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2023 NWSL draft: Draft order and more you need to know

Angel City FC are expected to take Alyssa Thompson with the No. 1 pick in Thursday's draft. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The 2023 NWSL Draft will take place on Thursday starting 6 p.m. ET. The event will be held during the United Soccer Coaches Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Fans can watch the draft on CBS Sports Network from 6-7 p.m., then on Paramount+ and CBS Sports HQ from 7-11 p.m. ET.

The draft consists of four rounds with a total of 48 picks. Angel City FC has the first selection after acquiring it in a four-team trade last week. The Los Angeles club reportedly plans to select 18-year-old forward Alyssa Thompson with the No. 1 pick. Gotham FC and the Orlando Pride follow with the second and third picks. The Courage have a league-high three first-round picks.

The Thorns, who won their third NWSL Championship this season, own the last pick in each of the four rounds and also have the fifth pick as a result of last week’s trade. You can find the full four-round draft order here.

Last season, the San Diego Wave had the No. 1 pick and selected Naomi Girma out of Stanford. Girma won the Defender of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards in her first NWSL season.

Sophia Smith, the 2022 league MVP and Championship MVP, was the No. 1 pick in 2020 by the Portland Thorns, also out of Stanford.

Stanford has produced the No. 1 pick in four of the last five years, with Andi Sullivan entering the league first in 2018 and Tierna Davidson in 2019. Emily Fox was the top pick in 2021 out of North Carolina.

NWSL draft order: First round

  1. Angel City FC (acquired from Gotham via trade)
  2. NJ/NY Gotham FC (acquired from Orlando via trade)
  3. Orlando Pride
  4. NJ/NY Gotham FC (acquired from Louisville via trade)
  5. Portland Thorns FC (acquired from Angel City via trade)
  6. North Carolina Courage
  7. Chicago Red Stars
  8. Houston Dash
  9. North Carolina Courage (acquired from San Diego via trade)
  10. Kansas City Current (acquired from Gotham via trade)
  11. North Carolina Courage (acquired from Kansas City via trade)
  12. Portland Thorns FC

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