The Portland Thorns FC again had the final pick in an NWSL draft but that didn’t stop them from picking an experienced group of players. The one pick that took most NWSL fans (and probably other teams) by surprise was using their first round pick on Tina Ellertson. Just a couple days prior to the draft Ellertson posted on Twitter that should would not be playing soccer this year and instead focusing on her family. No word yet on if her mind has changed but at least the Thorns will be retaining her rights for the 2013 season in case she does play.

Tina Ellertson – Defender

Ellertson is a seasoned player who has had plenty of experience on professional and national teams as well as being a record holder from the University of Washington. One of the records she holds is for all-time leader in goal scoring with 43 goals. She was named the 2003 and 2004 Pac 10 Player of the Year, the first player in history to win conference player of the year awards back to back. She is also the record holder in career game-winning goals (18).

After an exceptional college career, Ellertson moved on to play professional soccer. In 2003-2004 she joined the Seattle Sounders Women W-League side, helping the team reach the W-League semifinals in 2003. She then was allocated to St. Louis Athletica for the inaugural WPS season, where she logged 1748 minutes, the most logged by any player on the team. She was also nominated for the WPS Defender of the Year. When St. Louis folded in 2010, she moved on to play with the Atlanta Beat alongside teammate Hope Solo. In 2011, after a mutual agreement, Ellertson left the Beat and moved on to playing with MagicJack where she became the rock of the team’s defense.

Ellertson received three caps as a defender on the United States Women’s National Team in 2005 before working her way towards a full-time position on the team in 2006. While on the team in 2006 she had gave an exceptional performance during the Four Nations Tournament in China where she started in three games at the center of the team’s defense. Ellertson played every minute of the tournament. In 2007 she earned a spot on the roster for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, where she played in three matches. During that year she played in a total of 13 matches with five starts.

Angie Woznuk Kerr – Midfielder

Kerr attended the University of Portland and in 2005 helped lead the Pilots to the NCAA Championship alongside Thorns FC teammate Christine Sinclair. During her career in Portland she led the team to a 76-11-7 record and finished sixth on the team’s all-time assist list with 34 assists. As a senior she was nominated for the WCC Player of the Year award. She competed in the 2004 FIFA U19 Women’s U-19 FIFA World Championship in Thailand where she received the Bronze Boot as the third leading scorer, as well as the Silver Ball for the second-most valuable player in the tournament. She was also named the Western League Player of the Year in 2000.

Kerr was the 13th overall pick in the 2009 WPS general draft by the St. Louis Athletica for the inaugural WPS season. She also played for the Atlanta Beat (2010) and Sky Blue FC (2011), respectively.

Michele Weissenhofer – Forward

The University of Notre Dame graduate is an amazing forward who can add another dimension to the game with her speed as well as her deadly left-footed shots. Weissenhofer helped lead the U-21 team to victory in the 2007 Nordic Cup as one of the youngest players on the team. She scored against Germany in the gold medal match (4-0) heading in a cross from Sarah Huffman to secure the win.

During her time at Notre Dame she registered seven career assists directly off of her long throw-ins and helped create many chances. She shares the record for games played in a season at Notre Dame (27) and was one of 25 players to record 20 goals and 20 assist in her career (just two assists short of becoming the 13th Irish player to record 30-30).

Weissenhofer was chosen in the fourth round (33rd overall) of the 2010 WPS draft by the Chicago Red Stars and played with the Red Stars when they moved to the WPSL Elite.

Here’s a short video of Weissenhofer’s long throw-ins:

Marian Dalmy – Defender

During her time at Santa Clara, Dalmy earned the title of Western Conference Player of the Year in 2006. She was an All-American Honorable mention from Soccer Times and Soccer Buzz Magazine. She played in two matches for the US National Team in 2007 before being named as a late addition to the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster. Dalmy played two seasons in the WPS with the Chicago Red Stars and one for the magicJack.

Jessica Shufelt – Forward

As a senior at University of Connecticut Shufelt played in 22 games, starting in 17 of them. She tied the team lead with 15 points her senior year (10 goals and 11 assists) and was named the Big East Offensive Olayer of the Week along with CollegeSoccer360.com and TopDrawerSoccer.com’s National Players of the Week. After college she signed with Ottawa Fury in the W-League and scored a hat trick in the league Central Conference Championship and helped lead the team to the W-League Semifinals.

Portland passed on their sixth pick in the draft.