Advertisement

8 BYU players declare for NWSL draft

Brigham Young University teammates celebrate forward Brecken Mozingo (13) after making a penalty kick during the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA College Women’s Soccer Tournament against Michigan State at South Field in Provo on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023.
Brigham Young University teammates celebrate forward Brecken Mozingo (13) after making a penalty kick during the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA College Women’s Soccer Tournament against Michigan State at South Field in Provo on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023. | Megan Nielsen, Deseret News

BYU’s Brecken Mozingo became one of the latest Cougars to declare for the 2024 National Women’s Soccer League draft Monday, joining seven other Cougars who plan to play professionally.

Over 200 players declared by the Monday, Jan. 8, deadline for the chance to hear their names called in the 2024 NWSL draft on Friday.

Which BYU players have declared for the NWSL draft?

This year’s crop is the largest group of Cougars to declare for the draft in the program’s history.

The following BYU players have declared for the 2024 NWSL draft:

  • Brecken Mozingo: Forward.

  • Bella Folino: Midfielder.

  • Jamie Shepherd: Midfielder.

  • Olivia Wade-Katoa: Forward/Midfielder.

  • Rachel McCarthy: Forward.

  • Olivia Smith-Griffitts: Defender.

  • Laveni Vaka: Defender.

  • Ellie Boren: Forward/Midfielder.

Some of the eight could end up continuing their soccer careers in the state of Utah with the return of the Utah Royals. As of Tuesday, the team owns nine of the 56 picks after orchestrating trades earlier this offseason.

As one of this season’s two expansion clubs, the Utah Royals own the first pick in the draft. The team also has the fourth overall pick in the first round.

BYU’s players are some of the top prospects in the draft. A mock draft from CBS Sports has Mozingo, an MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, going to the Royals at No. 4 overall. An earlier version saw Wade-Katoa as an alternative to Mozingo at fourth.

Wade-Katoa and Vaka were both featured in the NWSL’s draft profiles.

Other players with Utah ties in the 2024 NWSL draft

Five other players with Utah ties have declared for the NWSL draft.

Diera Walton and Kelsey Kaufusi from Utah State University have declared for the NWSL draft.

From Utah Valley University, Heather Stainbrook, Sydney Bushman and Jenna Shepherd, the sister of BYU’s Jamie Shepherd, have also entered their names in the draft.

Courtney Brown was the lone player to declare from the University of Utah.

Former East High midfielder Emily Jensen played collegiately outside of Utah at Saint Mary’s College of California and has also declared.

When is the 2024 NWSL draft?

The 2024 NWSL draft will be held on Friday, Jan. 12, in Anaheim, California. The draft will start at 6 p.m. MST.

How to watch the 2024 NWSL draft

The draft will be broadcast on ION and can be streamed on ION Plus, which is a free streaming service that can be found on platforms such as freevee, FuboTV, Plex and the Roku Channel.

The Royals will host a watch party in the Interform Club at America First Field in Sandy from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fans are asked to RSVP to the free event.