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PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 12, 2023) - Orlando Pride selected defender Emily Madril with the third overall pick at the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Draft on Thursday out of Florida State University. In addition, the Pride opted to select Messiah Bright at No. 21 overall out of Texas Christian University followed by Tori Hansen three picks later out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Entering the day with both the No. 29 and No. 34 overall pick, the Pride traded both selections to the Washington Spirit for $75,000 in Allocation Money. With two picks in the fourth round, the side selected forward Summer Yates at No. 39 overall out of the University of Washington before wrapping up the evening by taking forward and Orlando native Kristen Scott out of the University of Central Florida with the No. 41 overall selection.

“We’re really pleased. Obviously we got some very exciting players, players that cover a lot of positions of need as well. Overall, we’re really excited and really pleased with the picks that we have,” Head Coach Seb Hines said following the draft. “[We gained] variety. We highlighted key players in key positions and you look at the picks that we got, they can come in and make an immediate impact to the team. I spoke about having a competitive environment in our training and I think we have that in our draft picks.”

A two-time NCAA National Champion, Madril joins the Pride following a decorated collegiate career in Tallahassee, finishing her time at Florida State with 62 appearances, 61 starts, six goals and seven assists. Named the 2021 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Madril led the Seminoles with 2,306 minutes, anchoring a defense that allowed just 13 goals in 25 games, securing 14 clean sheets on the season en route to the program’s third national title. That same year, she earned United Soccer Coaches All-American honors, while also being named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Atlantic Region First Team, TopDrawer Soccer Best XI First Team, College Cup All-Tournament Team, ACC All-Tournament Team and All-ACC First Team.

The year prior marked the Navarre, Fla. native’s return to the pitch following back-to-back ACL tears that sidelined her for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, playing all but 10 minutes in 16 matches for the Seminoles in 2020. Her return to the pitch saw her earn United Soccer Coaches Second Team All-American honors, while also being named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Atlantic Region First Team, TopDrawerSoccer Best XI First Team, College Cup All-Tournament team and the All-ACC Second Team. 

In 2022, Madril elected to forgo her final season at Florida State, signing a contract directly with the NWSL, which now sees her signed with the Pride through the 2025 season. The contract allowed the defender to then be loaned to Swedish side BK Häcken FF before returning for the 2023 NWSL Draft.

2023 NWSL Draft: Orlando Pride select Emily Madril at No. 3 overall

While in Sweden, Madril made four appearances on the backline, netting one goal during her short-term stint, scoring on her first touch of the game in an Oct. 31 win over AIK.

A two-time United Soccer Coaches All-American, Bright comes to Orlando following five years at TCU, finishing her collegiate career with 102 games played for the Horned Frogs, all of which were starts, scoring 50 goals and notching 17 assists to become the program’s all-time leader in goals and points (118). She earned both United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest and All-Big 12 honors in each of her five years in Fort Worth, highlighted by a 17-finish campaign to set the program record for goals in a single-season in 2021.

In 2022, Bright posted double-digit goals for the third time in her NCAA career, netting 10 for the Horned Frogs as they made a run to their third-consecutive Sweet 16 appearance. At the international level, she earned a call-up to the U-23 U.S. Women’s National Team the same year.

A finalist for the 2023 Honda Sport Award, Hansen comes to the Pride following a senior season that saw her log 2,271 minutes for the Tar Heels while leading all Power Five defenders with eight goals scored as the side finished as runner-ups in the 2022 NCAA College Cup. The Raleigh, North Carolina native anchored a defense that posted an ACC-best 14 shutouts in 2022, earning United Soccer Coaches All-America Second Team honors, as well as All-Atlantic Region First Team and First Team All-ACC. Through four years in Chapel Hill, Hansen appeared 65 times, starting 28 matches while netting nine goals and tallying four assists.

A four-time All-Pac-12 selection, Yates finishes a five-year career at Washington with 93 appearances, 86 starts, scoring 27 goals and adding 23 assists. In 2022, she led the Huskies with seven goals, six assists and 20 points, starting all 19 matches for the side. As a junior, Yates earned United Soccer Coaches All-American Second Team honors while landing on the All-Pacific Region Team for the second-consecutive year. On the international stage, Yates has appeared for the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team, lifting a Concacaf Championship in 2020 for the Stars & Stripes.

The American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year, Scott joins her hometown club after finishing her time at UCF with 72 appearances, 68 starts, netting 33 goals and notching 11 assists. In 2022, Scott earned American Athletic First-Team honors for the second-consecutive year, matching her career high in points with 23 behind nine goals and five assists. The year prior she netted a career-high 10 goals to lead the Knights, starting in all 16 matches for the side. As a rookie in 2019, Scott was named to the American Athletic Conference All-Rookie Team, starting all 18 matches as a freshman. 

The Orlando Pride will open the 2023 NWSL season the weekend of March 25. Season tickets for the upcoming campaign are available now, with more information here.

FSU

Emily Madril (muh-DRILL)

Position: Defender

Height: 5-7

Born: July 1, 1999 in Boise, Idaho

Hometown: Navarre, Fla.

Citizenship: USA

Bright

Messiah Bright (meh-CY-uh)

Position: Forward

Height: 5-9

Born: January 12, 2000 in Dallas, Texas

Hometown: Desoto, Texas

Citizenship: USA

UNC

Tori Hansen

Position: Defender

Height: 5-10

Born: January 14, 2001 in Raleigh, N.C.

Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.

Citizenship: USA

Summer Yates

Position: Forward

Height: 5-4

Born: June 17, 2000 in Pasco, Wash.

Hometown: Pasco, Wash.

Citizenship: USA

Kristen Scott

Position: Forward

Height: 5-9

Born: August 24, 2000 in Orlando, Fla.

Hometown: Orlando, Fla. 

Citizenship: USA