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Angel City take F Alyssa Thompson with No. 1 pick in NWSL draft

Oct 7, 2022; London, ENG; United states forward Alyssa Thompson (13) comes on as a substitute  in the match between United States and England at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Angel City FC selected forward Alyssa Thompson with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft on Thursday night in Philadelphia.

Thompson is the first high schooler to be taken first overall in the league’s history.

The 18-year-old is a senior at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles and will stay home to play for Angel City. She had to forgo her college eligibility to turn pro.

“This was the hardest decision that I’ve ever had to make in my life,” Thompson said, according to the team’s website. “There were so many back-and-forths about it, but in the end, I decided that it was the best for me.”

Thompson made her debut with the U.S. women’s national team last October, appearing in two games for the senior team so far.

Angel City executed a pair of trades last week to move into the top pick.

The club dealt its initial first-round pick (No. 5 overall), its second-round pick in 2024 and $200,000 to the Portland Thorns to acquire midfielder Yazmeen Ryan. Then it traded Ryan and $250,000 to NJ/NY Gotham FC in exchange for the No. 1 pick.

“Alyssa Thompson, for us, is a phenom and generational player,” general manager Angela Hucles Mangano told the team website. “She’s a player who can make an immediate impact, but she’s also young and can develop and look to be a player that we’re building a future off of, too.”

Angel City went 8-9-5 in its inaugural season in 2022 and did not make the playoffs.

–Field Level Media