiBernardo in the midfield that would be pretty interesting. Chicago is rapidly becoming my favorite new team. Go get KO and all of the sudden they have a real good shot at winning the NWSL if they could hold on till everyone is in place by mid summer. They may have enough talent to do that.

          • Reality

            Last year it was all grit but now it’s more of a combination of grit and finesse which makes Chicago not only more interesting as a team but also more capable of taking it to the best teams in the league. The first half of the season will indeed be rocky as all the pieces are not in place and a lot will depend upon spirit and improvisation. Dames impresses me as a thoughtful and inspiring coach. Once the schedules are published, a better picture will emerge of how he might play the first half of the season.

      • Reality

        Given the rumor that O’Hara is unhappy at Sky Blue, the question becomes, what can Chicago offer the quirky management that would sufficiently appeal to them.

        • NYRick

          Maybe a six-pack of Red Bull will close the deal with that crew.

          • Reality

            Lol…They were offered a lifetime supply before and they weren’t interested.

          • romel dias

            hahahaa ROFL @Reality

        • SBFan

          KO for Press straight up!!

          • Reality

            Only if Red Bull buys Sky Blue.

    • Steglitz49

      To the play-offs — and the final preferably, there to face DC!

      • Reality

        Upon the heath?

  • john

    Really looking forward to the season. Every team has to shuffle the deck to see how the new roster fits together. Who’s draft picks will pan out?. Will returning vets like LeP, A Rod and Cox prosper? What impact will the “back in the USA” contingent have? Which players blossom in NWSL re the NT? Come on April!

  • xman22702

    Very disappointed in SBFC’s draft picks. They should have played to their strengths and weaknesses to try to build a better roster.

  • dreamer

    Spirit can redeem themselves with Adams for KO. I’ll even renew my tickets.

    • SBFan

      If Sky Blue traded KO for Adams I give up my season tickets immediately!! We can do so much better.

  • Ashley

    Anybody know why Bledsoe and Owens did not declare for the draft? Or why Colpitts wasn’t picked at all? Kinda weird I haven’t heard anything about the statuses of these goalkeepers, particularly since I know a few teams were at one point looking for a backup….