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The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Alyssa Thompson ’23 returns for home game and autographs

Connor Tang
Alyssa Thompson returned to the school during the girls’ soccer team’s game against Notre Dame High School, which ended in a tie.

Girls’ soccer alum Alyssa Thompson ’23 returned to her alma mater Jan. 24, before the team’s match against Notre Dame, which ended in a 1-1 draw. She met and took pictures with students and parents, who were able to enter a free raffle for one of her autographed USWNT uniforms. The girls’ soccer players were sporting her jersey in warmups as a welcome nod to her visit.

 Before she graduated, Thompson set out on her professional soccer career, being the youngest player to ever be picked first overall in the National Women’s Soccer League by Angel City Football Club (ACFC). While she was a student, she actively competed in the U-20 national team and was eventually called up to play for the USWNT team, the highest level. Shortly after graduating, she played in the women’s World Cup over the summer in Australia.

Thompson has remained local, playing for ACFC in Los Angeles. ACFC is currently in their offseason, and Thompson is attempting to make the roster for the women’s CONCACAF Gold Cup in February.

Head of Athletics Terry Barnum was present, and said he was grateful to welcome Thompson back to campus.

“Having Alyssa back has been amazing,” Barnum said. “She was an amazing athlete here, an amazing person [and] great for our community in the fact that she still feels so connected to us. We’re just blessed to have her around.”

In the fall, ACFC also picked the sister of Alyssa Thompson, Gisele Thompson ’24, to play for the club. She signed a three-year contract and will immediately join the club after graduating. With her sister on the same team, Alyssa Thompson said she is even more thrilled to play, in the upcoming 2024 NWSL season in March.

“I’m really excited for Gisele to come,” Alyssa Thompson said. “I feel like she’s my comfort person. I’m just super excited for her to be here. I feel like every time we play together something good happens.”

Alyssa Thompson said she has now adjusted to her professional career thus far.

“Honestly, I feel like I went into being a professional with no expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised,” Alyssa Thompson said. “I’m really happy with the teams I’ve gotten to play with and people that I’ve looked up to for so long.”

One of those people is her teammate at ACFC, Ali Riley ’06. At the school, Riley led the school to a Division 1 final in 2006 and became a multi-time Olympian and women’s national team veteran. Barnum, who was still the Head of Athletics when Riley was a student, said she was one of the most skilled players to pass through the girls’ soccer program.

Likewise, Alyssa Thompson said playing on the same field with her has been memorable.

“It was so great getting to meet and play with an alum from Harvard-Westlake,” Alyssa Thompson said. “I love her so much. It shows the Harvard-Westlake connection and just how amazing the people that go here are.”

In addition to Riley and the Thompsons’ recent signings with ACFC, alum Kara Nortman ’93 co-founded the club in 2020 as a major stakeholder. All of these connections with the club, Barnum said, were remarkable.

“We have four grads directly affiliated with the club,” Barnum said. “The fact that Harvard-Westlake is so connected to Angel City, it’s just amazing.”

Alyssa Thompson said it was gratifying for her achievements and school legacy to be honored.

“It’s really awesome,” Alyssa Thompson said. “I feel appreciated by the school and the school has done so much for me. I’m really happy that I get to give back and support them, because I love the team and I loved playing high school soccer.”

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Connor Tang, Assistant News Editor

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