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Kansas City Current bolster attack with pair of 1st-round picks

Club dealt F Lynn Williams, selected Duke’s Michelle Cooper
Michelle Cooper Duke Current.jpg
Posted at 6:35 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 19:35:03-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Minutes after trading forward Lynn Williams to the NJ/NY Gotham in exchange for the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday’s NWSL Draft, the Kansas City Current selected her possible replacement.

Moments later, the Current further bolstered their attack with a second first-round pick as the reigning NWSL runners-up continued to make offseason waves.

With the second overall pick, the Current snagged Duke forward Michelle Cooper, who scored 31 goals with 16 assists in two collegiate seasons.

Cooper — a 5-foot-3 dynamo from Clarkston, Michigan — was the 2021 ACC Freshman of the Year and is a two-time All-ACC First-Team performer. She was the ACC Offensive Player of the Year last fall.

Cooper, 20, was chosen last week as the 2022 Hermann Trophy winner by the Missouri Athletic Club, which annually picks the top players in men’s and women’s college soccer.

She was a semifinalist for the award as a freshman.

As a sophomore with the Blue Devils, Cooper scored 19 goals with 11 assists in 21 starts for a school-record 49 points.

She also captained the U.S U-20 women’s national team last summer at U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Cooper announced Dec. 5 that she was turning pro after only two seasons at Duke.

“This was such a difficult decision, but one that was made with my heart and the people I love and trust dearly,” she wrote in a statement on Twitter.

Williams only appeared in one Challenge Cup game for the Current last season before she suffered a season-ending knee injury, but she was among three players with the club called in for the U.S. Women's National Team's January camp.

The Current — who announced Monday that the club had signed arguably the offseason’s most-coveted free agent, Debinha — also owned the No. 10 pick in the first round, which the club used to select Virginia midfielder/forward Alexa Spaanstra.

Spaanstra — a versatile 5-foot-5 wing player originally from Brighton, Michigan — totaled 37 goals with 34 assists in 107 career games across five seasons with the Cavaliers. She had eight goals and five assists last fall.

Alexa Spaanstra - Action.jpeg
With the No. 10 pick in the first round of the 2022 NWSL Draft, the Kansas City Current chose Virginia midfielder/forward Alexa Spaanstra.

As a junior in 2021, Spaanstra made the All-ACC First Team. She was a second-team pick as a sophomore and senior and landed on the All-ACC Third Team as a freshman and fifth-year senior.

Kansas City owns the No. 35 overall pick in the third round and three fourth-round picks, Nos. 38, 42 and 48.