LOS ANGELES — At the conclusion of the NWSL College Draft yesterday, Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni was all smiles as he addressed the media.
“I’m happy,” Sermanni said of his draft picks. “When you’re picking at 22 and you’re picking at 32, it’s not easy, because when you get out and watch games, you don’t go out and watch players that you think are going to be drafted at 22. You go out and you watch the best players that you can. So considering where we picked in the draft, I was pleased with the players we got because they were on our list, we rated them highly and we got them.”
“I think [Danica] has the potential to score goals; I think she’s a clever footballer so I think she knows how to play the game,” Sermanni said. “I think she can play well with her back to goal and can play well as a center striker. Particularly with Alex gone, we need to look at that position.
“If [Nickolette] can replicate her passing game from college into the pros, she’ll be an outstanding player,” Sermanni added. “She’s got great vision, great passing range and is good with both feet. If we can get a team that gives her that time and space to do that, she’ll be very effective.”
Through the draft process, the Pride waited patiently through two rounds and a number of timeouts and trades before they were able to pick — two and a half hours after the draft began.
With scouting all of the players, the coaching staff went through hours of film and traveled to multiple games to get a good feel for who they would be drafting for the team. Sermanni was sure to mention the importance of his assistant coach, Khano Smith, and what he had done for the team in preparation for the draft.
“He’s been terrific,” Sermanni said. “He’s looked at numerous games and numerous videos, assessed the different players and he’s been a real valuable source of information for us today and leading into today, so he’s done the hard job on this draft.”
With Evans as a goal scorer and Driesse as a creative, attacking midfielder now on the roster, the Pride are starting to come together as a team. That being said, there are still many more moves that will be completed before the beginning of the 2017 season.
We’ll have more to come on Sermanni’s thoughts on life without Alex Morgan and the state of the Orlando Pride roster over the coming days.