On January 12, Emily Madril sat in the Philadelphia Convention Center with her boyfriend and family by her side as she waited for her name to be called in the 2023 NWSL Draft. It was a long journey to get here, but when the Orlando Pride selected her with the third overall pick of the draft, Madrid’s dream of becoming a National Women’s Soccer League player was finally realized.
“It was amazing,” recalls Madril about hearing her name being called. “I think it’s just a huge honor to be picked up with the third pick and by such a great club. It’s been so great being here so far.”
Even before the draft, there was little question that the two-time NCAA Champion out of Florida State University was going to be a top pick. However, multiple setbacks in the form of injuries, illness, and other unexpected twists kept Madril’s path to becoming a professional from being anything close to straightforward.
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