The Chicago Red Stars had its ups and downs in the 2017 season. But it was one player who stood out from the rest, and had arguably one of her best years for club and country.
Sofia Huerta entered her third season with the Red Stars after a stellar stint on loan with Adelaide United in Australia’s W-League.
Although Adelaide was consistently near the bottom of the ladder in the 2016/17 season, Huerta finished with four assists and eight goals, including a hat trick and two penalty kicks.
With personal success in her first abroad experience, Huerta was ready to perform at a rate higher than ever before entering her third season with the Red Stars.
Despite a slow start for the forward at the beginning of the season, Huerta’s first goal in the 2017 campaign was the game winner in the 3-1 defeat over North Carolina, giving the Courage their first loss at home. Huerta’s goal earned NWSL Goal of the Week.[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1kNHK9E3aM[/embedyt]
During the season, Huerta was one of two players that played in every game, including the playoff match against the Courage. She finished the season with six goals (second most on the team) and four assists. Huerta earned another Goal of the Week in Week 15 and was also named to the NWSL’s Second XI.
But it was her experience with the club that gained her looks from an international stand point.
Huerta was given the opportunity to train with the U.S. Women’s National Team during multiple camps, despite her previous time with the Mexican National Team. Working to change her national representation, the request was granted just before the NWSL season was finished.
Huerta switched national associations in September, making history along the way by becoming the first player to play for and against the United States in competition.
The forward-turned-defender made her debut as a right back on Sept. 15 against New Zealand, tallying her first assist on the final goal of the 3-1 victory. Huerta earned two more caps, subbing into the match on Oct. 19 and making her first international start with the U.S. on Oct 22, playing all 90 minutes.
Coming into the new year, Huerta will be preparing for her fourth year in the NWSL.