Angel City FC adds five players through NWSL College Draft and trades

After a week of trades and signings, Angel City FC didn’t have as busy of a NWSL College Draft as previously expected.

ACFC had acquired the No. 6 pick in a trade with the Houston Dash on Thursday, but sent that pick to Racing Louisville FC, along with $25,000 in Allocation Money, in exchange for midfielder Savannah McCaskill on Friday evening.

McCaskill, 25, was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL Draft by the Boston Breakers, but after that club folded, she was picked No. 2 overall in a Dispersal Draft by Sky Blue FC.

“Savannah is a highly technical and versatile midfielder that has a unique ability to create opportunities for her team and unlock opposition defenses,” ACFC sporting director Eni Aluko said. “She had a strong season this past season and her experience being part of an expansion team will serve us well in our first season.”

ACFC also completed a trade Friday with the Orlando Pride, bringing in goalkeeper Brittany Wilson in exchange for a 2023 fourth-round draft pick. Wilson joined the NWSL in 2020. She has yet to make a regular-season appearance in the NWSL.

ACFC’s first pick in Saturday’s draft didn’t come until the third round (No. 28 overall) when it selected midfielder Hope Breslin, who played five seasons at Illinois.

“I’m super excited and grateful to be that first player selected for Angel City,” Breslin said. “You hear how it’s a historic club already, and there are so many big names. I’m excited to get there and learn from these big players and see what I can bring to the table.”

At No. 36, ACFC selected Duke midfielder Lily Nabet (Chaminade HS) and at No. 39 selected forward Miri Taylor from Hofstra.

The first round had a strong Southern California presence.

Former UCLA coach Amanda Cromwell, now coach with the Orlando Pride, took a familiar face at No. 5 in forward Mia Fishel. The Pride followed that with two more Southern California products: Santa Clara forward Julie Doyle (JSerra HS) at No. 11 overall and USC forward Jada Talley (Centennial Corona HS) in the third round (No. 31 overall).

USC midfielder Savannah DeMelo (Saint Joseph HS) went No. 4 overall to Racing Louisville FC.

Two-time Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year Kaitlin Fregulia closed the first round out at No. 12 going to the North Carolina Courage. Fregulia is the first player in Long Beach State history to be drafted in the NWSL.

In the second round, Notre Dame midfielder Sammi Fisher (Grace Brethren HS) went No. 19 overall to the Chicago Red Stars.

UCLA midfielder Marley Canales was a fourth-round pick by the OL Reign (No. 47 overall).

Preseason information announced

The league announced the preliminary framework for the 2022 season.

Players are set to report to a six-week preseason camp Feb. 1 before kicking off the 2022 season March 19 with group play in the NWSL Challenge Cup. The preseason tournament will conclude May 7.

The regular season will see each of the 12 teams playing home and away against every team. The NWSL Championship will be played the weekend of Oct. 28-30.

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