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Angel City FC acquire No. 1 pick in 2023 NWSL Draft

ACFC get their pick in next week’s draft.

Nikita Taparia

No other league knows chaos the way NWSL knows chaos. That was on full display on Thursday when a massive four-team trade, with conditions still pending, sent shockwaves throughout the league as the 2023 NWSL Draft has just been flipped on its head. In the end, Angel City FC have secured the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft.

So, this is going to get a bit wild, but stick with us here: Angel City made a couple moves to secure the top spot in the draft, first was the trade made with Portland Thorns, the defending NWSL Champs, before flipping the proceeds of that deal to Gotham FC, who actually held the top spot in the draft.

  • Angel City sent their No. 5 pick overall in 2023, their second-round natural selection in 2024, as well as $200,000 in Allocation Money in exchange for midfielder Yazmeen Ryan.
  • The team then traded Ryan as well as an additional $250,000 in Allocation Money to Gotham FC in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft.

“We were extremely proud of the product we put on the field in our inaugural season, but we have our sights set on making the playoffs and winning championships,” said ACFC General Manager Angela Hucles Mangano in a team statement. “We know that in order to achieve these goals, we have to set ourselves up for on-field success for many years to come, which is why we wanted to be able to control our destiny with the No. 1 overall draft pick of the 2023 Draft. We are focused on making as big of an impact on the field as possible, and we look forward to being able to do so in our second season.”

Despite earlier reports claiming the trade to Gotham was contingent on Alyssa Thompson declaring for the draft this year, a source close to the situation confirmed to Angels on Parade on Thursday that the deal is not contingent on any specific player declaring for the draft, and that come January 12th, Angel City will have the number one selection in the 2023 NWSL Draft. Should 18-year-old Southern California native Thompson indeed declare for this year’s draft, she would most definitely be a favorite to be selected number one overall. The club is also looking at Duke’s Michelle Cooper, the latest NCAA phenom who is a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist as college soccer’s best player. While we don't know who will go No. 1 overall in this year's draft, we now know they will be headed to Los Angeles when that selection is made.

How do you feel about the recent massive trade? Who would you select at No. 1? Leave a comment below!