Angel City makes Alyssa Thompson the first HS player taken first overall

Alyssa Thompson lives in Los Angeles with Angel City, and all it took was some NWSL Draft history to make it happen.

With the first overall pick of the 2023 NWSL Draft, the Angel City Harvard-Westlake forward became the first high school athlete to hear her name called first in the league’s 10-year history.

Thompson’s selection was widely expected after Angel City acquired the first overall pick from NJ/NY Gotham FC last week in a deal that saw them trade their natural No. 5 pick and a second-round pick in 2024, plus $200,000 in allocation money, to Portland Thorns FC for Yazmeen Ryan, then send Ryan and $250,000 to Gotham.

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That deal essentially made the 18-year-old Thompson the most expensive player in league history, as the previous most expensive cap-money deal was the San Diego Wave’s acquisition of USWNT star Alex Morgan for $275,000, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Also, Thompson’s agents told the Times’ Luca Evans that she has signed a three-year deal with Angel City, they say is the largest for any NWSL player under the age of 25.

Angel City certainly expects the price to be worth it. Thompson, who previously committed to play at Stanford, won the prestigious Gatorade High School Player of the Year award in 2021 after scoring 48 goals in 18 games. No, that statistic is not a typo.

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Thompson is also one of the top high school sprinters in the state of California and made her USWNT senior team debut last year.

PLAYA VISTA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 12: Angel City Football Club President Julie Uhrman and first draft pick Alyssa Thompson pose with a jersey during the Angel City Football Club 2023 NWSL Draft Party at Nike LA on January 12, 2023 in Playa Vista, California.  (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Alyssa Thompson looks like a future star for Angel City and the USWNT. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Thompson won’t be completely unique as a top player entering the NSWL without college experience, as Washington Spirit star Trinity Rodman joined her team in 2021 after not playing a game in her college career at Washington State. That move has more than worked for the Spirit.

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2023 NWSL first-round draft pick

  1. Angel City FC: Alyssa Thompson, F, Harvard-Westlake High School

  2. Kansas City Current Affairs: Michelle Cooper, F, Duke

  3. Orlando Pride: Emily Madril, D, Florida State

  4. NJ/NY Gotham FC: Jenna Nighswonger, M, Florida State

  5. Portland Thorns FC: Reyna Reyes, D, Alabama

  6. North Carolina Courage: Olivia Wingate, F, Notre Dame

  7. Chicago Red Stars: Penelope Hocking, F, Penn State

  8. North Carolina Courage: Sydney Collins, D, University of California

  9. North Carolina Courage: Clara Robbins, M, Florida State

  10. Kansas City Current Affairs: Alexa Spaanstra, F, Virginia

  11. North Carolina Courage: Haley Hopkins, F, Virginia

  12. Portland Thorns FC: Izzy D’Aquila, F, Santa Clara


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