Alyssa Thompson is staying in Los Angeles with Angel City, and all it took was some NWSL Draft history to make it happen.
With the first overall pick of the 2023 NWSL Draft, Angel City made the Harvard-Westlake forward the first high school athlete to hear her name called first in the league's 10-year history.
Thompson's selection was widely expected after Angel City acquired the first overall pick from NJ/NY Gotham FC last week in a deal that saw it trade its natural No. 5 pick and a second-round pick in 2024, plus $200,000 in allocation money, to Portland Thorns FC for Yazmeen Ryan, then send Ryan and $250,000 to Gotham.
That deal made the 18-year-old Thompson essentially the most expensive player in league history, as the previous most-expensive deal by allocation money was the San Diego Wave's acquisition of USWNT star Alex Morgan for $275,000, per the Los Angeles Times.
What's more, Thompson's agents told the Times' Luca Evans that she has signed a three-year deal with Angel City they say is the largest for any NWSL player under 25.
Angel City is certainly expecting the price to be worth it. Thompson, who was previously committed to play at Stanford, won the prestigious Gatorade High School Player of the Year award in 2021 after scoring 48 goals in 18 games. No, that statistic is not a typo.
Thompson is also one of the top high school sprinters in the state of California and made her USWNT senior team debut last year.
Thompson won't be entirely unprecedented as a top player entering the NSWL without college experience, as Washington Spirit star Trinity Rodman joined her team in 2021 after not playing a game in her college career at Washington State. That move has more than worked out for the Spirit.
2023 NWSL first-round draft picks
Angel City FC: Alyssa Thompson, F, Harvard-Westlake High School
Kansas City Current: Michelle Cooper, F, Duke
Orlando Pride: Emily Madril, D, Florida State
NJ/NY Gotham FC: Jenna Nighswonger, M, Florida State
Portland Thorns FC: Reyna Reyes, D, Alabama
North Carolina Courage: Olivia Wingate, F, Notre Dame
Chicago Red Stars: Penelope Hocking, F, Penn State
North Carolina Courage: Sydney Collins, D, University of California
North Carolina Courage: Clara Robbins, M, Florida State
Kansas City Current: Alexa Spaanstra, F, Virginia
North Carolina Courage: Haley Hopkins, F, Virginia
Portland Thorns FC: Izzy D'Aquila, F, Santa Clara