The 2017 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft will take place Thursday, January 12 at 2 p.m. CT at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention in Los Angeles, California. It will consist of four rounds where the 10 teams in the league will have the opportunity to pick players. It can be watched live via the league’s Facebook Page
I talked with Melanie January 7th to find out more about the opportunity as well as getting caught up on the 2016 season and the path she’s taken to reach this point. Listen in to our chat via the audio link directly below.
For 2016, Melanie was recognized on the All-SEC First Team as well as the NSCAA All-South Region team. Interesting to note that Mel was also a four-time CYC Champion at St. Sabina, never losing a game during that period 🙂
Chris' 2017 NWSL Draft Big Board #68
Melanie Donaldson – MF (CM) – Missouri
— Chris Henderson (@chris_awk) January 9, 2017
Looking at the draft, Chris at All-White Kit offers his Top 100
90. Melanie Donaldson – MF (CM) – Missouri
Unsung heroine playing in an unglamorous defensive midfield role for the Tigers over the course of the past three seasons. Has been ever-present as a starter in the middle of the park for Missouri in all three seasons, starting almost every match for the SEC side. Not just a defensive mauler, as she’s tallied six goals and four assists over the course of the past three seasons, and the Missouri native doesn’t lack for a quick trigger in the middle of the park either. Arguably had her best season in 2015 as a junior, and if that arc continues to go upward in her final year in Columbia, Donaldson could sneak onto the radar as a later round pick or as a preferred undrafted free agent for an NWSL side. Doesn’t have ideal size for a defensive midfielder at the next level at just 5’5”, though that’s not a deal breaker in all likelihood. Biggest question perhaps is if Donaldson can be dynamic enough to make an impact at the professional level.
In addition to Melanie’s recognition by the SEC and NSCAA for her senior year, she was a Second Team All-SEC pick as a junior and part of the SEC Pre-Season Conference team as well. I covered an early home game this Fall, capturing her first goal of the season, a header at the back post. A post-game interview can be seen below.
The Columbia Tribune highlighted her strengths and importance to the Mizzou Tigers in July, as a preview to the 2016 season.
Donaldson post-game vs Iowa, August 2016
As a member of the Lou Fusz Wipke 94-95 squad, Melanie won five (5) State Cups of the six possible during her career. That led to one Region II Title as well as two trips to the USYSA National Championship series, the last one as U19’s. An interview with Mel and Lexie Boschert (St. Joe/Rockhurst) that Summer.
Donaldson and Boschert on Region 2 Tourney for Lou Fusz Wipke, June 2014
In high school, Melanie was a three-time First Team All-State player for the Incarnate Word Red Knights, when the team was competing in the large school (Class 3) category. She was also chosen as an All-Midwest player as a senior.
Donaldson game winner vs Eureka, May 2012