Stanford’s Andi Sullivan is the No. 1 pick in NWSL draft
The Washington Spirit selected midfielder Andi Sullivan out of Stanford with the first pick in the National Women’s Soccer League draft on Thursday. Draft day also featured a high-profile three-team trade involving U.S. national team star Carli Lloyd.
A person familiar with the deal said Sky Blue FC acquired Lloyd in a trade that sent Christen Press to the Houston Dash and Australian Sam Kerr to the Chicago Red Stars. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been officially announced.
The deal sends Lloyd, the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, to her home state, New Jersey. She played three seasons in Houston.
Lloyd’s move was first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Other details about the deal were not released, but on Thursday night Dash forward Janine Beckie went to Twitter to say she was headed for Sky Blue.
“Change comes with the territory in this profession,” Beckie said in a statement thanking Houston and the Dash. “It’s time for a new challenge and a new journey.”
The draft’s top pick, Sullivan, scored in the 3-2 Stanford victory in the NCAA College Cup championship over UCLA. She also won the Mac Hermann Trophy for the nation’s best player.
Sullivan has made seven appearances with the U.S. national team and has been called into January training camp as the team begins to prepare for World Cup qualifying in the fall.
Sullivan is a native of Lorton, Virginia, and played youth soccer in Bethesda, Maryland.
“I was kind of hoping to be picked first. I mean, you don’t really know. There are a lot of good players in the draft,” Sullivan said Wednesday night after the Spirit confirmed they would select her with the first pick. “Today was kind of the first real moment of taking pictures with the jersey and stuff like that. It was like, ‘Oh this is actually happening.’ Pretty cool.”
The Spirit also had the third overall pick, which they used to select midfielder Rebecca Quinn out of Duke.
The Boston Breakers took forward Savannah McCaskill out of South Carolina with the No. 2 overall pick.
In another draft-day trade deal, the Seattle Reign sent midfielder Diana Matheson to the Utah Royals in exchange for veteran defender Yael Averbuch.