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2016 NWSL First Round Mock Draft

Article Written by Travis Clark
Published: January 14, 2016

FIRST ROUND

ORDER TEAM NAME COLLEGE POS
1    Emily Sonnett  Virginia D
Portland Thorns owner Merritt Paulson has all but indicated that the Thorns will select the recent U.S. Women's National Team defender with the first pick overall. And it makes sense. Arguably the top player on the draft board, she's one of a few players in the draft pool capable of making an impact this season.
2 Makenzy Doniak Virginia  F
It would make a lot of sense for Portland to shop this pick, as there are a number of intriguing options that could come off the board here, from Doniak to Raquel Rodriguez. If Portland does hang on to it, picking Doniak wouldn't be a huge shock, given her potential and ability to wreak havoc up front. With the Olympics looming, she could be brought along slowly at the start of the season, ready to make an impact later this year. Regardless, whatever happens here -- depending on a trade and who gets picked -- will dictate the direction of the rest of the draft.
3 Cari Roccaro  Notre Dame  D/M
While there is a scarcity of players ready to contribute right away, Sky Blue are in pole position to grab someone like Roccaro who could do a job in 2016. A versatile player who eventually settled into a center back role with the Irish, Roccaro gives her new team someone capable of playing early on in the season as they seek improved fortunes this season.
4 Carson Pickett Florida State D
Versatility always provides an advantage for a player's selection, and Pickett can play as both a left back and left mid. Megan Rapinoe's ACL injury could crack open the door for the Reign to grab Pickett pretty high in the draft, as she's a tremendous wide player who made more than 100 appearances for Florida State. And with no glaring needs, picking a domestic player to ease into the next level makes a lot of sense.
5 Raquel Rodriguez  Penn State M
A lock Top 5 talent, there's evey reason to believe that Rodriguez will be off the board prior to the Dash's draft pick. But with needs all over the field and a Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian going to miss part of the season during the Olympics, the Penn State star available here would be snapped off the board. It seems unlikely, but this draft is going to be even more unpredictable than ever.
6 Janine Beckie  Texas Tech  F
Needing reinforcements anywhere, the Dash can go with the best player avaialble. That could lead them to opting for someone along the back line, though Beckie would be a nice addition if she ends up not being included in the Canadian allocation for the upcoming season.
7  Katie Bowen North Carolina M/D
There are suggestions that Katie Bowen may not end up playing in NWSL and heading overseas. While that is yet to be confirmed, if she ends up plying her trade on U.S. shores and is available here at No. 7, the Spirit could snap her up to add depth to both defense and midfield.
8 Christen Westphal Florida D
After acquiring a third pick in the first round on Wednesday, a lot of what Houston does here comes down to who is on the board. Westphal, a versatile defensive player who could end up in the midfield or as an outside back, would offer versatility in a number of spots.
9 Brianne Reed Rutgers  D
Western New York's decision to use Abby Dahlkemper as a midfielder (where she's listed on the club's site) could dictate their move here. If they decide to add Reed when she's on the board, it boosts their defensive depth and allows them to keep Dahlkempber in midfield while grooming Reed for the middle.
10  http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/media/article/?mediaId=23845 Cali Farquharson Arizona State  F
If both Farquharson and Cheyna Williams are on the board at this spot, it wouldn't be a huge shock to see the latter get picked by the Pride. However, Farquharson could sneak into this spot, as she'd make an interesting foil to Alex Morgan up front, not to mention provide depth during the team's Olympic absences.
 
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