NWSL Preseason – Meet Angel City’s Non-Rostered Invitees (NRIs)
Angel City has six non-rostered invitees joining them for the 2023 NWSL preseason. With only 21 roster spots currently signed for the 2023 season, there is a chance some of the players below could earn themselves a spot on ACFC’s final roster.
Currently there are seven defenders on the roster to start the season, not including Allyson Swaby and Vanessa Gilles who are on loan until June, Angel City is likely looking for one to two defenders to potentially add some depth, and potentially become national team replacement players during the World Cup while Swaby, Gilles, and Ali Riley are away. The midfield will be where the most opportunity is for the NRI’s with only five rostered midfielders currently with the team.
Rachel Diodati – Defender – Michigan State University
Diodati played her graduate year at Michigan State after 4 years at Colgate, in 2021 was a First Team All-Patriot League selection her senior year Colgate. In 2022, at Michigan State, she received the Big Ten Defender of the Year award. Diodati not only started all 23 matches for Michigan State, but she also had 7 assists on the year. On paper Diodati appears to be the front-runner in the competition for a straight defender spot, she’s a solid defender, took corner kicks while at Colgate, and you’ve got to appreciate a defender who nails penalty kicks.
Ruby Diodati finds the back of the net for the lead!
MSU 1, Dartmouth 0#GoGreen pic.twitter.com/zzZfd994ZX
— Michigan State Soccer (@MSU_wsoccer) September 1, 2022
Kelsey Hill – Defender – Pepperdine University
Hill played the six matches for the Wave in 2022 before getting a hip injury and missing the remainder of the season. In 2021, she started in 22 matches for Pepperdine, tallied 4 goals, and a Defensive Player of the Week award. Coming back from injury, Hill has an uphill battle in the company of these other defenders to make the roster.
Kelsey Hill's jump is sooo good and the header just a BEAUT! #WavesUp pic.twitter.com/1NXnYx1rv3
— Pepperdine Soccer (@WavesSoccer) October 31, 2021
Mackenzie Pluck – Midfielder/Defender – Duke University
In her graduate year at Duke in 2022, Pluck played in all 23 matches for the Blue Devils and started 21. In the 2022 season she had 3 goals and 8 assists with the team, second on the team in assists only to #2 overall draft pick Michelle Cooper. Her career totals for her 5 years were 21 goals and 29 assists. Pluck’s ability to play both defense and in the midfield will add some versatility to Angel City in that she can be used to both control the pace of play or create chances for the team.
High-quality goal from Mackenzie Pluck ( @Mac_Pluck ) pic.twitter.com/MCyPhIIR7d
— Antonio Garcia (@Iruk_WomenSport) August 30, 2021
Taylor Aylmer – Midfielder – Washington Spirit
Aylmer was picked up by NJ/NY Gotham as a replacement team player in 2021 and was with the team during the Challenge Cup. She was then picked up by the Washington Spirit first as a national team replacement player and later that turned into a contract. For the Spirit in 2021 she played in 10 matches with 2 starts, had 1 goal and 1 assist. She was subbed into the 2021 NWSL Championship game, which after an overtime goal, the Spirit won. In the 2022 Challenge Cup, Aylmer played in 7 matches and had 5 starts, and in the regular season she earned another 8 starts and 15 caps. Aylmer would bring a good amount of NWSL game experience into the Angel City midfield.
Domi Richardson – Midfielder – NJ/NY Gotham FC
Richardson has been playing in the NWSL since 2014, most recently for Gotham FC. In 2022 between the Challenge Cup and the regular season, Richardson only had 4 games and 1 start with Gotham while in 2021 she had 10 caps and 1 goal. Richardson has spent 10 years in the league but has never quite found a team where she got consistent minutes, could Angel City be that club for her?
What a great strike by @Domi_Richardson!
3-2 | #NCvNJ pic.twitter.com/pUTVg4GzlC
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) October 13, 2019
Molly McLaughlin – Midfielder – Xavier University
McLaughlin started in all 23 of Xavier’s games in 2022, and notched 7 goals, and 4 assists while doing so. Her graduate year, she was named Big East Midfielder of the year, and also earned a spot on the Big East first team. On top of leading her team in goals, she additionally brought home Big East defensive player of the week back in September. This past summer she played in the USL-W league, a women’s pre-professional league, for the Indy Eleven. While the midfield class that Angel City has here is strong, it would be a lot of fun to see McLaughlin make bangers like below at BMO in front of it’s record-setting home crowds.
Molly McLaughlin makes it a two-goal Xavier lead!
Tune in now on ESPN+ ⬇️ https://t.co/YVXI0zftp5#LetsGoX pic.twitter.com/mbVHUzLZNV
— Xavier Women's Soccer (@XavierWSOC) November 12, 2022