The Orlando Pride drafted Chelsee Washington with the third pick of the fourth round and the 30th pick overall of the 2020 NWSL College Draft. The pandemic basically wiped out the 2020 season but she did appear in all four of the Pride’s NWSL Fall Series matches that year. The club signed Washington for the 2021 season and the Texas native played in 10 matches in her first pro season before going on loan to earn valuable competitive minutes in Australia with Canberra United.
Let’s take a look back at her 2022 season.
Washington appeared in two of the Pride’s six matches in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup, playing just 37 total minutes off the bench. She passed well, connecting on 12 of her 13 attempts for a 92.3% success rate and providing two key passes. She didn’t score or assist on a goal or even attempt a shot in the Challenge Cup and she did not record any defensive statistics or commit or draw any fouls.
In the regular season, Washington made one appearance off the bench, nearly doubling her 2022 minutes by playing 36 of them. She completed six of her nine passes for just a 66.7% success rate and attempted one unsuccessful cross. She did not score or assist on a goal in the regular season but she did take one shot and it was on target. She won three fouls while conceding just one and was booked once.
She may have gotten more minutes had her season not been cut short by a lingering ankle injury that kept her out from Aug. 20 through the end of the year.
There isn’t a lot to choose from but I’ll go with her 36 minutes in her only regular-season appearance of the season — Orlando’s 1-0 home win over the Houston Dash on July 8. It was her longest outing of the year and Washington attempted her only shot of the season, putting it on goal. She was involved in possession, earning three fouls and committed only one, although she was booked for it. She only completed 66.7% of her passes but she was solid in her own end, completing all of her defensive zone passes. She also had a 100% aerial dual success rate. Importantly, she helped the Pride see out the win after Ally Prisock’s own goal in the 79th minute. That win snapped Orlando’s six-game winless streak and was the first win and second result of the team’s season-high, seven-match unbeaten run.
2022 Final Grade
Washington did not play enough minutes in her combined Challenge Cup and NWSL regular-season appearances to fairly earn a grade, so The Mane Land staff has to give an incomplete for her 2022 season. It was not the step up in playing time she likely expected going into the season after receiving a rating of 5 out of 10 in last season’s 10 appearances and a successful loan stint in Australia last off-season with Canberra.
The Pride will have to offer Washington a new contract for her to be back in 2023. The club picked up Washington’s option year for 2022 last November and she is out of contract now. The 24-year-old may yet have an NWSL career ahead of her, but not getting many minutes on this year’s team doesn’t bode well, even if an injury played a role in the season’s final couple of months.