The NWSL lost a chance to draft a generational talent when Stanford’s Catarina Macario skipped the NWSL draft to sign with Lyon on Tuesday. But Wednesday’s 2021 NWSL Draft will not be without its share of talent based on the list of eligible players the league released on Tuesday. One name to keep an eye on during the draft is Trinity Rodman, daughter of former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman.
The 2021 NWSL Draft features an expanded athlete pool with amended registration requirements because of the unprecedented 2020-21 NCAA soccer season, which has spilled into the spring semester because of Covid-19. After being drafted, players will be given the option to join their new NWSL club immediately or after the college season (the NCAA tournament will run April-May). For that reason alone, Wednesday’s draft will be fascinating to watch. Add in a potential USWNT star in the making who just so happens to be the daughter of one of the most infamous athletes in U.S. history and you have no excuse not to watch live on Twitch at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday.
The stars of tomorrow are ready ✨Catch the 2021 NWSL Draft, next Wednesday, at 7pm ET on @Twitch ⚽️
— National Women's Soccer League (@NWSL) January 8, 2021
Trinity Rodman, 18, is a freshman forward at Washington State. However, she might not play a game for the Cougars after opting into the NWSL draft. (The Pac-12 postponed its fall season to the spring.) TopDrawerSoccer.com projects her to go as early as the second pick, and with good reason.
Rodman was the No. 1-rated forward in the high school class of 2020 and chose to go to Washington State over UCLA in part because her brother, D.J. Rodman, was on the Cougars’ men’s basketball team.
Though Rodman hasn’t played at the college level, she’s already shown what she can do for the USWNT youth teams. She played at the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup and would have played in last year’s U-20 Women’s World Cup had it not been canceled by Covid-19.
Last year, Rodman helped the U.S. earn qualification for the U-20 Women’s World Cup in spectacular fashion. She made her case as one of the best young players in America with a two-goal, two-assist showing in the semifinals of the qualifying tournament, clinching a spot in the World Cup.
Rodman scored two more goals in the final win over Mexico, and it was a shame this USWNT youth squad never got a chance to compete for a world title after such a disappointing showing at the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup.
— Concacaf (@Concacaf) March 8, 2020
While Rodman could still choose to play her freshman season at Washington State, the fact she opted into the draft at all suggests she’s ready to go pro.
With Macario ruled out of the draft after signing a contract with European powerhouse Lyon, the likely No. 1 pick in the draft will be Brianna Pinto, the North Carolina junior midfielder who may have actually outshined Rodman on the USWNT U-20 squad last year. After that, the question will be how early a team takes a chance on a player with tremendous upside.
Wherever Rodman plays next, at 18 she’s got a bright future ahead of her.