In the roster release for the 2017 Tournament of Nations, there was an interesting note: Sofia Huerta, formerly of the Mexico women’s national team, would be training with the USWNT while US Soccer sought a change of federation from FIFA. Huerta already had four caps with the Mexico senior team in games that didn’t count for cap-tying purposes, but in subsequent interviews made it clear that her ambition was always to play for the United States. Huerta was born in Boise, Idaho to immigrant parents and spent time in the United States youth setup until she was cut from the 2012 U20 World Cup roster. Then Mexico presented itself as an opportunity, and Huerta took it, but in 2014, Huerta explained to the Mexican federation that she would decline any further invitations to play.
Now that Huerta has matured as a player and is currently excelling as a forward for the Chicago Red Stars, where she’s formed an able partnership with Christen Press, USSF wants Huerta back. US Soccer announced today that FIFA has approved her change of national association and she is now eligible to play for the United States.
There’s an element of risk here; although USSF probably wouldn’t have backed Huerta’s change of federation if they weren’t sincere in pursuing her, there’s no guarantee she’ll make it into the roster on a more permanent basis. Huerta cannot return to Mexico; this is a one-time switch. But she’s a talented enough player that it seems Jill Ellis is willing to figure out how to fit her into the squad, even if she has to convert Huerta into a fullback to do it, as has been reported out of the ToN WNT camp.
Huerta was already in camp with the WNT ahead of their two friendlies against New Zealand and is now available for selection for those games, as per the USSF press release. We may get to see her in action for the United States as soon as tomorrow.
Game one of USA vs New Zealand kicks off at 10 PM ET on Friday, September 15. It will air live on ESPN2.