NWSL Mock Draft: San Diego Wave land FSU's Jaelin Howell, North Carolina Courage fill Jessica McDonald's void


1 San Diego Wave FC: Jaelin Howell, M, Florida State

After selecting USWNT midfielder Kristie Mewis in the expansion draft and trading her to NJ/NY Gotham FC for $200,000 in allocation money, the franchise is in need for midfielders and two-time College Cup champion fits the bill.

2 Racing Louisville FC: Naomi Girma, D, Stanford

Girma would be a great fit for a Racing side that needs to fill the void left behind by centerback Kaleigh Riehl, who was selected by San Diego with the last pick of the expansion draft. Girma's ability to slot in at the position would provide an immediate boost for the club.

3 North Carolina Courage: Mia Fishel, F, UCLA

Arguably the best available forward on the draft list, Fishel is making the leap to go pro after three years with UCLA. The Courage are in need of attacking options as they officially head into a new era under Sean Nahas.

4 Racing Louisville FC: Savannah DeMelo, M, USC

The club could use some more midfield depth along with boosting their backline. Taking DeMelo would give them some hope of having more options available in the middle third.

5 Orlando Pride: Sydny Nasello, F, South Florida

The Pride need to add more attacking options in alongside Sydney Leroux and the local college prospect is a good option for them here.

6 North Carolina Courage: Diana Ordoñez, F, Virginia

Ordonez is skipping her senior collegiate season to go pro after a prolific junior year with 18 goals, which was tops in the ACC. The Courage just lost Jessica McDonald to Louisville in order to acquire this pick, so it would only make some sense if they found another forward to work alongside Lynn Williams up top -- or even for depth. Seems like a great match.

7 Kansas City Current: Sydney Cummings, D, Georgetown

After giving their midfield a boost by acquiring USWNT midfielder Sam Mewis and signing NWSL veteran Lo'eau LaBonta, the Current could look for some backline depth after some struggles defensively last season.

8 NJ/NY Gotham FC: Emily Gray, M, Virginia Tech

The New Jersey native is coming off a strong senior season with 12 goals and eight assists. As a midfielder, Gray could benefit from developing alongside two other NWSL pros with Gotham's Allie Long and McCall Zerboni.

9 San Diego Wave FC: Marley Canales, M, UCLA

The San Diego native going to homegrown club to fill its hole at midfield would be a perfect match. Canales has earned All-Pac-12 honors and has ties to the U.S. youth national teams.

10 OL Reign: Izzy Rodriguez, D, Ohio State

Rodriguez earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors and made First Team All-Big Ten in the spring season as co-captain of the Buckeyes. Rodriguez, who played for the United States in the 2018 U-20 World Cup, is naturally a left back but OL Reign could in theory slide her in as a left center back if needed.

11 Chicago Red Stars: Julie Doyle, F, Santa Clara

The Red Stars need frontline help after bidding farewell to Katie Johnson and Makenzy Doniak ahead of the expansion draft. Unknowns around Kealia Watt's injury sustained in the 2021 semifinal highlight Chicago's need for forward depth. Doyle's strength on the wing could be a solid pickup for the Red Stars.

12 North Carolina Courage: Raleigh Loughman, M, Michigan

After going with two forwards for their first two picks of Round 1, we have the Courage addressing their need for midfield options alongside Debinha and Denise O'Sullivan. Loughman was essential during Michigan's championship run in the Big Ten tournament and is a midfielder who can score and be a playmaker for those around her.




Fivestar Prepares to Launch One-of-a-Kind Sports Highlights Rating Platform

The Fivestar App, the video-sharing mobile app designed exclusively for athletes, coaches and sports enthusiasts, will officially launch in February 2022. Those excited to try the app ASAP can register to receive early access to the Fivestar App by visiting

The Fivestar App was created for athletes by athletes to address the challenges they face to get noticed in their sports. A small, exclusive group currently determines athletes’ rankings, limiting access and exposure for countless deserving individuals to receive recognition. To level the playing field, the founders of the Fivestar App set out to create a sports-only platform that empowers athletes to get noticed, no matter their sport, level of play or location. Think of it as the TikTok of sports, but with a heavy focus on its users’ mental health and well-being.

"Our goal in creating the Fivestar App is to offer a supportive, interactive, safe space for a diverse community of athletes and sports lovers," said Fivestar CEO Erin McNeally. "The platform is an exposure generator and an equalizer for athletes of all backgrounds, skill levels, and sports. The algorithm we’ve designed affords Fivestar the distinct ability to leverage the infinite power of social media interconnectivity, while consciously removing some of its more precarious elements."

The Fivestar App’s standout safety features include a comment-free approach to engagement and reliance on machine learning to identify problematic users, bots and non-sports content. Instead of commenting, the app’s proprietary algorithm relies largely on a five-star rating system that allows users to give and receive honest feedback on their content. The app also gamifies the user experience by utilizing video game elements as well as a point system that tracks engagements and rewards users with points. The points can then be used to purchase gear, access events, and access exclusive content only available on the platform.

From athletes and sports enthusiasts, to parents and coaches, the Fivestar App provides a unique experience for a variety of users. Athletes are empowered to set up a profile, choose their sport (or sports) and post highlights of their best moments, while fans are invited to engage by rating highlights, reacting with animations and awarding points as they see fit. Athletes who want to improve their ratings can browse other athletes’ content for inspiration. And who are the athletes? From recognized pros and kids moving up in their sport, to the leisurely snowboarder that wants to track their air across the season. If you're lacing up, Fivestar has a spot for you.

While athletes leverage the platform to get noticed, fans get access to the top highlights from the full range of sports they love. The Fivestar App invites fans (athletic or not) to participate in the sports world like never before. The incentive? In addition to having access to highlights and the ability to rate, fans can earn a scout score status.

Coaches can also take advantage of the Fivestar App to search for and find athletes they may want to recruit to their team. The Fivestar App breaks the recruitment barrier that currently limits both athletes and teams. By viewing highlights of potential recruits, coaches and athletes both reap the benefits of being seen, regardless of physical location.

In addition to direct consumers, Fivestar also has secured - and will continue to pursue - partnerships with corporations and professional athletes. Stay tuned for a list of participating athletes that have already begun to engage on the app.

The Fivestar App will be free to download and available for use on all Android and iOS devices. Users will also have a premium subscription and in-app purchase options.

About Fivestar:

The Fivestar App is the only dedicated digital platform that is focused 100% on sports highlights. The app provides a safe space for athletes and sports enthusiasts to share, find, and rate sports highlights through its proprietary rating system, gamification elements, and machine learning capabilities. The app empowers athletes to be recognized in their sports while empowering sports enthusiasts an opportunity to participate in the sports world like never before.