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Nasello will not play in NWSL in 2022 following backlash

Sydny Nasello chose to forgo her final year of NCAA eligibility to declare for the 2022 NWSL Draft, where she was selected by Portland Thorns FC. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

Former USF women’s soccer forward Sydny Nasello won’t play for the NWSL’s Portland Thorns FC in 2022 after public backlash to her social media activity, according to a report from The Athletic.

Nasello was drafted 13th overall in the NWSL Draft on Dec. 18, becoming just the second NWSL draftee in USF history following Evelyn Viens’ fifth-overall selection in 2020.

Shortly after the selection, Nasello’s personal Twitter account was placed under a spotlight for sharing controversial tweets, specifically one that spoke out against the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports.

The tweet was originally posted in May 2019, while Nasello was a USF student-athlete. However, it is not clear when she reshared the post.

Nasello issued a public apology on Twitter shortly thereafter, while Portland head coach Rhian Wilkinson later admitted to not considering her social media activity in the club’s pre-draft evaluations.

She has since made her Twitter account private.

The Athletic’s Meg Linehan reported Jan. 7 the club made the decision on Nasello “shortly after the draft” and are exploring “other options for the player.” 

Under the NWSL’s College Protected Period draft rights rule, Portland will retain the rights to Nasello until the start of the 2022 NWSL preseason, which is set to begin Feb. 1. After that, Nasello will be free to negotiate with other clubs in the league.

Regardless of her status as a drafted player, Nasello can also seek opportunities abroad in other women’s professional soccer leagues.

This is a developing story. Stay with The Oracle for updates.