The 2023 NWSL Draft started at 6 p.m. ET Thursday, but teams did not wait until then to kick off the action.
The 24 hours leading up to the draft brought a flurry of trades, and even more came during the draft itself. Just Women’s Sports keeps track of everything that has happened so far.
First, the Spirit sent $75,000 in allocation money to the Orlando Pride in exchange for the No. 29 and No. 34 picks.
Next, the Spirit swapped third-round picks with Racing Louisville, receiving the No. 28 pick in exchange for the No. 29 pick and $30,000 in allocation money. Then the Spirit sent the No. 44 pick and an additional $30,000 in allocation money to the Houston Dash to jump to the No. 30 pick.
The biggest trade of the bunch came last: Washington received the No. 32 pick in this year’s draft and OL Reign’s natural first-round pick in 2024 in exchange for a player to be named later, rumored to be U.S. women’s national team defender Emily Sonnett.
The clubs swapped third-round picks. The Thorns received the No. 32 pick, while the Dash received the No. 36 pick and $20,000 in allocation money.
The clubs swapped second-round picks. OL Reign received the No. 19 pick, which they used to select Washington defender Shae Holmes. The Red Stars received the No. 23 pick, which they used to grab South Carolina defender Jyllissa Harris, as well as an international slot for 2023 and OL Reign’s third-round pick in 2024.
The Dash snagged the Rookie of the Year runner-up and the No. 30 overall pick from the Courage. Ordóñez scored 11 goals as a rookie in North Carolina, and she’ll look to build on that in her second season.
In exchange, the Courage received the No. 8 pick in the draft, an international slot for 2023, the Dash’s natural first-round pick in 2024 and $100,000 in allocation money.
The USWNT forward is headed to Gotham FC. The club flipped its No. 2 pick for Williams. The Kansas City Current lose the 29-year-old star but gain Duke forward Michelle Cooper, whom they selected second overall.
Gotham FC acquired the No. 4 overall pick from Racing Louisville in exchange for $150,000 in allocation money, the rights to forward Paige Monaghan and one international slot for the 2023 season.
Monaghan, 26, appeared in all 22 of Gotham’s matches in 2022. The No. 10 pick in the 2019 draft, she scored three goals in 2022 and had six across her three seasons for the New York City-area franchise.
With the trade, Gotham FC hold the No. 2 and No. 4 picks in the draft.
Thank you and wishing you the best, @paigeqmonaghan.#GothamFC now holds the No. 2 and No. 4 overall picks at today’s @NWSL draft.— NJ/NY Gotham FC (@GothamFC) January 12, 2023
Thank you and wishing you the best, @paigeqmonaghan.#GothamFC now holds the No. 2 and No. 4 overall picks at today’s @NWSL draft.
Gotham FC dealt the first pick of the second round to the San Diego Wave in exchange for $100,000 in allocation money.
The Wave hold three picks heading into the draft: No. 13, No. 33 and No. 45.
The Seattle-based club picked up the 23-year-old forward and the No. 23 pick in this year’s draft from the Current in exchange for $150,000 in allocation money.
Kansas City selected Bennett with the No. 7 pick in the 2022 draft. She appeared in 24 games last season as the Current made a run to the NWSL championship match, scoring three goals and contributing two assists.
“We’re really excited to have Elyse joining the team,” OL Reign general manager Nick Perera said in a statement. “We believe she’s a player that has a unique skillset and after an impressive rookie season, we look forward to watching her develop even further.”
With the trade, OL Reign hold three picks heading into Thursday night’s draft: No. 23, No. 32 and No. 46.
extremely excited to get to work! let’s go @OLReign 🌧️☔️ https://t.co/azld63uVFx— elyse bennett (@elyse_bennett99) January 12, 2023
extremely excited to get to work! let’s go @OLReign 🌧️☔️ https://t.co/azld63uVFx