A crazy first round of the NWSL Draft left some dramatically altered rosters in its wake Thursday morning in Baltimore.
Sophia Smith was taken first overall by the Portland Thorns, while every first round pick ultimately changed hands from its natural home based on record.
Smith, a Stanford product already in the national team orbit, clearly had nothing left to prove at the collegiate level, and will figure prominently in Portland’s 2020 plans.
“”It’s been a crazy few weeks for me, but I am so honored and humbled to be standing here,” Smith said from the podium.
The breakout star of the most recent NCAA tournament, Morgan Weaver of Washington State, will be joining Smith in Portland with the second pick.
How did that happen? Here, take the journey.
That allowed Weaver to know her true destination by the time she stepped to the podium.
“I’m also very excited to be playing with Sophia, so this is going to be awesome,” Weaver said.
Sky Blue wasn’t done. As Chicago flipped the third pick to Orlando, who picked Taylor Kornieck, more deals came down.
Confused? So were the players. The Spirit added Ashley Sanchez from UCLA with the fourth pick, who may start immediately. Sky Blue FC, then picking fifth, selected the first international player, Evelyn Viens, a Canadian.
“At some point, I just had to put my phone down and enjoy the moment,” Viens said to reporters soon after the pick.
She’ll be joined in Harrison, NJ by a pretty, pretty big name.
Rounding out the first round: Alleandra Watt went to the North Carolina Courage sixth, Courtney Peterson went to Orlando seventh, Tziarra King was picked by Utah eighth, and Kelcie Hedge went to Seattle ninth.
More to come, complete draft list can be found here.