Viviana Villacorta: The First Latina Player Drafted in the 2021 NWSL College Draft

Viviana Villacorta is beaming with Pride

The Orlando Pride have selected the 21-year-old UCLA midfielder as the No. 9 pick in the first round of the 2021 NWSL College Draft. She’s the first Latina selected in this year’s draft.

Viviana Villacorta

Villacorta played in every match during her three-year tenure with UCLA, scoring seven goals and adding 16 assists during 71 total appearances with the Bruins. A California native, Villacorta is an efficient passer through the midfield whose extensive college experience could help her transition immediately into a role with the Pride.

It was the first draft pick for general manager Ian Fleming and executive vice president Amanda Duffy during their tenure with the Pride.

Villacorta will join a midfield unit that’s been a focal point for the Pride throughout the offseason. After strengthening the team’s backline depth in 2020, coach Marc Skinner focused on bringing in players who could increase the team’s on-ball possession to allow the Pride to command the tempo of matches.

The Pride will begin preseason training in Orlando on February 1, with the 2021 Challenge Cup slated to begin in mid-April.

Villacorta was coached at UCLA by Amanda Cromwell, a former U.S. women’s national team standout who coached at UCF in Orlando from 1999-2013.