In one of the steals of the NWSL college draft, Seattle Reign FC drafted midfielder Christine Nairn in the first round. One of the top prospects, she slipped to the No. 7 pick, and Seattle snatched up the Penn State midfielder.
Nairn has two caps with the full U.S. national team, both in friendlies against Canada in 2009. At age 18, she scored the game-winning goal in the 89th minute of the July 22 match.
Since then, she has continued to star for the U.S. youth teams, playing alongside Sydney Leroux and first-ever NWSL draft pick Zakiya Bywaters at the 2010 U20 Women's World Cup. For the Nittany Lions, Nairn earned the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year award in her senior year.
She was also a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy in 2012.
Two of the other picks, Mallory Schaffer of William and Mary and Kristen Meier of Wake Forest, are also midfielders. With its final pick, Reign FC took goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer, who was the Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year at Michigan.
Schaffer was the 2011 and 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year and an NSCAA Second Team All-American. She scored 10 goals from the midfield (41 in her collegiate career) and added three assists her senior year.
Meier assisted on 18 goals in her Wake Forest career, the fifth most in program history. She was named to the 2011 NCAA All-Tournament Team. In her senior season, she led the Demon Deacons in assists and was second in goals and points.
Overall, as it did in the allocation process, Seattle came out a winner in the draft. Nairn and Kopmeyer bookended four solid selections for the team, filling big holes on the roster — especially with Megan Rapinoe set to stay with Lyon in France until the end of May.
Reign FC has assured that it will hardly miss a beat when the club loses its U.S. national teamers to camps and matches in mid-season, with Nairn set to run the midfield and Kopmeyer easily able to step in for Hope Solo.
The roster is now up to 11 players. Free agents will fill the nine remaining spots, and signings are expected to be officially announced as soon as the NWSL and U.S. Soccer come to an agreement on the exact process.