What to Expect from The 2021 NWSL Draft

The 2021 NWSL Draft is finally upon us; 40 players will finally hear their name called, fulfilling what, for many, is a lifelong dream. However, things are going to operate a little differently this year due to unforeseen circumstances: the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s all you need to know about the upcoming 2021 NWSL Draft. 

The players can choose to stay in school

This year, a large portion of NCAA schools decided to skip soccer, which led to collegiate players getting an extra year of college eligibility. Those college players selected who aren’t seniors get to decide whether they want to turn pro or go back to school.

The window for those players to decide is 9 days, from the end of the draft on January 13th to January 22nd. Coaches will have their work cut out for them, as this rule change means they could end up wasting their picks. If a player isn’t happy with the team that selects them, it’s entirely possible (maybe even likely) they simply choose to return to school.

What’s going on with Catarina Macario?

Speaking of players who might not be thrilled about the team that selects them, Catarina Macario, a potential No. 1 pick, decided to officially turn pro. 

Louisville, who has the first pick in the 2021 NWSL draft, will have to do everything in its power to convince Macario they will be a top-notch organization from the ground up. That’s the vision that Christy Holly and the organization seem to have. It would be a huge boost to Louisville and the NWSL to have Catarina Macario as a part of its future.  

However, there’s also a good chance Macario decides to go abroad and play in France or England, or maybe even Spain. Only time will tell what she decides, but the suspense has the entire WoSo world on edge.

Which players are eligible for selection?

As for the seniors, in a surprising turn of events, the NWSL did away with the draft registration process, meaning every single collegiate athlete is eligible to be selected. 

It’s an exciting opportunity for some players who might not have considered entering their name in the first place. This also increases the chances for a Division II or Division III player getting picked in the later rounds. 

We can’t forget the impact a player like Bethany Balcer is having out of Spring Arbor University – she even earned a spot as a new face at a USWNT camp. Gems will always be found in the late rounds, but it’s tough to gauge who those diamonds in the rough might be with everyone eligible. One thing is certain, though, the 2021 NWSL Draft will be a special day. Be sure to tune in on Twitch, January 13th, at 7pm EST/6pm CST/4pm PST. 

Featured Image via Instagram @NWSL



Leave a Comment