After OL Reign lost two players — Dani Weatherholt and Kristen McNabb — in the NWSL Expansion Draft, they can now give a chance to young, promising players in the NWSL College Draft. The draft begins Saturday at 11 AM PT, with the Reign having the 8th and 10th overall pick — in addition to many others in later rounds.
At the start of the draft, OL Reign announced two trades. They sent their first-round 2023 pick and $40,000 in allocation money to Gotham FC in exchange for the 8th pick in this year’s draft. The Reign also sent Kelcie Hedge, who was their 2020 first-round draft pick, to Houston in exchange for $15,000 in allocation money and the 21st pick in the draft.
While OL Reign don’t have specific needs to address in this draft, they will likely be looking for players who could be starters in another year or two. The team has a lot of young, rising forwards, but could benefit from some depth in midfield after losing Weatherholt, Dzsenifer Marozsan, Shirley Cruz, and Rosie White this offseason. This is true for both attacking midfield and holding midfield. Is there a future Jess Fishlock in the ranks?
Defense is another spot where the Reign could benefit from one or two players competing for spots. That’s especially true after losing McNabb, who could play in multiple positions on the field. Lauren Barnes and Amber Brooks may not be with the team for many more years, so some future reinforcement at centerback and outside back could be useful.
OL Reign Picks
Going into the draft, OL Reign held the 10th, 15th, 20th, 32nd, 33rd and 47th picks in the draft. These can be traded throughout the draft — and if we’ve learned anything in the NWSL, it’s to expect maximum chaos and trades.
After several draft-day trades, OL Reign ended up with the following six picks in the draft.
- 8: Zsanett Kajan, forward, St. John’s University
- 20: Claudia Dickey, goalkeeper, UNC Chapel Hill
- 21: Ryanne Brown, forward, Wake Forest
- 32: Kaile Halvorsen, forward, Santa Clara
- 33: Olivia van der Jagt, midfielder, Washington
- 47: Marley Canales, midfielder, UCLA
How to Watch
Time/Date: Saturday, December 18, 11 AM PT
TV: CBS Sports Network
Livestream (International): NWSL Twitch channel