NWSL Draft Recap
Davidson taken with the top pick in a busy day at the NWSL draft
January 11, 2019
Davidson, still only 20 years old, made her debut with the senior national team this January, following Stanford’s run to the championship in the NCAA College Cup in 2017. However, she suffered an ankle fracture this September in a collegiate match after a horrific tackle and missed the remainder of her 2018 campaign.
With the second pick in the draft, Sky Blue selected UCLA product Hailie Mace. Like Davidson, Mace already has experience with the senior U.S. women’s team, earning her first three caps this past season. Mace is a versatile player, able to play at left back, center back, and at forward. In the NCAA quarterfinals this past season, Mace started the game at left back, then moved up top at the half and scored twice in the second stanza.
The Washington Spirit used the third selection to pick up Stanford senior Jordan DiBiasi. A highly-regarded prospect, DiBiasi has played with the U.S. youth team and was a finalist for this year’s Hermann Trophy. Washington acquired the pick from Sky Blue for three players to be named later.
North Carolina product Julia Ashley fell all the way to the sixth pick. Many believed that Ashley would be a top three selection, but that she didn’t want to play for Sky Blue—who originally controlled the No. 2 and No. 3 picks. After falling to No. 6, Sky Blue picked her anyways, but Ashley told reporters immediately after the pick was announced that she is still considering going to Europe with options in Germany, France, and Sweden.
#SkyBlueFC's Julia Ashley. "I'm excited for this opportunity. I'm really happy that Denise believes in me. I'm from New Jersey, but I'm not positive of what I want to do in regards to if I'm going to stay or go abroad. I have to explore those options." #NWSLdraft #SBFC #CHI19— Har Journalist (@HarJournalist) January 10, 2019
Sky Blue picked up the No. 6 pick earlier in the week, in a trade with Chicago. In that exchange, the Red Stars acquired Mexican-American forward Katie Johnson.
FIRST ROUND PICKS
No. 1: Chicago Red Stars – Tierna Davison, Stanford University
No. 2: Sky Blue FC - Hailie Mace, University of California, Los Angeles
No. 3: Washington Spirit – Jordan DiBiasi, Stanford University
No. 4: Washington Spirit – Samantha Staab, Clemson University
No. 5: North Carolina Courage - Leah Pruitt, University of Southern California
No. 6: Sky Blue FC – Julia Ashley, University of North Carolina
No. 7: Washington Spirit – Tegan McGrady, Stanford University
No. 8: Washington Spirit – Dorian Bailey, University of North Carolina
No. 9: North Carolina Courage – Halley Harbison, Pepperdine University
John D. Halloran is an American Soccer Now columnist. Follow him on Twitter.