Alyssa Thompson scores a goal in her NWSL debut

Credit: Angel City Football Club
The No. 1 overall pick in the NWSL Draft began the regular season strong.

LOS ANGELES — It was like deja vu in Angel City FC’s (ACFCs) season-opening matchup against NJ/NY Gotham FC. 

A few weeks ago, Alyssa’s Thompson made her professional debut in an international friendly against Club América Femenil. She immediately made her mark when she dribbled past the opposing goalkeeper and scored a goal in the fifth minute.

Today, 11 minutes into the game against Gotham, Thompson received a pass from midfielder Dani Weatherholt, took a few dribbles, and launched a shot toward the goal from outside the box. The ball was tipped into the corner of the net off Gotham’s goalkeeper Abby Smith’s fingers for a goal.

Another quick start for Thompson and loud cheers from the sold-out crowd of 22,000. 

“[Weatherholt] got it on the side, and then I saw that there was space inside to get it back. I got in that space, and I looked up, and the goal was open,” Thompson said. “It felt amazing. I was super excited to be at the home opener and score and get our team off on the right foot.”

Thompson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Draft, becoming the first high school player to be drafted to the league. She attended Harvard-Westlake School and led her school to the SoCal State Regional title by scoring 48 goals in 18 games in her sophomore year.

Thompson was also a track and field star in high school, running the sixth-fastest 100-meter dash of all time with a time of 11.74. Her NWSL debut showed that pace, while her impact did not stop at the goal. 

Thompson made runs into Gotham’s box to disrupt Gotham’s back line. Her quick bursts led to corner kicks or other chances to score. 

38 minutes into the game, Thompson made a run from ACFCs side of the field to Gotham’s side to set up a corner kick. The corner kick led to a header on goal by Sarah Gorden and a second chance opportunity for Katie Johnson before Gotham cleared the ball. 

“She was an absolute handful down that left-hand side,” said ACFC head coach Freya Coombe. “She’s really happy on the ball. Being able to face up, being able to go at defenders, and I think she causes some problems.”

With the goal and flashes of potential, Thompson’s expectations from fans will be high in coming matches. She has now debuted for the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) and NWSL and will likely continue to be featured in ACFCs attack as the season progresses.

“I see her as someone with a bright future… It is the first of many [goals], midfielder Ali Riley said. “I think she has lived up to all the hype.

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