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5 BYU players were drafted in the 2024 NWSL draft. Where did they and the other Utah ties end up?

14 players with Utah ties — including 8 from BYU — for Friday’s 2024 National Women’s Soccer League draft

SHARE 5 BYU players were drafted in the 2024 NWSL draft. Where did they and the other Utah ties end up?
BYU midfielder Bella Folino (22) celebrates her goal against North Carolina with teammates during the NCAA tournament quarterfinals

BYU midfielder Bella Folino (22) celebrates her goal against North Carolina with teammates during the NCAA tournament quarterfinals in Provo on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. BYU won 4-3.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The Deseret News is tracking Utah ties involved in the 2024 NWSL draft. Check back for updates.

Fourteen players with Utah ties — including eight from BYU — have declared for Friday’s National Women’s Soccer League draft.

Players will attempt to earn a roster spot on one of the league’s 14 teams and then continue their soccer careers in the country’s top professional women’s soccer league. Over 200 players registered for the draft, but only 56 players will be drafted.

The Utah Royals hold the first overall pick and own a total of nine picks in the draft’s four rounds — more than any other team this year. The team could give any of the 14 players with Utah ties a chance to continue their soccer careers in the Beehive State.

The draft will be broadcast on ION starting at 6 p.m. MST Friday and can be streamed on ION Plus.

Round 1

Round 2

  • Olivia Smith-Griffitts: pick No. 20, Utah Royals, BYU.
  • Olivia Wade-Katoa: pick No. 23, Portland Thorns, BYU.
  • Kelsey Kaufusi: pick No. 25, Portland Thorns, USU.

Round 3

  • Jamie Shepherd: pick No. 30, Bay FC, BYU.

Round 4

  • Courtney Brown: pick No. 49, Washington Spirit, University of Utah.
  • Laveni Vaka: pick No. 55, Bay FC, BYU.

Undrafted players with Utah ties in the 2024 NWSL draft

The following players from BYU declared for the draft:

  • Bella Folino.
  • Rachel McCarthy.
  • Ellie Boren.

The following players from Utah State have declared for the draft:

  • Diera Walton.

The following players from Utah Valley University have declared for the draft:

  • Heather Stainbrook.
  • Jenna Shepherd.

The following players who attended high school in Utah:

  • Emily Jensen (East High) — Saint Mary’s College of California.