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Five Players with Minnesota Ties Eligible for NWSL Draft

by on 10 January 2017

At the NCAA convention this Thursday, ten teams will select 40 players in the 2017 NWSL Draft. Five of the 164 eligible players looking to earn one of those 40 spots have Minnesota ties.

Four of the draft hopefuls are recent graduates from the University of Minnesota: Rashida Beal, Tarah Hobbs, Simone Kolander, and Josee Stiever. Each possess qualities to attract an NWSL coaching staff. Beal was a crucial part of the Gophers’ defense. Regularly logging 180 minutes per weekend (unusual given NCAA substitution rules), she demonstrated her fitness and stamina. Goalkeeper Hobbs is a record breaker. She tallied 11 shut-outs this year and currently holds the program’s career record of 33. Forward Kolander has little shelf room left for more awards and honors. She found the back of the net 11 times this season and lead the Gophers in the rankings at No. 20. Stiever, a determined attacking midfielder, made her mark connecting with teammates for game-winning goals. All four seniors graduated in December, a semester early.

The fifth player in the draft pool is St. Paul native Amy Yang. The Harding graduate started in all 19 games this season for North Dakota State University. She was named to the first team All-Summit League as a midfielder.

You can watch the 2017 NWSL Draft and learn the players’ fates starting at 2 p.m., CST this Thursday, January 12. It will be streamed live on both Facebook (Facebook.com/NWSL) and YouTube (YouTube.com/NWSL). The full list of eligible players includes two women — Jane Campbell and Rose Lavelle — recently called up to Jill Ellis’s USWNT January training camp. The draft order is based on 2016 team performance.

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  • Jonas

    Who do you think is most likely to be drafted, and where in the draft would they be taken?

    • Wes

      Great question. I think this might be the best source for analysis like that. https://t.co/023DwIxLps
      But we’ll be doing some coverage from the draft itself on Thursday.

      • Jonas

        Thanks, for the link. Look forward to the draft coverage.
        Any thoughts on who a good NWSL team to follow next season would be? I started passively checking in on the Red Stars because their away kits were fantastic, but haven’t really made any well-founded commitment.

        • Wes

          I’ll be watching the Washington Spirit just for Kassey Kallman’s sake.

    • Neville Eclov

      You should also check out Chris Henderson’s top 75 potential NWSL draftees on his blog All White Kit as well. Chris covers college soccer in depth for Hero Sports.

      P.S. My responses keep getting lost/stuck in the mod queue (probably because I posted 3 links to the All White Kit blog), and this is really annoying.

      • Neville Eclov

        Forgot to add from my original post, here are Henderson’s rankings:

        Kolander (22nd)
        Stiever (27th)
        Beal (32nd)
        Hobbs (75th)
        Yang (not listed)

  • Michael Tomatz

    I was regularly most impressed by Beal over her career. She was very sound at CB. I remember one time where she got beat to a ball, and more than a 100 times where she would get back, and make the pass, tackle, and or clearance to get out of defensive trouble. I would love to see her get a chance at the next level Even in OT games, she would almost never sub out, even though every other player on the field would for at least a few minutes.