The “X Factor” of the NWSL Draft

In episode #313 of the Mixxed Zone, Jen “The Keeper” Cooper recaps the “X Factor” experience of the 2021 NWSL draft — the first to be held virtually instead of at the annual United Soccer Coaches convention — through chats with NWSL draft reporter Jordan Angeli and Equalizer Soccer reporter Pardeep Cattry.

In the first chat, Jen and Pardeep review the experience of the virtual, longer-than-ever NWSL draft, as well as the moves made by Sky Blue and a few of the more interesting picks.

Then Jen and Jordan discusss the college player’s perspective on this unusual draft that allowed undeclared seniors to be eligible — what it was like getting the news at home via Zoom and how to figure out when is the best time for a young player to head to the pro leagues.

This week’s “Jensplaining” segment discusses the hows and whys (mostly the whys) of NWSL drafts timeouts.

Got a question or comment for the Jensplainer? Email your question or general Mixxed Zone comments to


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Founded by Jen Cooper, Keeper Notes has been spreading the love for the beautiful game since 2002 in Houston and beyond. The Mixxed Zone women’s soccer podcast has been covering women’s soccer (primarily NWSL, USWNT and Concacaf) since 2014. Check out more of the Keeper’s great content as well as the valuable “WoSo Nerd Links” at You can also follow Keeper Notes on Twitter.

And be sure to check out the soon-to-be-published Keeper Notes NWSL Almanac, the 370-page comprehensive guide to the first seven seasons of NWSL (2013-2020). You can’t get this info all in one place anywhere else! The almanac is available in both PDF and print format. Also, check out the Houston Dash almanac!