This 18-Year-Old Notches a Soccer Milestone

Alyssa Thompson is the first high school student selected first in NWSL draft
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2023 8:59 AM CST
This 18-Year-Old Notches a Soccer Milestone
Alyssa Thompson of Harvard-Westlake High School in the Los Angeles area looks to pass during a 2021 playoff game in Studio City, Calif.   (Hans Gutknecht/The Orange County Register via AP)

Alyssa Thompson has just gone from being a high school soccer phenom to a professional athlete. On Thursday, the 18-year-old became the first high schooler to be selected first in the National Women's Soccer League draft, reports Yahoo Sports. Don't be surprised if her younger sister Gisele follows her to the pros soon. Some details:

  • Thompson is still a senior at Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles, per CNN. Last year, she scored 48 goals in 18 games and was named Gatorade's High School Player of the Year.
  • She was drafted by Angel City FC, which plays in Los Angles. The season starts in March, and Thompson will take mostly online classes at that point to get her diploma, per ESPN. She says a big part in signing with Angel City is that they pledge to help her continue on with college.

  • "This was the hardest decision that I've ever had to make," Thompson says of the decision to forgo college eligibility and go pro. "There were so many back and forths about it, but in the end, I decided that it was the best for me."
  • Last year, she and sister Gisele became the first high school athletes to sign name, image, and likeness deals with Nike, per Bleacher Report. See an image of them both here.
  • Thompson's salary wasn't disclosed. The average total compensation of NWSL players is $54,000, per Front Office Sports, though Thompson should be well above that. Endorsement deals will add to that total.
(Read more women's soccer stories.)

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