In Case You Missed it: Portland Thorns 2022 Draft Recap

by John Rustik
Nasello playing at USF

The 2021 NWSL Draft involved a couple draft picks from the Portland Thorns. Here’s a look at who they got and what they can bring to the team.

Nasello playing at USF

Sydny Nasello spent four years at the University of South Florida (Photo from Brian Westerholt / Sports On Film)

Sydny Nasello: Forward (2nd Round, 13th Pick Overall)

Picked first in the second round was Sydny Nasello from South Florida. She was named to the AAC all-conference first team and earned AAC Offensive Player of the Year. She scored 11 goals in 19 appearances and added five assists. 

However, Nasello’s arrival in Stumptown didn’t come without controversy. Numerous tweets resurfaced containing anti-LGBTQ messages from her twitter account. She has since apologized, but the damage between her and the Thorns community had already been done.

On Friday evening, Meg Linehan reported that Nasello would not be on the Thorns roster ahead of the 2022 season. While her time in Portland is seemingly over before it even started, it looks as though she will likely land somewhere else in the NWSL.

One of the controversial tweets retweeted from Nasello’s account.

gabby-provenzano

Provenzano helped lead the Scarlet Knights to the semifinals of the NCAA College Cup (Cos Lymperopoulos / scarletknights.com)

Gabby Provenzano: Defender  (2nd Round, 22nd Pick Overall)

Provenzano adds another option in the defense for the Thorns. While Portland already boasts an impressive defense, with a league best 17 goals against last year. The senior from Rutgers was named the 2021 Big Ten Defender of the Year.

She reunites with former teammate Madison Pogarch, who saw action in 15 games for the Thorns last season. It will be difficult for Provenzano to find minutes in an already great back line. However, in another season where COVID-19 will likely affect lineups, she will get her chances.

natalie-beckman

Beckman had a program-record 18 assists this season with Denver (Justin Tafoya / NCAA Photos)

Natalie Beckman (4th Round, 48th Overall Pick)

The final pick from the Thorns this season was winger Natalie Beckman. In her four seasons at Denver, she registered 21 goals for her team. Most impressively though was her 47 assists in college.

Beckman could be the best acquisition from the entire draft for Portland. She has proven that she is a crafty winger that makes the final pass in the attacking third. The Denver native also appeared in 83 games, starting in 81 of them, further proving her consistency in the attack. 

While the Thorns traditionally play a 4-3-1-2, that might change with new Manager Rhian Wilkinson in charge. No matter the formation change, Beckman would be a perfect super-sub on the outside.

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