Boise native Sofia Huerta once wrote for a school assignment her dream was to play for the U.S. national women’s soccer team.
She should learn if that dream will come true Thursday when FIFA’s Players’ Status Committee meets in Zurich, Switzerland, to rule on players transferring national associations. The Centennial High graduate is petitioning for a one-time transfer from the Mexican to the U.S. national team.
“My dream is to be on that World Cup roster in 2018, and then the Olympics,” Huerta told Lifetime in an interview before Sunday’s game between her Chicago Red Stars and FC Kansas City. “Just to be a constant player on the national team, that is my dream. Right now, I’m just looking forward to completing that in any way that I can, because it’s not guaranteed.”
France hosts the next Women’s World Cup in 2019.
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If FIFA rules in her favor, she could suit up for the U.S. as soon as Friday when it hosts New Zealand in a friendly at 8 p.m. in Commerce City, Colo., on ESPN. The U.S. also takes on New Zealand at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Cincinnati on FS1.
National team coach Jill Ellis invited Huerta to train with the team ahead of the friendlies as she awaits a ruling on her status. She also trained with the national team this summer during the Tournament of Nations.
“Getting called into a camp is amazing, but it doesn’t mean anything,” Huerta told Lifetime. “I’m just waiting to see what I can do with my journey and how far I can take this dream that I have.”
The midfielder/forward needs FIFA’s approval because she played for Mexico at the U-20 World Cup in 2012 after she was cut by the American U-20 team.
Huerta, a 24-year-old dual citizen of the U.S. and Mexico, said she doesn’t regret playing for Mexico. She scored three of Mexico’s seven goals in the tournament, then suited up for the Mexican senior team in the 2012 City of Sao Paulo International Women’s Football Tournament in Brazil and in a 2013 friendly against the U.S.
“Playing for Mexico made me realize I can play at this level. I can play against the best players in the world,” Huerta said. “I do think that it helped me realize what I wanted, and how bad I want to play for the U.S.”
Huerta made the jump onto the national team radar this year thanks to her performance with the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League. In her third season, she has teamed with national team regular Christen Press to form one of the league’s most potent attacking pairs.
Huerta has scored five goals and added four assists in 22 games this season.
“Of course my dream is to play for the U.S,” she said. “I think I would cry if I ever played for them in a big tournament. But at the end of the day, if I don’t make the team, I know that I put everything that I could into making this team. And I will never regret that — ever.”