In the course of a new club’s birth, there are all kinds of milestones along the way. The initial announcement. The first coach hired. The first player signed.
And on Saturday, it was the first player selected in the NWSL Draft.
That honor went to midfielder Hope Breslin, who had to wait a good long while to hear her name called, but she is Angel City FC’s first-ever NWSL Draft selection, taken No. 28 overall in the 2022 edition.
With our first pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft @weareangelcity selects Hope Breslin from the University of Illinois #volemos— Angel City FC (@weareangelcity) December 18, 2021
Congrats, Hope! pic.twitter.com/cA64Q2a3O3
“I’m super excited,” Breslin told reporters after her selection. “And I’m just so grateful to be that first player selected for Angel City. You know, you hear how it’s just a historic club already. And there are so many big names and I’m just really excited to get there and learn from these big players and kind of see what I can bring to the table, but I’m really just excited to be in that environment overall.”
Breslin was a five-year player at the University of Illinois. The New York native scored a career-high seven goals in the 2021 season, in a college career in which she racked up 76 total appearances.
The road to scouting players is a long one, with Breslin appearing to first come on the radar of the Angel City staff when she played on Gotham FC’s reserve team earlier this year.
“I had a great time playing with Gotham Reserves over the summer, alongside Becky Tweed and Dan Ball, who’s now at LA. I think we played a really nice game of soccer there. I learned so much and I think we really tried to play I think kind of similar to the Gotham team when they were under Freya [Coombe]. So I think I really learned a lot there about their style of play, and just the way that the pro teams are gonna play.”
It’s hard to gauge Breslin’s prospects on Angel City for 2022 at the moment — late-round draft picks can certainly make rosters but aren’t automatic signings over the league’s history, but Angel City are a brand-new team and will need depth and affordable players on the squad. It seems like Breslin has a good shot to be on the roster when the games start in 2022.
For her part, the first-ever NWSL Draft pick is ready to get to work and share her skills on the pro level.
“I would think that I’m kind of a versatile player,” Breslin explained. “You know, I really like to take people on one-v-one. I think I’m a good technical player. I have good vision. But like I said earlier, there are so many big names on this team and so many people that I’m going to learn from so I’m just really excited to be in that environment.”
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