Kansas City NWSL entered the 2021 NWSL Draft with a purpose: move up the board. With three picks in the second round (15, 16, and 17) and two in the 4th round (36 and 38), KC NWSL made a bold move to trade with Sky Blue FC, who held the 4th overall pick. The trade involved $175,000 in allocation money to Sky Blue FC for Kansas City to select Stanford defender Kiki Pickett.
Per Jeff Kassouf of The Equalizer, “Kansas City inherited the $245K from Utah and has access to up to $400K for 2021. They obviously felt the one-time $175K price was worth Pickett’s future.”
Pickett is a two-time NCAA National Champion (2017, 2019) and three-time Pac-12 Champion (2017-2019). She started every game in her 2019 season and scored the game-winning penalty-kick against North Carolina in the 2019 College Cup.
The right back was ranked highly on KC’s draft board, according to head coach Huw Williams. “She is a great fit for our system, she’s explosive and can attack from the back,” he said.
Pickett will play her final season with Stanford this spring, so Kansas City will have to wait on her availability. As part of this year’s rules to accommodate for how COVID-19 impacted college soccer, players could register for the draft and not lose eligibility to play this spring.
Still, Pickett expressed her enthusiasm to be selected by Kansas City, especially for how the team traded 175K for the 4th pick. “Very grateful,” Pickett said in the media call via Zoom this evening.
KC NWSL can expect a versatile right back who tends to go up and down the flanks. This is a good first pick for Kansas City.