Angel City Football Club adds depth with three late NWSL draft picks

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Felicia Knox sat inside the Anaheim Convention Center as the first round of the NWSL draft ended Friday night.

Then the second round ended.

Knox, who was the 2022 SEC Midfielder of the Year and recorded 18 goals and 31 assists in her four-year career at Alabama, finally heard her name called in the third round, as the No. 37 overall selection.

“I think everybody’s path is different,” Knox said. “How it works out is how it works out. I’m thankful. I’m their (Angel City’s) first pick (of the draft), so I hope I can help them out in any that the team needs.”

Angel City’s midfield has lost Savannah McCaskill (San Diego Wave FC) and Dani Weatherholt. Early in the day Friday, the club did acquire Meggie Dougherty Howard in a trade with San Diego.

Knox, a four-year player, could find a player to watch as an attacking piece.

“I feel like I’m creative, my decision-making is pretty good and I’m smart,” Knox said. “My soccer IQ and my technique is pretty good, so I feel like I can bring some quality to the soccer aspect of Angel City.

“I’m so excited for the opportunity. I’m so blessed to be here, blessed to be picked by Angel City. I’m honestly kind of shocked, didn’t know exactly where I’d end up, but I’m very pleased and the fans gave me the warmest welcome I could possibly ask for and I’m so excited to get started.”

At the start of the offseason, Angel City general manager Angela Hucles Mangano said the plan was to add to the club’s depth. She feels the selection of Knox was a good way to start the draft.

“Our first selection was a very exciting and intentional pick, as we wanted to choose a player that adds depth,” she said. “Felicia is very creative and consistent, which is definitely what we want out of our midfield play.”

Angel City made a move in the fourth round, sending $15,000 in allocation to Seattle Reign for the No. 44 pick to select St. John’s midfielder Jessica Garziano, a three-time All-Big East selection. Garziano played five years at St. John’s, scoring 22 goals with 32 assists in 90 games.

“We’ve watched Jessica, and she is very suited for the NWSL,” ACFC first assistant coach Eleri Earnshaw said. “Everyone has spoken so highly of her. Not just on her ability, but also her leadership, maturity, and readiness to make an impact in this league.”

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