The number one overall pick in a sport's draft is supposed to have the potential to be an all-time great. It's where you pick Ken Griffey Jr., Peyton Manning, Shaquille O'Neal, and Mario Lemieux. San Diego Wave FC made Naomi Girma the number one overall pick in the National Women's Soccer League Draft.
She's just 22 years old but the centerback is already on her way to becoming one of the all-time greats in women's soccer.
On Thursday, Girma was named the 2022 National Women's Soccer League Defender of the Year AND the league's Rookie of the Year. She's the first player in league history to win two major postseason awards as a rookie.
Simply put, she does everything well. Girma led the entire league in possession won in the defensive half, meaning she was the best in the game at getting the ball away from opposing offenses. She was also one of the league's most accurate passers. Along with NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year Kailen Sheridan the Wave allowed less than a goal a match in their phenomenal first season.
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Girma has also already established herself as a staple on the US Women's National Team and is expected to be an defensive anchor in World Cups and the Olympics for years to come.
This award is truly a recognition of greatness by her peers. The NWSL honors are decided by a vote of players, front office members, and media to determine the finalists. Fans have a percentage in the last round of voting.
Casey Stoney was also named the NWSL Coach of the Year so the Wave could have a clean awards sweep. Girma is also a finalist for the league Most Valuable Player Award, as is league goal scoring leader Alex Morgan. If one of them wins the MVP then the Wave will pull off the unprecedented feat of winning all five major league awards.