STANFORD, California – In Stanford women’s football, two players in the NWSL Draft 2021 – both in the first round – were drafted on Wednesday evening. Kiki Pickett was drafted while from Kansas City as fourth overall Madison Haley was drafted to seventh overall by the Chicago Red Stars.
The NWSL received an exemption from the NCAA so that drafted players can retain their eligibility when the NCAA season turns into spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The drafted players have until Friday, January 22nd to announce whether they will join their professional clubs immediately or after the college season.
North Carolina joins Stanford as the only school that has multiple picks for the first round in this year’s draft. The cardinal has included one player in the top 5 in each of the last four years – the only school that has managed the feat during this time.
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Kansas City went into the first round to select Pickett, sending Sky Blue FC $ 175,000 for the fourth overall selection. Pickett will join former cardinals Lo’eau LaBonta (2011-14) and Nicole Barnhart (2000-04) in the city of fountains. Kansas City NWSL is in its first season as an expanding franchise after all player-related assets were obtained from the former Utah Royals FC.
Pickett, a native of Santa Barbara and a communications major, announced Wednesday that she plans to stay in Stanford for the spring season before moving to Kansas City. As a former member of the USWNT U-20 team, she has started all but two games in her career. Pickett is known for winning the game penalty to secure the Cardinal the 2019 College Cup title. In her career, she has won two NCAA titles and three Pac-12 titles.
Pickett is a defender / midfielder who has spent most of her career in the backline. She has four goals and 16 assists for her senior season. Appointed to the College Cup All-Tournament Team during the 2019 Stanford title fight, she was also named the Third Team All-American Team, the First Team All-Conference Team, and the First Team All-Region Team.
The red stars acted from the sixth through the seventh choice before designing Haley. Haley will join the former Stanford All-American and will be number 1 overall in 2018. Delicate Davidson, in Chicago.
Haley is a 2019 second-team All-American team, joining Chicago as a two-time NCAA champion and three-time Pac-12 champion. The Dallas, Texas forward has scored 18 goals and added 23 assists for 59 points in her junior season. Haley’s eleven goals in 2019 earned her All-America honors and ended up on the All-Conference and All-Region teams.
While studying science, technology, and society, Haley received academic awards from the Pac-12, the United Soccer Coaches, and was named CoSIDA Third-Team Academic All-American in 2019.
Stanford has drafted 17 players in the NWSL since 2013 – nine in the first round, including an unprecedented three-straight No. 1 overall selection from 2018-20.