Orlando Pride make five selections in 2023 NWSL Draft

Jan 12, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman poses for a photo
Jan 12, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman poses for a photo / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Pride made five selections in the 2023 National Women's Soccer League Draft Thursday, headlined by No. 3 overall pick Emily Madril. The Pride also selected forward Messiah Bright, defender Tori Hansen, forward Summer Yates and forward Kristen Scott. The club also traded a pair of fifth round picks to the Washington Spirit for $75,000 in Allocation Money.

“We’re really pleased. Obviously we got some very exciting players, players that cover a lot of positions of need as well," head Coach Seb Hines said following the draft. "Overall, we’re really excited and really pleased with the picks that we have."

Madril, a Florida native, stared at Florida State University, one of the premier programs in the country. During her four-year career in Tallahassee, Florida, she won two national championships and piled up individual accolades.

She was the 2021 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, anchoring a dominant Seminoles' defense en route to a national title. Madril opted out of her final college season, instead starting her professional career. She made four appearances on a brief pre-draft loan spell with Swedish club BK Häcken FF, scoring a goal against giants AIK.

The Pride added another defender to its draft class, selecting Tori Hansen from North Carolina with the first pick of the third round. Hansen is coming off a career year as a senior with the Tar Heels, anchoring one of the best defenses in the ACC. She earned second team All-American honors en route to a runner-up finish in the national tournament.

Bright, the No. 21 overall selection, scored 49 goals in 102 games across five seasons for Texas Christian University. She scored at least ten goals in three different campaigns, including a career-high 17 goals in 2021. Bright also earned a call-up to the U23 US Women's National Team in 2022.

Yates and Scott give the Pride two more intriguing forward prospects to fill in the roster. Yates helded the U20 USWNT win the 2020 Concacaf Championship and starred for five seasons at Washington. She earned All-Pac 12 honors four times in her career with the Huskies.

Scott is an Orlando native who blossomed into one of the most prolific players in the American Athletic conference. She scored 33 goals across five seasons with the Knights.