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Alyssa Thompson: Get to know No. 1 pick in NWSL draft

Alyssa Thompson celebrates after scoring for the U.S. against Ghana during a Women's U-20 World Cup match on Aug. 11 in Alajuela, Costa Rica. (Ezequiel Becerra/AFP via Getty Images)

When Alyssa Thompson registered for the NWSL draft, she put a bow on Angel City FC’s blockbuster trade for the No. 1 overall pick

That trade was made with the 18-year-old Stanford commit in mind. Rather than play for the Cardinal, Thompson will forgo her NCAA eligibility and make the leap to the professional level.

Paris Saint-Germain also held some interest in Thompson, as teenage star and her younger sister Gisele had trained with the club in 2021. But Angel City looks set to pick up the California native.

The elder Thompson had a year to remember with the USWNT program, which included her first senior national team call-up and cap. She also joined the U-20 squad at the U-20 World Cup as the only high school player on the roster, and she scored a goal in the tournament opener.

Her performance with the youth national team proved good enough to get her a spot on the USWNT roster in October for the team’s friendlies against England and Spain. She made her debut at just 17 years old in front of a near-sellout crowd at London’s Wembley Stadium.

She was called up once again for a pair of November friendlies against Germany.

“Alyssa is here to stay,” USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski said ahead of the November camp. The team had “literally no expectations” for Thompson, Andonovski said, other than furthering her development.

“I think her having the chance to play in front of 76,000 people is incredible,” he continued. “That is a step forward she made in her career. Actually, I would say several steps forward.”

In the NWSL, Thompson could make even greater strides.