FC KANSAS CITY SELECTS FIVE PLAYERS IN NWSL DRAFT

KANSAS CITY (Jan. 12, 2017) – The National Women’s Soccer League held their annual College Draft today in Los Angeles. FC Kansas City held five selections in the four-round draft and used them all to add depth and scoring power to their lineup. CHRISTINA GIBBONS, Defense/Midfield, Duke University 1st Round, 5th Selection Overall Gibbons is a solid defender who can get up the field and join the attack when necessary. She started 87 of her 88 matches with the Blue Devils and earned First Team All-ACC honors three times. Her 7,794 minutes of play are the second most in school history for a field player.

TONI PAYNE, Midfield/Forward, Duke University 2nd Round, 3rd Selection, 13th Selection Overall Payne scored 23 goals and tallied 21 assists during her collegiate career. She earned All-ACC Freshman Team honors in 2013 following a campaign that saw her score five assists and three goals, including the game winner against Miami. Her senior year she was second on the team with 24 points (nine goals, six assists).

STEPHANIE RIBEIRO, Midfield/Forward, University of Connecticut 2nd Round, 7th Selection, 17th Selection Overall Ribeiro began her collegiate career at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) in 2012. She started three games and made appearances in all 19 the team played that season. After a solid 2013 season where she tallied 16 points, Ribeiro suffered an injury that caused her to miss all of 2014. She came back the in 2015 to score seven goals and eight assists, and then followed that up with a senior season that saw her starting all 23 games and scoring 21 goals and 14 assists.

ALEXIS SHAFFER, Midfield/Forward, University of Virginia 4th Round, 5th Selection, 25th Selection Overall The daughter and granddaughter of two NBA players and college basketball stars, Alexis Shaffer blazed her own trail through the world of soccer stardom. She was twice named a NSCAA High School All-American, two-time Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year and the Raleigh News & Observer Player of the Year. She won a state title with her Green Hope High School, multiple club state championships and two ECNL National Championships.

At the University of Virginia, Shaffer played in every game for the Cavaliers, starting 64 of themand she scored 103 pts (37 goals, 29 assists) collegiately. In 2015 she earned a selection to the NSCAA All-Southeast Region team and All-ACC Second Team honors. She followed that up her senior year by being named a MAC Herman Trophy Semi-finalist, NSCAA All-Region First Team and NSCAA All-American First Team.

RASHIDA BEAL, Defense, University of Minnesota 5th Round, 5th Selection, 35th Overall Rashida Beal is one of five children in her family. At Germantown High School in Germantown, Wisconsin, Beal was her team’s MVP, All-Area Second Team and All-Conference in 2011.

She started her collegiate career at the University of Minnesota in 2013 and played in 16 games that year. She made an appearance in three of the four game shutouts the Gophers produced in-conference. She played in 81 matches for Minnesota from 2013-2016. She was named NSCAA Second Team All-American, B1G Defender of the Year, All-Big Ten First Team and All-Great Lakes Region First Team in her senior season.

Head coach Vlatko Andonovski was very pleased with how this year’s draft turned out.

“I’m extremely happy with how the draft went and I think the players we got are all good players, but can be great players in this league and make an impact in Kansas City.”

The NWSL season begins this spring, with FC Kansas City looking to regain their championship form. For more information about the team and their draft picks, visit FCKansasCity.com