Alyssa Thompson: The teenage phenom who could be the next great American football

Alyssa Thompson: The teenage phenom who could be the next great American football



CNN

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

Being drafted No. 1 overall is another milestone in what has been an already impressive fledgling career.

Thompson already has two caps for the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT), having made her international debut aged just 17 in a friendly against European champions England in September at a stadium sold out Wembley.

Now 18, Thompson has been a highly touted prospect for years, with her on-court abilities evident from an early age.

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

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

A native of Los Angeles, Thompson was named the 2021 High School Football Player of the Year after scoring 48 goals in 18 games with Harvard-Westlake School, where she is still a senior.

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

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

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

“Training with the whole squad 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 chose to waive his college eligibility and declared for the draft last week a stipulation for high school athletes if they want to be considered for the NWSL Draft.

ESPN reports that Thompson will complete his senior year of high school at Harvard-Westlake taking online classes once the NWSL season kicks off on March 25, but will take classes at the school when his schedule allows.

According to ESPN, Thompson and his parents said earning a degree remained a priority alongside pursuing his professional football career, which Angel City said would help Thompson get organized next year. .

“From the beginning, it’s always been something that if I’m going to turn pro, I’m still going to go to school,” Thompson told ESPN. “I want to keep improving, and since there’s still the possibility of going to college, why wouldn’t I?”

Thompson’s historic No. 1 Draft selection continues her meteoric rise through the American football ranks and will now play regularly in front of nearly 20,000 fans at Banc of California Stadium in Angel City.

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

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