Just five picks after their first selection of the day, the Orlando Pride selected Northwestern University midfielder Marisa Viggiano with the third pick of the fourth round. Viggiano had 20 career assists to tie for the second most in Northwestern program history.
“First and foremost I would like to thank the Orlando Pride for drafting me to such an incredible team in an incredible league, among some of the best players in the world,” Viggiano said. “It truly is an honor, so thank you.”
While not the biggest player in the draft at just 5-foot-4, Viggiano was durable, starting in each of her final 83 consecutive matches of her collegiate career. It was the third-longest such streak in school history.
A four-year starter, Viggiano made 17 or more appearances in all four seasons of her college career with the Wildcats. All 85 of her appearances were starts and she scored five goals to go along with her 20 assists. The Michigan native got 55 of her 119 shot attempts on goal in her four years in Evanston, IL. Viggiano led her team in both assists (five) and shots (40) during her senior year and was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-North Region Second Team and to the United Soccer Coaches First Team Scholar All-North/Central Region. She earned All-Big Ten First Team honors as well.
“I think Marisa brings a little bit more possession-type player,” Orlando Pride GM Erik Ustruck said. “She could be a pivot player. She has the ability to link up between the different lines and she can play with both feet. So, she’s also a bit of a dynamic player, so that’s something that we were looking for.”
Viggiano said on the NWSL College Draft broadcast that she was excited to join the Pride’s star-studded roster.
“These are players that I’ve looked up to my whole entire life and to even get drafted on a roster that these players are a part of, it’s incredible. It’s such an honor,” she said. “I am excited to bring more of my technical side (to the NWSL). I like to have the ball at my feet and creating opportunities for myself, for my teammates. So that’s something that I’m looking forward to.”
As a creative midfielder, Viggiano can help add to the Pride’s offensive attack. Getting service to the forward line was a problem in 2018, so her skills will be much needed, especially in a World Cup year.
Here’s a look at what Viggiano can do: