Angel City makes Alyssa Thompson the first HS player taken first overall

Alyssa Thompson is staying in Los Angeles with Angel City, and all it took was some NWSL draft history to make it happen.

Angel City made the Harvard-Westlake forward the first high school athlete to hear his name called first in the league’s 10-year history with the first overall pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft.

Thompson’s selection was widely expected after Angel City acquired the first overall pick from NJ/NY Gotham FC last week in a trade that traded its natural No. 5 pick and a second-round pick in 2024 and $200,000 in allocation money. Portland Thorns FC Yazmeen to Ryan, then send Ryan and $250,000 to Gotham.

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That deal essentially made the 18-year-old Thompson the most expensive player in league history, as the previous most expensive signing based on the money split was the San Diego Wave’s purchase of USWNT star Alex Morgan for $275,000, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Also, Thompson’s agents reported the Times’ Luca Evans that he has signed a three-year contract with Angel City, which they say is the largest for an under-25 player in the NWSL.

Angel City certainly expects the price to be worth it. Thompson, who previously committed to Stanford, won the prestigious Gatorade High School Player of the Year award in 2021 after scoring 48 goals in 18 games. No, that stat is not a typo.

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Thompson is also one of the top high school sprinters in the state of California and made her USWNT senior team debut last year.

PLAYA VISTA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 12: Angel City Football Club President Julie Uhrman and first overall pick Alyssa Thompson pose with a jersey during the Angel City Football Club 2023 NWSL Draft Party at Nike LA on January 12, 2023 in Playa Vista, California.  (Photo: Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Alyssa Thompson looks like a star of the future for Angel City and the USWNT. (Photo: Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Thompson isn’t completely unheard of as a top player coming to the NSWL without college experience, as Washington Spirit star Trinity Rodman joined the team in 2021 after not playing a game in her college career at Washington State. That movement has more than worked for Henge.

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2023 NWSL First Round Draft Picks

  1. Angel City FC: Alyssa Thompson, F, Harvard-Westlake High School

  2. Kansas City Current: Michelle Cooper, F, Duke

  3. Orlando Pride: Emily Madril, D, Florida State

  4. NJ/NY Gotham FC: Jenna Nighswonger, M, Florida State

  5. Portland Thorns FC: Reyna Reyes, D, Alabama

  6. North Carolina Courage: Olivia Wingate, F, Notre Dame

  7. Chicago Red Stars: Penelope Hocking, F, Penn State

  8. North Carolina Courage: Sydney Collins, D, University of California

  9. North Carolina Courage: Clara Robbins, M, Florida State

  10. Kansas City Current: Alexa Spaanstra, F, Virginia

  11. North Carolina Courage: Haley Hopkins, F, Virginia

  12. Portland Thorns FC: Izzy D’Aquila, F, Santa Clara


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