BALTIMORE, Md. (Jan. 16, 2020) - Orlando Pride selected midfielder Taylor Kornieck with the third overall pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft, the highest selection the team has made in the draft in Club history.
In addition, the Pride selected four defenders on the afternoon in Courtney Petersen at No. 7 overall, UCF-product Konya Plummer No. 10 overall, Phoebe McClernon No. 14 overall and Cheyenne Shorts at No. 21 overall. With their last two picks of the day, the Pride shifted gears to the attacking side of the ball, selecting forward Abi Kim No. 26 overall and midfielder Chelsee Washington at No. 30 overall.
“I think things that we looked at from last season were the competitive edge in terms of physicality...so what I wanted to do coming into this was identify players that can technically play, physically play but also, having interviewed them almost in conversations, see if they can mentally step up,” said Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner. “We ended up getting players that I’m really happy with. I think they’ll add a new dynamic to an Orlando team that needed to be revitalized and reenergized. I’m really happy with the work we’ve done today and hopefully you’ll see that very soon.”
Entering the day with the No. 7 overall pick, the Pride traded up to move to No. 3 overall with the Chicago Red Stars. In addition to the third pick, the Pride received the 2020 No. 26 overall pick in exchange for forward Rachel Hill, the No. 19 overall pick, the Pride’s natural 2021 First Round pick, as well as Allocation Money.
A graduate of the University of Colorado-Boulder, Kornieck joins the Pride following a highly decorated collegiate career. The two-time United Soccer Coaches All-American finished her time as a Buffalo as the school’s all-time leader in points (102) and assists (24) among numerous other statistics, while becoming only the second player in CU history to earn All-America honors twice in her tenure.
In total, Kornieck appeared in 82 matches throughout her collegiate career, starting every game she played while scoring 39 goals as a midfielder. Of many accolades earned with the Buffaloes, Kornieck was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List three consecutive years from her sophomore to senior campaign and received All-Pac 12 honors each year of her collegiate career.
A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, Kornieck, has competed for the U.S. Women’s National Team at the U-18, U-19 and U-20 levels. In 2016, she served as the team captain for the U-18 side and scored her first international goal with the U-19s in July 2017.
Petersen, 22, comes to the Pride after a five-year career at the University of Virginia. With the Cavaliers, she totaled 78 appearances with 58 starts, netting five goals and tallying 12 assists throughout her collegiate career. Following both her junior and senior seasons, Petersen earned United Soccer Coaches All-Region honors, All-ACC accolades, as well as her first Top Drawer Soccer Best XI selection following the 2019 campaign, named to the Second Team.
On the international stage, Petersen has represented the United States at the U-14, U-15, U-17 and U-20 levels. In 2016, she competed at the U-20 World Cup for the U.S., appearing in two matches.
With their first pick of the second round at No. 10 overall, the Pride elected to select Konya Plummer - local University of Central Florida-product and the captain of the Jamaican Women’s National Team. In two years at UCF, Plummer appeared in 25 matches, scoring one goal. As a senior, she earned AAC Defensive Player of the Year honors and was selected to the AAC First Team. She began her collegiate career at Southeastern University, appearing in 38 matches across two seasons, earning All-Sun Conference honors.
Plummer, 22, made her FIFA Women’s World Cup debut this past summer, captaining the Reggae Girlz in their first appearance at the world renowned tournament. She played every minute of Jamaica’s three matches throughout the competition, with 20 appearances at the senior level on her international resume. With her selection, Plummer becomes the first Jamaica-born player drafted in NWSL history.
With their second selection out of the University of Virginia, the Pride drafted defender Phoebe McClernon with the No. 14 overall pick. Along with Petersen, McClernon helped the Cavaliers defense to post 14 shutouts in 2019, including seven consecutive clean sheets in ACC play.
A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, McClernon made 88 appearances throughout her collegiate career, netting one goal, and earning All ACC honors three years in a row in each of her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. In 2018, she was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-America Third Team, United Soccer Coaches All-Region First Team and TopDrawerSoccer Best XI Third Team.
At No. 21 overall, the Pride elected to take Cheyenne Shorts out of the University of Denver. The 2019 Summit League Defensive Player of the Year, Shorts totaled 69 matches at center back throughout her collegiate career, tallying seven assists in that span. Following her senior campaign in 2019, Shorts was named to the 2019 Summit League All-West Region First Team in addition to both the Summit League First Team and All-Tournament Team following her junior and senior seasons. As a freshman, she was named to the Summit League All-Freshman Team in 2016.
The Pride took their first and only forward of the afternoon with the No. 26 overall pick, selecting Abi Kim out of the University of California-Berkeley. Throughout her collegiate career, she totaled 80 appearances, scoring 18 goals and adding 10 assists. As a senior in 2019, Kim served as a team captain for the Bears, earning United Soccer Coaches All-Region Third Team honors for the second-consecutive year. In her first three years at Cal, she received All-Pac 12 selections.
At the international level, Kim has represented the United States at the U-18 and U-20 levels, a member of the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup roster. She totaled 24 caps for the U-20s, scoring six goals in that span.
To close out the afternoon, the Pride selected midfielder Chelsee Washington out of Bowling Green State University with the No. 30 overall pick. The 2019 MAC Offensive Player of the Year, Washington finished her college career with 85 caps for the Falcons, scoring 21 goals while adding 23 assists. Following the 2019 season, Washington was named to the All-MAC First Team for the second-straight season and earned United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region First Team honors, becoming the second player in BGSU history to earn all-region first-team accolades. As a junior, she was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region Second Team, making her one of two players in school history to be named to the all-region team twice.
Born: Nov. 22, 1998 in Troy, Michigan
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
College: University of Colorado, Boulder
Born: Oct. 28, 1997 in Royal Oak, Mich.
Hometown: Canton, Mich.
College: University of Virginia
Born: Aug. 2, 1997 in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, Jamaica
Hometown: Epsom, St. Mary, Jamaica
College: University of Central Florida
Born: Dec. 13, 1997 in West Chester, Pa.
Hometown: West Chester, Pa.
College: University of Virginia
Born: Aug. 10, 1998 in Dever, Colo.
Hometown: Denver, Colo.
College: University of Denver
Born: July 19, 1998 in Monrovia, Liberia
Hometown: Seattle, Wash.
College: University of California-Berkeley
Born: Nov. 17, 1997 in Dallas, Texas
Hometown: Carrollton, Texas
College: Bowling Green State University