Friday, January 16, 2015

Huerta, Setterlund chosen by Chicago in NWSL draft

Boise native Sofia Huerta was chosen 11th overall Friday morning at the third annual National Women's Soccer League Draft in Philadelphia by the Chicago Red Stars, who later also selected Washington State University's Nicole Setterlund in the third round.

Huerta, a US and Mexican youth international, was the second choice in the second round of the draft and was the fourth of seven taken overall by Chicago in the four-round, nine-team draft. With their sixth selection, the Red Stars wrapped up the third round, 27th pick, with Setterlund (Surrey, BC), a Canadian youth international.

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.

The selection reconnects Huerta with fellow Bronco Julie Johnston, a defender who was chosen in the first round a year ago and was recently tabbed as a US National Team Allocation for the first time this season.

"I am so excited to be going pro," said Huerta. "I feel really good about going to Chicago. I get to play again with Julie who I've been playing with since I was 14. Leslie Osborne also played there and was talking to me about it. There's an adjustment period to going pro and hopefully Julie can help me with that and we can perform like we did at Santa Clara. They are a really good club."

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.

Setterlund becomes the first player in Cougar history to be drafted by an NWSL franchise and the first to be drafted professionally since Kiersten Dallstream and Carly Dobratz were taken in 2009 by Los Angeles and Washington, respectively in the now defunct Women’s Professional Soccer.

“Turning pro is something that I’ve always dreamed about but that I didn’t think would come so quickly,” said the Canadian youth international. “So it came as a complete surprise and I was elated and very emotional when I got the news. Now I just want to figure out what the team is all about and work on whatever I need to work on to help the team. I hope I can just fit in with the squad at the beginning and go from there.”