There’s one week to go until the 2021 NWSL Draft. That much is certain.
Beyond that, very little is clear. Players need to register for the draft by January 11, and no list has been released from the league regarding who has officially entered. Along with that, players drafted on January 13 have a limited window to either return to school and play a potential spring season or enter preseason training camp.
With the NWSL Challenge Cup scheduled for the start of 2021, a regular season isn’t yet slated to begin until May. So there could be players that enter the draft, defer their pro career until later in the year and still go pro in the summer.
Another X-Factor in all of this could be the potential for non-seniors to declare for the draft. Rising stars for the U.S. youth national teams could be seen as impact players. Of course, the financial windfall of turning pro early isn’t the same as it is in other sports for underclassmen; this exercise is more about speculating who could be an impact player in NWSL should they leave.
Here are some names to keep in mind as the draft approaches.