2022 NWSL Draft results: San Diego Wave selects Naomi Girma at No. 1


San Diego Wave FC selected Naomi Girma with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 National Women’s Soccer League Draft on Saturday. Many pundits expected Jaelin Howell to be selected first overall, but The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf reported on Friday that San Diego preferred Girma based on the way head coach Casey Stoney wants to play. The Wave confirmed the news by selecting the Stanford defender first overall.

Racing Louisville FC selected Howell second overall, adding the former Florida State midfielder to a midfield which needed a focal point.

Girma is the fourth No. 1 overall pick out of Stanford University in the past five editions of the NWSL Draft.

Below you’ll find a pick-by-pick recap of the draft, along with trades that took place along the way.

Trades (in chronological order of announcement)

For all trades and transactions, follow our up-to-date tracker.

— OL Reign has acquired the 8th overall pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft from NJ/NY Gotham FC. In return, the Reign delivered its natural 1st round draft pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft and $40,000 in allocation money to Gotham FC. 

— OL Reign today announced that it has traded midfielder Kelcie Hedge to Houston Dash in return for the 21st overall pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft and $15,000 in allocation money.

Pick-by-pick (follow for updates)

Round 1
No. 1: San Diego Wave FC — Naomi Girma, defender (Stanford)
No. 2: Racing Louisville FC — Jaelin Howell, midfielder (Florida State)
No. 3: North Carolina Courage — Emily Gray, midfielder (Virginia Tech)
No. 4: Racing Louisville FC — Savannah DeMelo, midfielder (USC)
No. 5: Orlando Pride — Mia Fishel, forward (UCLA)
No. 6: North Carolina Courage — Diana Ordoñez, forward (Virginia)
No. 7: Kansas City Current — Elyse Bennett, forward (Washington State)
No. 8: OL Reign — Zsanett Kajan, forward (St. John’s)
No. 9: San Diego Wave FC — Marleen Schimmer, forward (Grand Canyon Univ.)
No. 10: Orlando Pride (trade with OL Reign) — Caitlin Cosme, defender (Duke)
No. 11: Orlando Pride — Julie Doyle, forward (Santa Clara)
No. 12: North Carolina Courage — Kaitlin Fregulia, defender (Cal State; Long Beach)

Round 2
No. 13: 
Portland Thorns FC — Sydny Nasello, defender (Univ. of South Florida)
No. 14: San Diego Wave FC
No. 15: OL Reign
No. 16: Racing Louisville FC
No. 17: Kansas City Current
No. 18: Chicago Red Stars
No. 19: Chicago Red Stars
No. 20: OL Reign
No. 21: OL Reign
No. 22: Portland Thorns FC
No. 23: Chicago Red Stars
No. 24: NJ/NY Gotham FC
No. 25: San Diego Wave FC
No. 26: Racing Louisville FC

Round 3
No. 27: 
San Diego Wave FC
No. 28: Angel City FC
No. 29: Orlando Pride
No. 30: Racing Louisville FC
No. 31: Orlando Pride
No. 32: OL Reign
No. 33: OL Reign
No. 34: NJ/NY Gotham FC
No. 35: Chicago Red Stars
No. 36: Angel City FC
No. 37: Chicago Red Stars
No. 38: Washington Spirit

Round 4
No. 39: 
Angel City FC
No. 40: San Diego Wave FC
No. 41: Kansas City Current
No. 42: Racing Louisville FC
No. 43: Kansas City Current
No. 44: Houston Dash
No. 45: North Carolina Courage
No. 46: NJ/NY Gotham FC
No. 47: OL Reign
No. 48: Portland Thorns
No. 49: Chicago Red Stars
No. 50: Washington Spirit

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