Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Five area players on NWSL draft list; Spokane's Ramos on radar ahead of MLS SuperDraft

The National Women's Soccer League released its initial list of eligible player for its third annual draft to be held Friday, January 16 during the NSCAA Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Preceding the NWSL draft, Major League Soccer will conduct the first two rounds of the SuperDraft on Thursday.

Among the NWSL list are five players from the region, four combined from Boise State, Eastern Washington and Washington state along with Boise native Sofia Huerta. Additional players may join the list as registration for the draft is still open, closing on Wednesday. Whitworth University and Spokane Shadow standout Mike Ramos has grabbed the attention of several MLS clubs, and is expected to sign professionally for 2015 be it in the top flight or lower divisions.

Huerta leads the list of five players as the most likely to be selected Friday. As a bubble player for the United States and Mexican national teams, she has been a dominant force for Santa Clara since her freshman year in the West Coast Conference and has experience at the U-20 youth international level.

Additionally, the Washington State duo of Nicole Setterlund and Gurveen Clair also boast backgrounds at the youth international level.

With a number of international stars preparing for the World Cup being hosted by Canada this summer, additional spots may be available for players looking to land spots in the pro league this summer as they prepare for players out for international duty.

Area Players on NWSL Draft List 

Cassie Black - F - Eastern Washington University

Led the team in scoring all four seasons with the Eagles, finishing as the program's record holder in nearly every statistical category, including the all-time goals scored record which she eclipsed in her junior season. (Battle Ground, WA)  MORE [+]

Mikhaila Bowden - D - Boise State University

Was an All-Conference First Team selection in the Mountain West this season after playing all but 14 minutes in league play and leading a defensive unit that allowed just 10 goals in those 11 matches. She was a starter at centerback all four years for the Broncos, starting in all 83 appearances, and finished as the program's all-time leader in minutes played. (Huntington Beach, CA)  MORE [+]

Gurveen Clair - G - Washington State University 

Finished her career with a number of career Cougar records, including matches played and started in goal, lowest goals against average, shutouts and wins. The Canadian (Surrey, BC) also was a member of the squad that captured the CONCACAF title in the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign during her freshman season in which she redshirted. She immediately began starting matches the following year as a redshirt freshman.  MORE [+]

Sofia Huerta (Boise, ID) - F - Santa Clara University

A Third Team NSCAA All-American selection in 2014, she was the co-WCC Player of the year after starting all 20 games and finishing second in the league with 17 goals, six of them game-winners. She has been impressive since the beginning, earning All-Conference First Team honors as a freshman.

The former US youth international, has also has also represented Mexico at the U-20 due to her heritage. She has declined further opportunities with Mexico, and is hoping to earn a spot with the US during the next qualifying cycle.   MORE [+]

Nicole Setterlund - M/D - Washington State University

The former Canadian international started all 23 games as a freshman and went on to complete her career with 78 starts, helping guide the Cougars to the NCAA tournament all four years. Her best offensive season was in her junior campaign in which she scored eight goals. (Surrey, BC)  MORE [+]

Mike Ramos (Spokane, WA) - M/F - Whitworth University / Spokane Shadow

A former standout at Walla Walla CC (2009-10) and Seattle University (2011), he re-ignited his professional aspirations playing for the Spokane Shadow of EPLWA over the summer, leading the team to the league's inaugural championship and finishing second in EPLWA scoring. The revival led to his return to the collegiate game as he joined the hometown program at Whitworth. He led the team in scoring and was named the conference player of the year along with numerous other awards, including NSCAA All-American honors.

After leading Whitworth to the Third Round of the D3 postseason, Ramos has garnered invitations from numerous American clubs interested in his talent. He attended a pair of combines where he was scouted by Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC (MLS), New York City FC (MLS), New York Red Bulls (MLS) as well as the New York Cosmos (NASL) and Indy Eleven (NASL) with positive feedback. It is expected that Ramos will sign with an NASL or USL Pro team should he go undrafted.  MORE [+]