Rachel Hill and Stephanie Ribeiro of the UConn Women’s soccer team were both taken in the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League draft. Both Huskies were taken in the second round with Hill being picked up by the Portland Thorns with 14th overall pick and Ribeiro being selected by FC Kansas City with the 17th overall pick. The duo made UConn history becoming the first two Huskies selected in the NWSL draft as the league enters its fifth season.
The Portland Thorns won the NWSL Shield last season, after finishing at the top of the regular season table. Hill was the Thorns first pick of the draft. The New Hampshire native and two-time American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year will be joining a very talented group of players that includes United States national team mainstays Tobin Heath and Allie Long, as well as Canadian women’s soccer legend Christine Sinclair. The team’s leading scorer last season was Nadia Nadim who tallied nine goals.
FC Kansas City finished the 2016 season in sixth in the overall table, missing the playoffs. With their first two picks in the draft Kansas City took two players from Duke, Christina Gibbons and Toni Payne. Ribeiro, who led the NCAA in goals this past season, will be joining a team that boasts current United States national team co-captain Beck Sauerbrunn. Ribeiro will also have the pleasure of feeding the ball to world class forwards like Sydney Leroux and Amy Rodriguez.
Antonio Salazar is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.