Fox, Rodman Selected With The Top Picks In The NWSL Draft

Ruben Hill
January 14, 2021

"I just can't believe that this is happening", Ryan said through a wide smile while packed with family members on a Zoom call during the draft broadcast.

With the second pick, the Washington Spirit selected 18-year-old forward Trinity Rodman, daughter of former NBA player Dennis Rodman and a standout on the USA youth national teams. She never appeared in a match with the Cougars because the NCAA women's soccer season was pushed from last fall to this spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"[Being a professional] has been my dream forever so this is unreal to me", Rodman said after she was selected.

"With my dad I'm just so thankful, obviously he was an awesome athlete and I got those genes from him but I'm excited to be known as Trinity Rodman and not just Dennis Rodman's daughter, so I'm excited to pave my own path and get better throughout this journey".

Rather than wait for the spring, the USA youth global attacker made a decision to get a head start on her pro career and declare for the draft before playing a single minute in college.

Expansion franchise Racing Louisville took defender/midfielder Emily Fox of the University of North Carolina went with the first overall pick.

Sky Blue FC took North Carolina midfielder Brianna Pinto third before trading the fourth pick to Kansas City for $175,000 United States in allocation money. Kansas City, formerly the Utah Royals, then selected Stanford defender-midfielder Kiara (Kiki) Pickett. Kansas City sent $175,000 in allocation money to Sky Blue in exchange for the pick.

Her ability to play up top or in the midfield should give coach Mark Parsons more personnel options when his team is shorthanded during the Olympics.

Canadian global forward Deanne Rose was taken by the North Carolina Courage with the final pick of the first round, 10th overall.

Thanks to a waiver obtained by the NWSL from the NCAA, players drafted have until January 22, 2021 to decide whether to report immediately to their NWSL club or at the conclusion of the spring NCAA season.

The league also expanded the eligible pool for the draft, waiving the requirement for "senior" collegiate athletes to register for the draft and automatically making all players who exhausted three years of intercollegiate soccer eligibility prior to the 2020-2021 academic year eligible. The players have until January 22 to decide.

The four-round draft, held virtually because of COVID-19, was conducted live on Twitch.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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