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2023 NWSL Draft: Orlando Pride Select Washington’s Summer Yates at No. 39, UCF’s Kristen Scott at No. 41

The Pride wrap up their 2023 picks by grabbing a couple of attacking players in the final round.

Washington v New Mexico Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

The Orlando Pride wrapped up their 2023 NWSL Draft by selecting Washington Huskies’ No. 10 Summer Yates and midfielder/forward Kristen Scott out of UCF in the fourth round. The Pride snapped up Yates with the No. 39 overall selection and Scott at No. 41 overall. Orlando used the pick it acquired in that weird trade that sent goalkeeper Brittany Wilson and a 2023 third-round pick to Angel City.

The selections came after the club traded away two third-round picks (Nos. 29 and 34 overall) to the Washington Spirit in exchange for $75,000 in Allocation Money. Those picks were acquired in the deals that sent Ali Riley to Angel City and Marisa Viggiano to Houston, respectively.

“We’re extremely pleased with our draft picks,” Head Coach Seb Hines said on the draft broadcast on Paramount+ after the final selections. “You can see with the picks that we’ve made today that we want to be a competitive team in this league.”

Yates took advantage of the COVID year and played five seasons with the Huskies, making 93 appearances (86 starts) from 2018 to 2022, logging a total of 6,653 minutes. The 5-foot-4 forward scored 27 goals and added 23 goals in her collegiate career, including nine game-winning goals, and went 3-for-5 from the penalty spot.

In her fifth season, Yates was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team after leading the Huskies in goals (7), assists (6), points (20), shots (55), and shots on goal (20). In 2021, she made the All-Pac-12 First Team and All-Region Second Team. As a junior, during the 2021 spring season, Yates was named a Second Team All-American and was on the All-Pac-12 First Team and All-Region First Team. She was on the All-Pac-12 Second Team in 2019 and the All-Pacific Region Second Team.

Internationally, sue was a member of the United States 2020 U-20 Concacaf championship team.

Prior to her collegiate career, Yates was a two-time 4A All-State First Team selection, won a state championship with the PAC NW club team, and was named the Mid-Columbia Conference Player of the Year her senior season at Chiawana High School.

Scott is from Orlando and attended Edgewater High School. She too played five seasons, appearing in 72 games (68 starts) and logging 4,935 minutes in college. She scored 33 goals and added 11 assists, with 10 game-winning strikes.

The 5-foot-9 forward was named the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year following her fifth-year season and was named to the AAC First Team All-Conference squad for the second straight year. She was also named AAC Offensive Player of the Week twice. She received AAC Second Team All-Conference honors in 2019 and made the AAC All-Rookie Team in 2018.

According to the UCF website, Scott is good at soccer. I’m not even kidding.

What It Means for Orlando

Yates, a native of Pascoe, WA, is listed as a forward on the Washington website but projects more as an attacking midfield player who can work in the middle to distribute wide to the wing players, pick through balls past defenders to link with the striker, or chip in the occasional goal. A team can never have enough good players to deploy as the No. 10 and if she can make the jump to the pro game and develop in her position by learning from Marta, she could end up as the Pride’s smartest pick from the 2023 NWSL Draft.

Here’s a look at what Yates can do:

Scott, being local, feels like the kind of player the club took a flyer on in hopes that she can earn a spot and develop. Picked where she was, Scott is a bit more of a longshot to make the Pride roster. However, if there are few rosters in the NWSL that afford a young player as good of a chance to come in and earn a place as Orlando’s. She seems to move well off the ball, which is a skill that could help her make the jump to the pro game. She’ll enter with an understanding of how to deal with the unique conditions — heat, humidity, tons of rain — in Central Florida and has familiarity with the club.

To see what Scott brings to the table, check out her highlights here (sorry, the video won’t embed for some reason).

The Pride utilized the final round to try to add to the attack. If one or both of these players stick, it will be a great use of Orlando’s late picks.