Three Bruins Selected in 2021 NWSL College Draft
Three UCLA women's soccer players were selected in the 2021 NWSL College Draft – midfielder Viviana Villacorta, defender Lucy Parker, and defender Delanie Sheehan. Villacorta was selected No. 9 overall by the Orlando Pride. Parker was picked by Kansas City in the second round with the No. 16 selection, and Sheehan was selected by Sky Blue FC in the fourth round with the No. 33 pick.
All three players will finish their senior season with UCLA in the spring before joining their pro teams.
Villacorta becomes the eighth Bruin to be selected in the first round of the NWSL draft and the third in as many years. She has played in every game of her UCLA career, making 60 starts in 71 appearances and totaling seven goals and 16 assists. In 2019, she scored three goals with a career-high eight assists and ranked fourth on the team in scoring with 14 points. Villacorta, a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree, was a starter for the U.S. at the 2018 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Parker has started in every game of her collegiate career, earning a total of 66 consecutive starts heading into the 2020-21 season. In her first year at UCLA in 2019, she earned All-Pac-12 honors and was twice named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. She also scored four goals to rank fourth on the team. Parker led the team in minutes played with 2,055 out of 2,180 minutes. Prior to her transfer to UCLA, Parker played at LSU and was a United Soccer Coaches third-team All-American and first-team All-SEC honoree in 2018. Parker has played with England's Youth National Team program and helped lead its U-19 squad to the 2016 Women's International Cup.
Sheehan has played in 70 games for UCLA and started 54 while scoring 11 goals and 13 assists in three seasons. She earned All-Pac-12 honors in 2018 and Pac-12 All-Freshman honors in 2017 and was also selected to Top Drawer Soccer's Freshman Best XI first team. Since being converted from a midfielder to a defender in 2018, Sheehan has earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors twice and contributed to 25 shutouts. Sheehan has played with the U.S. U-20, U-19 and U-18 National Teams and was an alternate for the U.S. at the 2018 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Each of the three drafted players will have another Bruin on their squad, as Villacorta joins Sydney Leroux in Orlando, and Parker pairs up with Darian Jenkins. Sheehan will become the third Bruin on Sky Blue FC, joining Caprice Dydasco and McCall Zerboni.
For the second consecutive year, UCLA tied for the most NWSL draft picks with three. North Carolina and Washington State also had three selections.