2016 NWSL Rookie Draft Class Statistical Ratings – 1st Half 2016 Season Results

Oct 25, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; United States defender Emily Sonnett (27) controls the ball against the Brazil during the first half of an exhibition match in the women
Oct 25, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; United States defender Emily Sonnett (27) controls the ball against the Brazil during the first half of an exhibition match in the women /

2016 NWSL Rookie Draft Class Statistical Ratings – 1st Half 2016 Season Results. A statistical look at the 2016 NWSL rookie class,

How did your favorite NWSL rookie do this past year? We have statistics for the first half of the 2016 and decided to rate the players to see how well they did.  We took our “SNAFU” rating system and looked at the entire 2016 NWSL draft class to see how their careers started. Are they going to be the greatest player ever? Or were they just “hype” from an overrated college program? Let us see where they all landed!

There is no Casey Short here as she is not a true rookie.  Borrowed directly from Wikipedia. This is your 2016 NWSL draft results:


Table 1. 2016 NWSL Draft Results:

RoundPickNat.PlayerPos.NWSL TeamNotesPrevious Team
Round 11United StatesEmily SonnettDPortland Thorns FC[R1 trade 1]Virginia
Round 12Costa RicaRaquel RodríguezFSky Blue FC[R1 trade 2]Penn State
Round 13United StatesChristen WestphalDBoston Breakers[R1 trade 3]Florida
Round 14United StatesCarson PickettDSeattle Reign FC[R1 trade 4]Florida State
Round 15United StatesCari RoccaroDHouston Dash[R1 trade 5]Notre Dame
Round 16EnglandRachel DalyFHouston DashSt. John’s
Round 17United StatesCheyna WilliamsFWashington SpiritFlorida State
Round 18CanadaJanine BeckieFHouston Dash[R1 trade 6]Texas Tech
Round 19United StatesMichaela HahnMWestern New York Flash[R1 trade 7]Florida State
Round 110United StatesSam WittemanDOrlando Pride[R1 trade 8]California
Round 211United StatesMakenzy DoniakFWestern New York Flash[R2 trade 1]Virginia
Round 212United StatesCali FarquharsonFWashington Spirit[R2 trade 2]Arizona State
Round 213EnglandLeah GaltonFSky Blue FCHofstra
Round 214United StatesMallory WeberFWestern New York FlashPenn State
Round 215United StatesChristina BurkenroadFOrlando Pride[R2 trade 3]Cal State Fullerton
Round 216New ZealandKatie BowenDFC Kansas City[R2 trade 4]North Carolina
Round 217United StatesBrittany RatcliffeMBoston Breakers[R2 trade 5]Virginia
Round 218United StatesBrianne ReedDFC Kansas CityRutgers
Round 219United StatesKatie NaughtonDChicago Red StarsNotre Dame
Round 220United StatesAlli MurphyMWashington Spirit[R2 trade 6]Texas Tech
Round 321United StatesMcKenzie BerryhillDPortland Thorns FC[R3 trade 1]Arizona State
Round 322United StatesSarah GordenDChicago Red Stars[R3 trade 2]DePaul
Round 323United StatesErica SkroskiDSky Blue FCRutgers
Round 324United StatesLaura LiedleDWestern New York FlashStanford
Round 325United StatesPaige NielsenMSeattle Reign FC[R1 trade 9]North Carolina
Round 326United StatesBritt EckerstromGKWestern New York Flash[R3 trade 3]Penn State
Round 327United StatesAbby SmithGKBoston Breakers[R3 trade 4]Texas
Round 328United StatesAlexa NewfieldFFC Kansas CityNorth Carolina
Round 329United StatesCaroline CaseyGKSky Blue FC[R3 trade 5]William and Mary
Round 330United StatesSummer GreenFSeattle Reign FCNorth Carolina
Round 431United StatesDani WeatherholtMOrlando PrideSanta Clara
Round 432United StatesCourtney RaetzmanMChicago Red Stars[R4 trade 1]Kentucky
Round 433United StatesJannelle FlawsFChicago Red Stars[R4 trade 2]Illinois
Round 434United StatesMadalyn SchiffelGKWashington Spirit[R4 trade 3]San Francisco
Round 435United StatesAdrienne JordanDChicago Red Stars[R4 trade 4]Northern Colorado
Round 436PanamaCandace JohnsonDChicago Red Stars[R4 trade 5]Missouri
Round 437United StatesKara Marie WilsonD/MWashington SpiritDuke
Round 438United StatesAlex ArlittD/MFC Kansas CityLSU
Round 439United StatesAshleigh EllenwoodFChicago Red StarsArkansas
Round 440United StatesLindsey LukeGKSeattle Reign FCUtah

Anyone new to my writings here may not be familiar, but I have concocted a “homemade” statistical calculation that I call “SNAFU”, which is “Statistically Normalized- All Fudged Up”. It is a soccer player rating scale that can be used to compare players over a full season or you can compare teams playing in one game.

In case you were interested, here are the other articles that describe “SNAFU” in detail.

In the “Sources” below, I have acquired data from Alfredo Martinez Jr. and his staff at a site called WoSo Stats. They have about a half-season of the 2016 NWSL games published statistically, as well as some 2016 International Friendlies, and the 2016 Rio Olympics. I was able to use some of the data and make player calculations to see how well they perform against each other. Details are in the “Blame it on the Rio Olympics” series above.

