Following the news that the NC Courage traded for U.S. Women’s National Team and former Chelsea LFC striker Crystal Dunn, the team added some additional new pieces in the NWSL draft on Thursday. In addition to the new faces who will be fighting for roster spots, McCall Zerboni, Denise O’Sullivan and Meredith Speck all renewed their contracts.
Penn State forward Frannie Crouse was picked 10th overall and will be potentially joining them when the season kicks off in March. Crouse scored at least 10 goals in each of her first three seasons with the Nittany Lions. While she saw a dip in her scoring production with four goals in 2017, the forward was tied for second on the club with five assists. She will look to fill the goal scoring gap left by forward Ashley Hatch after the former rookie of the year was traded to the Washington Spirit.
With the 20th overall pick, the Courage took Rebecca Rasmussen, a midfielder from the Colorado University. The midfielder/forward spent three seasons at the University of Georgia before transferring out west for her senior year. At UGA she was selected offensive player of the year as a sophomore and with Colorado, Rasmussen led the team with seven assists.
The Courage next pick came at no. 38 when the team took Duke University defender and Cary native Morgan Reid. The defender was highly touted going into college as she featured for the U.S. U-17 Women’s Team when she earned a spot for the 2012 U-17 World Cup. At Duke she was a four year starter and helped the 2017 team set a school record with 18 clean sheets.
Yale defender Carlin Hudson was selected with the 39th pick by the Courage. Hudson captained the Bulldogs and started 49 matches over four seasons for the team. The defender made the team as a walk-on and her determination and leadership will certainly help her as she transitions to the next level.
With the final pick of the draft, the Courage took Ryan Williams from Texas Christian University. Williams added to the list of defenders the Courage drafted as the team looks to add depth to its backline. The Horn Frog played all but one match in which she was available in four seasons in Texas. Not only is she a capable defender, but her 15 assists are good for fourth all time in school history.
The five new comers will work to earn one of the 20 first team roster spots for the upcoming 2018 NWSL Season. They will join a team looking to repeat their success from last year and build on it by winning the NWSL Championship.