2018 NWSL Draft Prospects: Nos. 21-30
The 2018 NWSL Draft takes place on Thursday, January 18. TDS released its Top 40 prospects that have declared for the draft.
21. F Simone Charley, Vanderbilt
Career Stats: 76 games – 25 g – 18 a
Competing as a dual athlete in the SEC, Charley is also a triple jump specialist that could seek to continue competing in that sport. However, given what NWSL teams have prioritized in the past, if Charley’s on the board in the third or fourth rounds, she could end up getting picked, considered she has the kind of pace that teams often look for.
22. M Sandra Yu, Notre Dame
Career Stats: 63 games – 13 g – 7 a
After enduring severe injuries during her first two years at Notre Dame, Yu has finished strong to emerge as an NWSL candidate. A talented, do-everything midfielder that’s currently finishing her graduate degree, Yu’s injury history is likely the only concern she faces heading into the draft. A veteran of the U.S. U23 WNT, she’ll look to jump at whatever opportunity presented to her and make an immediate impact this season.
23. M Ashton Miller, Duke
Career Stats: 91 games – 12 g – 12 a – 6,289 min
Quinn is obviously the big name to focus on when looking at Duke’s midfield, but Miller’s logged more than 90 games during her four year career, and could be an under-the-radar addition. A tough, tenacious and clean player with the ball, Miller has the makeup and pedigree that could translate into an extremely solid option in the NWSL.
24. D Taylor Campbell Isom, BYU
Career Stats: 82 games – 2 g – 1 a – 7,311 min
A quality central defender that dipped a bit in 2017 as BYU battled through a tough campaign, Isom could be slightly overlooked heading into draft season. She’s a solid enough player at the back and good enough with the ball to suggest that a team will take a long look at her services in the second or third round of the draft.
25. GK EJ Proctor, Duke
Career Stats: 84 games – 6,808 min – 201 saves – 36 shutouts
With goalkeeper jobs so scarce in NWSL, it’s hard to know how clubs approach the position in the draft. Proctor is the third best ‘keeper amongst the current draft eligible players. A good shot stopper, she has shown a slight vulnerability on crosses at times through her career, but makes up for that with her consistency at turning away shots on target. The 5-foot-8 GK could end up thriving in the right situation.
26. F Morgan Ferrara, UCF
Career Stats: 78 games – 23 g – 4 a
Highly-recruited out of Florida, Ferrara began her college career at Mississippi State, before transferring to UCF ahead of the 2015 season. She eased her way into UCF, eventually finishing with a bang last fall, scoring 13 goals and chipping in three assists. A big target player with soft feet, she has the requisite frame combined with adequate skill to make the transition to the NWSL. Consistency will be a big key for Ferrara as she makes the jump, as this year was something of an outlier both from a goal output perspective, not to mention that she was shuffled on and off the field, never playing 90 minutes in 2017.
27. D Amandine Pierre-Louis, West Virginia
Career Stats: 92 games – 14 g – 12 a – 6,561 min
A tall, marauding left back, Pierre-Louis came into her own the past two seasons, and has the size, physicality and athleticism that could see her picked on draft day. The lone knock on her is her Canadian citizenship, as that can sometimes produce a variable impact on how teams view a player. Pierre-Louis has the tools to make an impact, it will boil down to application and consistency if she makes it – or if she even decides to try her luck abroad.
28. M/F Veronica Latsko, Virginia
Career Stats: 93 games – 26 g – 14 a – 5,340 min
After coming in off the bench for Virginia during the first two years of her college career, Latsko evolved into one of the team’s main attackers the past two seasons. That’s both an impressive thing when considering the caliber of the program, but a concern when looking at her pro prospects, as the team struggled offensively last fall. Latsko is a good soccer player, though faces an uphill battle since she doesn’t possess elite athleticism or speed, which most teams emphasize when it comes to building a roster in the final third.
29. M Alexa Ben, DePaul
Career Stats: 58 games – 27 g – 22 a
The diminutive playmaker is likely to get overlooked due to her lack of physical presence and athleticism. It’s a shame, of course, as Ben is a fabulous player that wasn’t helped by her team’s down year in 2017. Regardless, she can play between the lines and in the right system and team, could end up with a shot at earning a contract.
30. M Vanessa Gregoire, Princeton
Career Stats: 67 games – 11 g – 27 a – 4590 min
After earning All-Ivy League honors of some kind all four years at Princeton, Gregoire looks to be the next Tiger making the jump to the NWSL. The former Canadian youth international needs to show the same kind of creativity at the next level in order to stick, though if her senior year is any indication, she’s in form and improving at the right time.
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