31 – ORL – Dani Weatherholt – MF (CM) – Santa Clara
Notice a trend here? It’s the third Californian taken by Tom Sermanni, who clearly must have done a lot of scouting on the West Coast. Weatherholt, like just about everyone at Santa Clara, can play but was something of a late bloomer after coming in with a lot of hype. Definitely fills a need for some midfield depth for the Pride, but I’m not sure that the club couldn’t have just nabbed her after the draft as an undrafted free agent.
32 – CHI – Courtney Raetzman – MF (MC, WG) – Kentucky
If she was a half-foot taller, she’d probably be 10-15 picks higher. Likely to play out wide at the next level and can break opponents down on the dribble. Diligent defender and gritty as hell despite her size. Could be a great change of pace off the bench early here and knows the club having been a part of their reserve team. Exactly what you want with a fourth-round pick.
33 – CHI – Jannelle Flaws – F (CF) – Illinois
I’m guessing the Red Stars are absolutely ecstatic about getting Flaws this deep into the draft, as I think she could’ve been off the board a round or two earlier. Another reserve player who the club knows, Flaws can sit on the last defender’s shoulder and zoom in to score goals. Injuries are a worry, and she’s an older prospect, but this is great value for a last round pick.
34 – WSH – Madalyn Schiffel – GK – San Francisco
I expected Schiffel to show up in someone’s camp, though her being drafted is a bit of a mild surprise. The hype around the San Francisco keeper has built steadily for the past year, and helping lead the Dons to the brink of a shock WCC title surely didn’t hurt her cause. With Stephanie Labbe likely coming here as an allocated player, Schiffel will likely be here as a reserve for now. But I’d rather have her than Labbe in all honesty, and it’d hardly shock me if she turns into a starter in the league at some point.
35 – CHI – Adrienne Jordan – D (LB) – Northern Colorado
Raw. Probably a bit too raw for my taste as a drafted player, but definitely the type that can cut their teeth on a reserve team like the one Chicago boasts. Probably one of the best players in the history of the Big Sky Conference and would’ve probably gotten a look somewhere had she not been taken here. Definitely has skill on the ball but lacks elite size for this level. Big step up in class and is a project.
36 – CHI – Candace Johnson – D (CB) – Missouri
Not a complete product by any means, but this is great value in this slot. Still needs to come along tactically but was probably the SEC’s best pure defender in 2015 and has the physical capacity to compete at this level. I would not be shocked if she made the final roster over some of Chicago’s other picks, and she has a good chance to be a contributor sooner rather than later.
37 – WSH – Kara Wilson – MF (DMC), D (CB) – Duke
Another who wasn’t on the preliminary list released by the league. Wilson was a starter at defensive midfield for national runners-up Duke. Played with the Spirit Reserves in the W-League, so, again, they know the territory. Not much more than functional player with size though, and they could have easily just signed her as an undrafted free agent in camp.
38 – FCKC – Alex Arlitt – D (LB, CB, RB), MF (CM, AMC, DMC) – LSU
This looks like a rare miss from the FCKC on paper. Played center-back as a senior but probably too small to play there as a pro. Didn’t really develop as once expected. Lots of workrate and definitely hustles and harasses, but she’s probably here for her versatility and ability to play multiple positions, though I don’t think it’ll be enough to stick on this roster.
39 – CHI – Ashleigh Ellenwood – F (CF) – Arkansas
Another in the ACL recovery club. Ellenwood tore hers early in the 2015 college season and probably won’t be able to go full speed at the beginning of the 2016 season. Has experience with Red Stars reserves and was productive at a limited program in the SEC. Prototypical target forward that may not have the athleticism to compete at this level.
40 – SEA – Lindsey Luke – GK – Utah
When you get my #1 ranked GK with the final pick of the draft? That’s a good pick. Needs some good tutelage to really blossom, but hey, she’s got two pretty good mentors in Seattle right now. She’ll be a third option this season and could be a potential starter in the future if she develops properly.