With the 22nd overall pick of the 2021 NWSL Draft, Portland Thorns FC selected Amirah Ali, midfielder/forward from Rutgers University.
As a junior, Ali was named a First Team All-American in 2019, improving on her Second Team All-American sophomore campaign. In three seasons as a Scarlet Knight, Ali has scored 25 goals and 12 assists in 62 appearances, all of which she started.
As a freshman, Ali won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year after scoring six goals.
The 5'8" midfielder could see signifcant playing time this summer when up to five Thorns players leave the team to particiapte in the Summer Olympics. So far this draft, Portland has only taken players who operate in the midfield.
Players who had played at least three seasons in college were eligible to be drafted in the 2021 NWSL Draft and keep their remaining college eligibility if they decide to, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In high school, Ali was a three-time All-American and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National High School Player of the Year at Eastern Regional High School. She also got called up to the U-18 USWNT for a one-week training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in 2016.
Ali holds the Rutgers program record for golden goals (8), and ranks 8th all-time in total points (62).
She also received a national team callup for the U.S. U-20s in February 2018.