Angel City FC has acquired the top pick in next week’s NWSL draft in a three-team trade involving the Portland Thorns and NY/NJ Gotham FC, the Los Angeles club announced Thursday.
Angel City FC will reportedly use the No. 1 pick to select 18-year-old electric forward Alyssa Thompson, who has yet to officially declare for next week’s draft. Thompson, a senior at Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles, debuted with the United States women’s national team in September.
To secure the deal, Angel City traded the club’s 2023 first-round pick (No. 5), their 2024 second-round top pick and allocation money to acquire midfielder Yazmeen Ryan from the Thorns, according to an official statement released by Angel City.
After acquiring Ryan, Angel City sent the midfielder and an additional $250,000 in allocation money to Gotham FC for the top pick.
Thompson, the Gatorade national girls soccer player of the year in 2021, verbally committed to play at Stanford next year and has said she is considering all her options.
The deadline to register for the Jan. 12th NWSL draft is 12 a.m. PST Monday, and Thompson is expected to make herself eligible. If selected in the No. 1 spot, Thompson would become the first high school student to ever be selected first in the NWSL.
In June, Thompson and her younger sister Gisele made headlines after becoming the first high-school athletes to sign NIL contracts with Nike.
Thompson made her national team debut in a 2-1 friendly loss to England in September at the age of 17. Subbing in for Megan Rapinoe, Thompson got her first international cap at the 83-minute mark.
Despite not making the U.S. team’s first training camp roster of the year, which was released on Thursday, Thompson remains a hopeful for the 2023 World Cup team.
Angel City will be entering its second season in the league. Although narrowly missing out on the NWSL playoffs, the team played in front of four sellouts and averaged 19,105 fans for its 11 home games at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.
The team could see the return this spring of forward Christen Press, who tore her ACL last season.
“We know that in order to achieve these goals, we have to set ourselves up for on-field success for many years to come, which is why we wanted to be able to control our destiny with the No. 1 overall draft pick of the 2023 Draft,” Angel City general manager Angela Hucles said in a statement. “We are focused on making as big of an impact on the field as possible, and we look forward to being able to do so in our second season.”
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.