Washington Spirit acquire attacking talent in NWSL draft

Lars Kaletta

After acquiring defensive players in the NWSL allocation, the Washington Spirit switched their focus to attackers in the NWSL draft.

The NWSL draft happened this morning at a much quicker pace than the MLS draft the day before. The Washington Spirit concentrated on taking attacking players, having filled out some key defensive positions in last week's allocation. The team also seems to have tried to take players who are from the greater Washington area, perhaps in order to make the league more economically viable for the players as well as the club.

So who will join Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris, Lori Linsey, Diana Matheson, and the rest of the Washington Spirit? Here are the Spirit's draft picks, in order by round.

1. Tiffany McCarty, F, Florida State (Laurel, Md.): McCarty started 24 games this season at Florida State, scoring 17 goals and notching 5 assists. She was also an various All-American teams throughout her career and was twice a Hermann Trophy semifinalist. She is ranked 26th on TopDrawerSoccer's list of senior women college players.

2. Caroline Miller, F, UVA (Rockville, Md.): Both McCarty and Miller were tipped by TopDrawerSoccer as possibilities for the number one overall pick, so getting Miller in the second round is good value. Miller was a Hermann Trophy finalist this season, scoring 20 goals and notching 7 assists. She is ranked 13th on TopDrawerSoccer's list of senior women college players.

3. Holly King, M, Florida (Ashburn, Va.): Holly King is a defensive midfielder from Florida and a former player for D.C. United Women. She played over 2000 minutes this season, after playing 1900 both of the previous two seasons. She is ranked 22nd on TopDrawerSoccer's list of senior women college players.

4. Colleen Williams, F, Dayton (Titusville, NJ): Colleen Williams was the final player drafted by the Washington Spirit and she scored 15 goals and notched 11 assists this season for the Flyers. Combined with McCarty and Miller, the forwards that the Spirit drafted combined for 163 goals over the course of their college careers. Williams is ranked 27th on TopDrawerSoccer's list of senior women college players.

Other local picks include Mallory Schaffer from William & Mary (Seattle Reign FC) and Becky Kaplan from Maryland (Sky Blue FC). Former D.C. United Women player Christine Nairn also went to Seattle Reign FC. The league is set to begin play in April, but the schedule has not yet been released; the rest of the roster spots for the teams will be filled through free agency.

Update: Meet the rest of the draft picks in the gallery below! Photographs courtesy Florida State University Athletics, University of Virginia Athletics, University of Florida Athletics, and University of Dayton Athletics (Erik Schelkun).


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