Players from the 2021 NWSL Draft We’re Excited to Watch

The 2021 NWSL Draft was quite the spectacle and by the time it was all over, 40 players heard their names called by league commissioner Lisa Baird. Emily Fox went No. 1 overall and players like Brianna Pinto and Kiki Pickett are sure to be impact players for their teams. However, those are names you’ve likely been hearing a lot about as they’re the big college stars. Here are some players from the 2021 NWSL Draft who you might not know as much about, but could make a big impact next season.

Trinity Rodman – FWD, Washington Spirit

Everyone was talking about Trinity Rodman coming into the draft and everyone left talking about her too. For an 18-year-old to be selected No. 2 overall is a HUGE deal for her and for the NWSL. Everyone talks about her upside but the question is how quickly can she progress? Richie Burke is thrilled to take her and considering they need help in the attack, she could see some minutes early on in her career. It’s the perfect fit for her, and if she keeps growing, she’ll be a gamechanger for the Spirit next season. 

Emina Ekic – MID, Racing Louisville

Emina Ekic, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year, saw her draft stock rise and was chosen as the No. 5 pick overall. Ekic is thrilled to be staying home, after attending the University of Louisville she’ll head to their first professional team. Ekic has the potential to be the offensive centerpiece of this team; she can really do it all in terms of goalscoring and distributing. Racing Louisville didn’t have many creative midfielders coming into the draft but they arguably got one of the best players in that position in Ekic. Expect to see her star for Louisville next season.

Kelsey Turnbow – FWD, Chicago Red Stars

This striker scored 15 goals and provided 10 assists over 23 games in her last collegiate season. That kind of production at a renowned soccer program like Santa Clara definitely got her noticed. Rory Dames has a history with the program; Julie Ertz is a Broncos alum with the Red Stars to this day. Chicago is going all-in for the title based on their offseason moves and Turnbow might have the chance to contribute right away. 

Amirah Ali – MID, Portland Thorns

Amirah Ali was one of the best players in college soccer over the course of her career. It was a big shock to see her fall all the way to No. 22 – and right into Portland’s lap no less. The midfielder did everything for Rutgers; 25 goals and 12 assists over three years is solid output. Ali also has a knack for changing a game; she scored 10 game-winning goals throughout her collegiate career. Considering the competitive environment Portland has with all their talent, Ali has a chance to develop and be a first-team starter for the Thorns. 



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