BYU soccer star Brecken Mozingo doesn’t know where she’ll be living in three weeks or which logo will adorn her new jersey — and the uncertainty makes her nervous.

But answers will come Friday. Mozingo will be on-site at the 2024 National Women’s Soccer League draft in Anaheim, California, with her family, where she hopes one of the league’s 14 teams will call her name.

The senior is coming off her best year as a Cougar with 14 goals and 15 assists in the 26 games she started. The season also included a College Cup run in which BYU fell just short of winning its first national title in the semifinal.

Mozingo is considered a top prospect in the NWSL draft, and with her hometown Utah Royals picking first and fourth overall, she has a chance to continue her soccer career in a stadium just miles from where she grew up.

The Deseret News recently caught up with Mozingo to discuss the upcoming draft, her future in the NWSL and her time at BYU.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Deseret News: What does it mean to you to be considered one of the top prospects in the draft?

Brecken Mozingo: I think it’s awesome to be considered maybe one of the top prospects. I think that opens up a lot of opportunity for not only me but BYU women’s soccer in general, and I’m really excited for it.

DN: What kind of sacrifices have you had to make to put yourself in this position, to get to this point?

BM: I would just say having a weak mind. You don’t have the luxury of that. You don’t have the luxury to pity yourself in season. You don’t have the luxury to go, “Oh, what if? Can I?” It has to be constant flows of strong self-talk. That would include phrases like “I am, I will, I can.” That really stuck out to me within this senior season due to me being pretty frustrated after every performance — just realizing that it is a journey, and I have to be my biggest supporter and my biggest critic at the same time.

DN: What would it mean to you if you had the chance to stay in Utah and play for the Royals?

BM: That’d be crazy. I mean, that would be beyond me and such a blessing to play for my community, my family once again. I did it for four years during my collegiate career, and it was one of the best opportunities of my life. I saw myself grow as a player I think just because I had that support behind me in my own backyard. But every team is a possibility, right? There’s 14 teams. You never know who’s going to choose you. So that means 1 in 14 — you have a chance.

It’s just like, “Holy cow! I might have an opportunity to play in my backyard again, going into the next level of my career and just in soccer in general,” so that’s super exciting. I think it would be a wonderful, wonderful opportunity and such a blessing at the same time.

DN: Eight BYU players have declared for the draft. What does that say about the program coach Jennifer Rockwood has built?

BM: Her success has not ceased. This might be one of the highest ones that we’ve had ever — I’m not really sure — in terms of how many people who’ve declared for the draft. That might just be because of how big our senior class is, but eight is overall amazing. It puts BYU on the map.

Every single one of us is able to represent where we came from, where we played and the values that we uphold and all of that in our beliefs. It just shows a lot of what Jen has done for the program and what she is constantly and consistently expecting of the program and the players that she recruits, even the ones that are coming in in two years or next year, in five years. She expects the same thing, and I think over time that level is just going to get higher and higher, especially of what the players even just expect and demand from themselves.

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8 BYU players declare for NWSL draft

DN: What excites you the most about joining the NWSL?

BM: I‘m just excited to get better. I’m excited to push myself, obviously. A lot is expected. A higher line of performance is expected. More expectations, more pressure and more stress — all of that is kind of gifted to you once you take that next step into the next level. I think overall, I am really excited, and I’m really excited for maybe some more professionalism, on and off the field. This is our career. This is who we are now. I’m just excited to have a job that I’ve worked on my whole life.

DN: What will it mean to you when you hear your name called during the draft?

BM: I’ve gone back and forth. I mean, I’m super excited for the draft. But at the same time, you can’t help but not think that it essentially doesn’t really mean anything. You know? It means that you get top priority in terms of trying out still, so it’s like, “Cool, I got drafted. This is the team that is really interested in me,” and now it’s like, “OK, now it’s go time.” It’s not like, “Phew!” or anything like that. It’s more like, “OK, this is the team. Now, I’ve just got to put all of my work deliberately into that team.” I still have to make the team. I still have to sign a contract, and all these milestones still have to be hit. This is just the first initial baby step. 

DN: What has the draft process been like?

BM: I’ve talked to coaches. I’ve just been working out on my own here. I’ve been shocked that, going into the next level of soccer ... you don’t really have an outline to get ready. It’s very much so on your own and just making sure that you might have done the right workouts or just gotten as best prepared as you could for I think the team that calls you.

DN: What are you most nervous about?

BM: I think the thing I’m most nervous about is like, “OK, where am I going to be in 15 days? Am I going to be across the country? Am I going to be still in Utah?”

The other thing that I’m nervous about is just overall making myself known for the type of player that I am. I think that is every player’s drive to do in front of their coaches — just to showcase who they truly are without letting anything interfere with that, and I think that’s something I’m a little bit nervous about. I’m also excited to take on the challenge. 

DN: How do you think your style of play will translate to the NWSL? Do you see yourself more as a forward or midfielder there?

BM: I love playing both positions. I love being able to control the flow and the tempo of the game, so that’s more of a midfielder, but I also love attacking. I love shooting. I love going 1-v-1. Those are all things that I just love to do.

And so I’m not really sure what I would like to do because there’s different moments in different times I like to do either both, or one or the other. But also what’s expected of me of my coaches or what the team needs?

With that being said, I genuinely am excited for anywhere because I love soccer, and I just love having the ball at my feet. And I think that can speak for itself.

DN: Do you have a favorite player who you’ve modeled your play after?

BM: Messi is my absolute No. 1. I’ve watched him, and I’ve watched highlights of him before all my games. He’s truly a magical player. I rewatch the same video, and every time I leave my jaw on the floor because I’m just astonished with what that man can do. I feel like it’s kind of bled on to how I play. Obviously, I’m not saying I’m Messi at all but just his control and his confidence on the ball. I want to play just like that and imitate what he does and his confidence in the attacking third.