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Alyssa Thompson: Injured Christen Press’ ‘dedication is really inspiring’

Alyssa Thompson will be relied upon early as Angel City awaits the returns of other forwards from injury. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Angel City FC rookie Alyssa Thompson has wasted no time getting acclimated to the professional ranks, scoring her first pro goal in her debut. 

And if you ask Thompson, her preparation is going well ahead of her first NWSL season.

During Angel City’s media day, she told Just Women’s Sports that her transition is going “way better than I thought it would be.”

“I was very nervous in the beginning just to come into a pro environment, just meeting new people and stuff like that,” she said. “But the team is so amazing and they’ve made me feel so comfortable with them, and I think that shows kind of in the game. And I already feel like I have a bond with some of the people so that’s really good.”

On draft night, the No. 1 overall pick said she was most excited to learn from Angel City and U.S. women’s national team star Christen Press. And while Press has been busy this offseason rehabbing her ACL tear, Thompson has learned from watching the veteran forward that “recovery is crucial.” 

“I feel like she hasn’t really been in training, but I just see her getting her rehab in and always working hard to get back on the field. That dedication is really inspiring,” Thompson said.

A member of the U.S. women’s youth and senior national teams, Thompson is still finishing up high school. Those moving parts can be a lot to balance, particularly at such a young age. But she says that the best advice she has received from her teammates is to enjoy the moment.

“Take everything in, kind of as it comes,” Thompson said when asked what advice has been given to her. “They always say just how young I am, so just like every day is new and I’m going to continue to grow and learn.”