“SNAFU” Statistical Reminders

For the Grand Total in the tables below, an “average player” should be worth about 50 points. The scale is from 1 to 100, but a player sitting on the bench will have 40.25 points. In theory, all of the actions a players can lead to a goal or an error can cause the other team to score. Therefore, a point difference higher would mean that you gave your team a goal scoring opportunity as compared to another player.

For comparing teams the categories of “Appearance” and “Bonus” are removed as they have the same number of players, playing time, and bonus structure, but I left the all of the columns for curiosity. However, we will  mainly look at the Grand Total column, which has all of the calculations. But we can also look at the Total Minus Appearance column as well. For comparing players, this column can be interesting. The “Appearance” column rewards full time players and punishes “bench” players. But, what if a player is injured? Then we can look at the Total Minus Appearance to compare 2 players if their playing time was equal.

Here are the numbers taken directly from my spreadsheet. The players below were compared to all NWSL players during the first half of the 2016 NWSL season.

Table 2. Individual Player “SNAFU” Results Showing Grand Totals, and Totals minus Appearance and/or Bonus Points.

Draft PositionGrand totalTotal minus App+BonusTotal minus AppTotal minus BonusGrand totalTotal minus App+BonusTotal minus AppTotal minus Bonus

Table description:

To describe the columns, the “Grand Total” is my official “SNAFU” statistic.  In the next 3 columns, I subtracted “Appearance” (“App”), which is a  playing time calculation  and/or “Bonus Points” out of the Totals.  The Bonus Points are simply 9 points for a “regular player” and 1 point for a goalie. Because of the scoring differences, it appeared that the goalies were “overrated” in the original calculations, and hence given the different values.

The last 4 columns are player ranks from the entire NWSL league surveyed in the data. There were about 205 players in the study.

We will discuss the player results below:

The “SNAFU First Half of the 2016 NWSL Season Rookie Award” goes to …

Raquel Rodriguez!!

This is no surprise as she was the 2016 MAC Hermann trophy for best female soccer player in the NCAA last year. Why was she then picked second? She was ranked 32 overall of all of the NWSL players surveyed, and has the talent to be considered for a spot on the U.S. Women’s National Team. Unfortunately, for the U.S. she is a citizen and already a star player for Costa Rica.

She has 55.6 points, which means in theory that she “scored half a goal” every game this past season. The 1 point difference means that it is a “shot at goal” in theory. But with 5 points, you can think of of as an “imaginary assist” every match. She is not a “star” player, but is that solid defensive midfielder for Sky Blue that holds everything together.

First Runner Up goes to…

Erika Skroski!

Rodriguez’s defensive teammate gets the second honor as the rookie was put on the Sky Blue FC defensive early in the season. She is technically an average defender. But, early in the 2016 season, team veteran Christie Rampone had to work with 3 inexperienced defenders and 2 new goalkeepers to make a new backline for Sky Blue. There were a couple of games where the team had disappointing results and it dragged down her defensive score slightly. However, she is an above average passer at 81%, which is 6% over the league average, and she does well enough in the other categories to get second place overall for rookies.

Second Runner Up…

Emily Sonnett

She was an alternate at the 2016 Rio Olympics.  She was reviewed in the entire “Blame it on the Rio Olympics”series  and was low enough rating not to considered on the U.S. National Team if you look at her overall statistics.  However, she is an okay player, but is not outstanding in any category to be considered among the league’s elite.

She is, however, the third best rookie of the early 2016 season.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Rachel Daly from England is on the Houston Dash. She was ranked 4th for the rookie class, and was 63rd overall in the league. She is not only a goal scoring threat, she is good at passing “through balls” to her teammates, thus giving them a chance to score.
  2. Alex Arlitt gets the “Bargain of the 2016 Draft Award”. She was picked 38th overall, and was the 79th player ranked overall in the league, making her an above average player surveyed. Only 3 players drafted 30th or below played this season, meaning that several players drafted around her were cut from their prospective clubs. So, she not only survived, she also contributed to her team.
  3.  Christen Westphal gets the “Had They Played More, They Could Have Been a Star Award”. She was ranked 22nd if you factor out the “Appearance” points. This would place her above “Rocky” Rodriguez as best rookie had she played full time. Westphal only played about a third of the games in the season for Boston as a backup defender.
  4. Leah Galton also gets a mention. She decided to finish her college career before joining Sky Blue in late May. Had she played the entire season, she could have been ranked 30th. She immediately made an impact for the team scoring a goal in her second game against the Chicago Red Stars.
  5. And finally, Carson Pickett is listed for finishing 5th in this year’s rookie class.


  1. Rocky Rodriguez is the official 2016 NWSL Rookie of the Year Winner as “predicted” by “SNAFU”!  🙂
  2. Look for my upcoming article as I will evaluate the 2016 off-season trades so far to determine which teams “won” and “lost” their trades. We will use “SNAFU” calculations as a guide. Who is improving their squads? And which teams could be in for a “long 2017 season”.  We will look at the trade values for several players across the league.


Congratulations to “Rocky” Rodriguez for winning our imaginary award! Here she is playing against the U.S. National team back in July (in a 2 part set). And there is a video showing some of her career highlights.

But first is a short video featuring her coach on her winning the real 2016 NWSL Rookie of the Year.


  1. I have acquired about a half season’s worth of 2016 NWSL data from Alfredo Martinez, who has https://wosostats.wordpress.com and I also took the data from his report here.
  2. Some data is also taken from the NWSL site
  3. Here is a quick glossary for some of the terms above: https://www.whoscored.com/Glossary
  4. http://soccer.epicsports.com/soccer-glossary.html