5 Welsh Players Selected in the 2024 NWSL Draft: Unveiling their Destinations and Utah Connections

Fourteen players with ties to Utah, including eight from BYU, have officially declared for the 2024 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) draft. With over 200 players registered for the much-anticipated event, only 56 will have the opportunity to hear their names called on draft day.

The Utah Royals, widely recognized as one of the prominent teams in the league, hold the first overall pick. Not only do they have the honor of making the first selection, but they also possess a total of nine picks, the highest number of selections any team has in this year’s draft.

Excitement is building among soccer fans as the 2024 NWSL draft is set to take place this Friday at 6 p.m. MST. Those unable to attend in person will have the chance to catch all the action as the draft will be broadcast on ION and streamed live on ION Plus.

The first round of the draft saw Brecken Mozingo being picked by the Utah Royals, adding to their impressive roster. In the following round, both Olivia Smith-Griffitts and Olivia Wade-Katoa were selected by the Utah Royals and Portland Thorns respectively. Additionally, Kelsey Kaufusi became a new addition to the Portland Thorns.

The third round saw Jamie Shepherd’s talents recognized as he was chosen by Bay FC. However, it was round four that saw more players find new homes. Courtney Brown was selected by the Washington Spirit, while Laveni Vaka joined Jamie Shepherd at Bay FC.

It’s worth noting that despite their talent and contributions, a few players with Utah ties, such as Bella Folino and Rachel McCarthy from BYU, were not drafted. Diera Walton from Utah State, and Heather Stainbrook and Jenna Shepherd from Utah Valley University have also declared for the draft, showcasing the impressive level of women’s soccer talent in the state.

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High school players from Utah have also thrown their names into the mix, adding further excitement and anticipation to the draft. Their presence showcases the nurturing soccer environment that exists within the region, and their hopes of joining the ranks of professional soccer players are now focused on hearing their names called during the draft.

As the countdown continues, all eyes will be on the upcoming NWSL draft, eagerly awaiting the announcement of the final 56 players who will join the league and embark on their professional soccer careers.

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