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NWSL Draft preview, Kansas City Current picks and how to watch

Kansas City has seven picks

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Thad Bell

The 2023 NWSL Draft takes place Thursday, and the Kansas City Current has seven picks in the draft. The draft is back to being in person this year during the United Soccer Coaches Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Draft Basics:

The draft can be broadcast and streamed across multiple outlets. It will begin on CBS Sports Network, Paramount+ and CBS Sports HQ, the free 24/7 streaming sports news network, 5 to 6 p.m. CT.

The draft livestream will continue on Paramount+ and CBS Sports HQ from 6 to 10 p.m. CT. Fans from outside the U.S. can watch the draft on and the NWSL’s YouTube channel. Fans can attend in person on a first-come, first-served, general admission basis.

Twelve teams and four rounds equal forty-eight picks on Thursday evening. The Kansas City Current have seven of those picks. They had eight until a Wednesday afternoon trade sent forward Elyse Bennett and the 23rd overall selection in the draft to the OL Reign for $150,000 in allocation money.

Over 300 players registered for the draft. Most of them are college players but there is at least one high schooler, and she will probably be picked first.

In Round 1, teams will have five minutes to announce their selections. In Rounds 2-4, each selection will be made in three minutes. Teams may also request up to three time-outs during the Draft for further discussion, rule clarification, or trade discussions. If past drafts are any indication, trades and time-outs will happen.

Kansas City’s picks

1st Round

10th - This is a slightly weird pick as it is conditional. The Current received this when they traded Victoria Pickett to NJ/NY Gotham. It was originally Ol Reign’s picks. Kansas City gets EITHER the OL Reign natural pick, owned by NJY (#10) OR NJY’s 2nd highest pick. If Gotham moves up for some reason Kansas City could also move up. This does not seem likely at the moment, but a trade of picks could get the Current higher.

2nd Round

15th - Acquired as a part of the Darian Jenkins trade.

18th - Acquired as a part of the Lynn Williams trade.

23rd - Natural Pick - traded away today in Bennett deal

3rd Round

35th - Natural Pick

4th Round

38th - Acquired as a part of the Gabby Vincent trade.

42nd - Acquired as a part of the Lynn Williams trade.

47th - Natural Pick

What will Kansas City do in the draft?

Good question even if we asked that ourselves. Currently, they have 22 players under contract and based on the 2022 NWSL roster rules, they can have 18-24 senior roster players and up to four supplemental players.

There are still several free agents available and other possible moves in play so any predictions will be nebulous at best.

Taking a look at the Current roster, they have 22 players. Where do they need depth?

Goalkeepers (2): Adrianna “AD” Franch, Cassie Miller

Defenders (8): Elizabeth Ball, Kate Del Fava, Alex Loera, Hailie Mace, Addisyn Merrick, Izzy Rodriguez, Mallory Weber, Jenna Winebrenner

Midfielders (8): Chardonnay Curran, Vanessa DiBernardo, Morgan Gautrat, Lo’eau LaBonta, Claire Lavogez, Chloe Logarzo, Sam Mewis, Debinha

Forwards (4): Kristen Hamilton, Cece Kizer, Mimmi Larsson, Lynn Williams

Last year the Current carried three keepers but waived Sydney Schneider at the end of the season. With Franch working her way back into the National Team picture, she could miss time during the World Cup. It’s very possible Kansas City selects a keeper to have as a backup, but they may wait to see if Franch will be gone and use a national team relief signing for a keeper.

Coach Potter usually used some form of a three-player backline with two wingbacks either sliding back to make it five or a little further up, more midfielder than straight-up defender. The Current lost Kristen Edmonds to free agency and Taylor Leach retired so they may be looking for another center back to start or compete with Jenna Winebrenner or Loera and there are a few options.

The midfield is crowded and talented. Desiree Scott’s status is unknown, but they consistently say they are hoping to bring her back. With the three top free agents in the NWSL signed by Kansas City AND Chloe Logarzo getting healthy, Lavogez perhaps coming back and not to mention Lo LaBonta and Alex Loera. The biggest unknown is Sam Mewis but her lack of progress last season does not build high hopes.

The Forward line is pretty talented already. Lynn Williams is healthy again, Mimmi Larsson signed, Cece Kizer and the seemingly indefatigable Kristen Hamilton on the roster, it made it difficult for Elysse Bennett to find significant minutes. That could open a spot for a draft pick to earn a spot.

The defense would seem to be the highest priority but it might make the most sense to take the best player available in the first round. Since the Current still has seven picks, it might be enticing to package them all and move up if they can find a willing partner.

Potential first-round picks:

Angel City moved up to take Alyssa Thompson, the high schooler that already has national team caps.

Gotham will probably take Michelle Cooper, the newest MAC Hermann Trophy winner. With 31 goals in 40 games across her freshman and sophomore years. Would take some serious trading to get that spot.

After the first two picks, there is no clear direction regarding which players teams will choose.

Defenders Emily Madril (Florida State), Jyllissa Harris (South Carolina), Jordan Brewster (West Virginia), and Tori Hansen (North Carolina) are some of the top center backs in the draft but there are several more that could jump up into the first round. Madril came out early, signed with the league, and then went on loan so already has some professional games.