Alyssa Thompson: The teenage phenomenon who could be US soccer’s next great

Alyssa Thompson: The teenage phenomenon who could be US soccer’s next great


Described by her new team Angel City as a “generational player,” teenage sensation Alyssa Thompson made history Thursday by becoming the first high school player to be drafted in Women’s National Soccer League history.

Drafting no. 1 overall is another big step in what has been an already impressive young career.

Thompson already boasts two caps for the US Women’s National Team (USWNT), having made her international debut at the age of 17 in a friendly against European champions England in September at a sold-out Wembley Stadium.

Now 18, Thompson has been a highly touted prospect for years, with her skills on the court evident from a young age.

In 2020, she and her younger sister, Gisele, transferred to play for Total Futbol Academy, an all-boys club in Major League Soccer’s MLS NEXT academy system.

In May 2022, the Thompson sisters secured a historic multi-year deal to become the first high school athletes to sign a name, image and likeness deal with Nike.

A Los Angeles native, Thompson was named the 2021 high school soccer player of the year after scoring 48 goals in 18 games with Harvard-Westlake High, where she is still a senior.

Thompson is no slouch either, competing in the 100 meters during high school and recording top 10 times in the state of California during her three years of running.

According to Angel City, it recorded the sixth fastest time in the state in 2022.

Able to play in all three positions on the front line as well as in the midfield, Thompson was able to showcase her talents to the Angel City last year when she joined the club for pre-season training camp.

“Training with the full team and being in that environment, I thought, ‘Wow, I can do this,'” she told the Angel City website.

Thompson had verbally agreed to play for Stanford next year, according to ESPN, but opted to forego her college eligibility and declare for the draft last week, a requirement for high school athletes if they want to be considered for the NWSL draft. .

ESPN reports that Thompson will finish her senior year of high school at Harvard-Westlake by taking classes online once the NWSL season begins on March 25, but will attend classes at the school when her schedule allows.

According to ESPN, Thompson and her parents said studying for a degree remains a priority alongside pursuing her professional soccer career, something Angel City said will help Thompson organize next year.

“It’s always been something from the beginning that if I’m going to go pro, I’m still going to get an education,” Thompson told ESPN. “I want to keep getting better, and since I can still go to college, why not?”

Thompson’s historic No. 1 draft selection continues her meteoric rise through the U.S. Soccer rankings, and she will now regularly play in front of nearly 20,000 fans at Angel City’s Banc of California Stadium.

And with the Women’s World Cup set to begin July 20 in Australia and New Zealand, don’t be surprised if Thompson earns a spot on the USWNT squad for the tournament.

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