Two years ago, the Western New York Flash had four of the top seven picks in the NWSL College Draft. A year later, the Flash was NWSL champion, and all four players had been capped for the
USA. The Boston Breakers, last in the NWSL in 2015 and 2016, have a chance to rebuild with picks 1, 3, 8 and 9 in Thursday's College Draft in Los Angeles.
This year's draft
doesn't have an established national team player available like in 2015 and 2016 when Virginia's Morgan Brian and Emily Sonnett went to Houston and Portland, respectively.
Goalkeeper Jane Campbell (Stanford), midfielders Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin) and Christina Gibbons (Duke) and forward Ashley Hatch (BYU) were all in
national team camps in 2016 or will be at the January camp that begins next week, but none is of the level of Brian, who started at the 2015 Women's World Cup, or even Sonnett, an
Olympic alternate in 2016.
As many as three players from national champion USC could go in the first round: Morgan Andrews, Kayla Mills and Mandy Freeman.
Other Americans who could go high are Florida forward Savannah Jordan, Stanford defender Maddie Bauer, UConn's Rachel Hill, Virginia's Alexis Shaffer and
Boston College's McKenzie Meehan.
Canadian Olympic bronze-medalist Nichelle Prince (Ohio State), New Zealand star Hannah Wilkinson (Tennessee) and
former Japan U-17 captain Serina Kashimoto (Butler) are also on the draft list.
Notably absent are Prince's Canadian teammates, Hermann Trophy winner Kadeisha
Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence, both of Division I runner-up West Virginia. They've signed for Lyon and Paris St. Germain in France, respectively.
2017 NWSL College Draft: Round 1 1 Boston Breakers 2 North Carolina Courage 3 Boston Breakers 4 Sky Blue FC 5 FC Kansas City 6 Seattle Reign 7 North Carolina Courage 8 Boston Breakers 9 Boston Breakers 10 Sky Blue FC Round 2 11 Boston Breakers 12 Chicago Red Stars 13 FC Kansas City 14 Portland Thorns 15
Houston Dash 16 Chicago Red Stars 17 FC Kansas City 18 North Carolina Courage 19 Washington Spirit 20 Portland Thorns Round 3 21 Chicago Red Stars 22 Orlando Pride 23 Sky Blue FC 24 Sky Blue FC 25 FC Kansas City 26 Seattle Reign 27 Portland Thorns 28 Chicago Red Stars 29 Washington Spirit 30 Sky
Blue FC Round 4 31 Boston Breakers 32 Orlando Pride 33 Houston Dash 34 Sky Blue FC 35 FC Kansas City 36 Washington Spirit 37 Seattle Reign
38 Boston Breakers 39 Chicago Red Stars 40 Portland Thorns