TCU midfielder Yazmeen Ryan became the highest draft pick in school history after being taken 6th overall in the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League draft by Portland Thorns FC.
Considering Ryan still has NCAA eligibility remaining, whether or not she will join the Thorns immediately is yet to be determined. Even if she decides to finish her career with the Horned Frogs, the Thorns are expecting an immediate impact upon her arrival.
“Yazmeen is someone that’s fantastic with the ball at her feet, great receiving in tight areas, the distribution is superb, and she is very unique for someone that plays in the midfield,” said Portland Thorns head coach Mark Parsons. “She was our number one target and is someone we feel that helps us right now.”
Ryan will play alongside and learn from some elite level talent such as Christine Sinclair, Crystal Dunn, and Lindsey Horan — all of whom were named to The Guardian’s list of the 100 best female footballers.
Looking back at her time with the Horned Frogs, Yazmeen Ryan will certainly be missed. In 68 career appearances for TCU, Ryan recorded 19 goals and 17 assists while earning numerous accolades such as:
- 2017 2nd team All-Big12
- 2017 All-Big 12 Freshman team
- 2018 1st team All-Big 12
- 2019 USSCA 1st team All-midwest region
- 2019 1st team All-Big 12
Ryan started all 22 games for the Frogs in 2019, recording 7 goals and 9 assists in potentially her last season wearing the purple and white.
The NWSL is a different beast compared to NCAA soccer, especially regarding the scheduling, travel, and playoff system.
The league consists of 10 teams and is attempting a new format in 2021. As always, a win counts for 3 points, a draw is 1, and a loss in 0. The standings are decided by who has the most points come the end of the season.
What’s different about this year is that the top six teams (used to be top four) will make the playoffs with the top two seeds earning a BYE. Whoever wins the playoffs is crowned champions, but a NWSL Shield trophy is also given out to whichever team finishes the regular season with the highest point total.
Yazmeen Ryan is joining one of the more established clubs in the league considering the Thorns are tied for the most championships (2) since the leagues formation in 2012.
An excellent footballer and an excellent person, the Thorns got a good one.
Best of luck to Yazmeen as her professional career takes off!