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Sofia Huerta on World Cup debut at age 30: ‘I have a lot of perseverance’

(John Todd/USSF/Getty Images)

Sofia Huerta knows her selection to the USWNT roster for the 2023 World Cup tells a story of dedication and persistence.

“I’ve faced a lot of adversity in my career and there were definitely times where I wasn’t sure if it was going to be possible for me to be named to a World Cup roster or Olympic roster,” the defender said after OL Reign’s 2-1 win over the San Diego Wave on Saturday.

“Going to my first big tournament at (age) 30, it feels crazy, but it just shows that I have a lot of perseverance and resilience.”

Huerta made her international debut at the 2012 U-20 Women’s World Cup as a member of Mexico’s roster, a decision she made after she wasn’t named to the U.S. team for the tournament. She went on to record five caps for Mexico’s senior national team, but in 2017, she officially switched her national affiliation with the goal of representing the United States.

She recorded her first cap for the U.S. on March 7, 2018, but then found herself left off of national team rosters for more than three years. While Huerta aimed to compete for the U.S. as an outside back, she instead found herself playing as an attacker in the NWSL, first for the Chicago Red Stars and then for the Houston Dash.

Huerta credits her trade to the Reign in 2020 and Laura Harvey’s return in 2021 with changing her trajectory.

“When I got to the Reign, it was just easier to have more freedom and play the way that I knew how, especially when Laura took over and put me at outside back,” Huerta explained.

“I’m proud of myself, for sure, but it’s not a coincidence that I’ve been selected (for the World Cup) now that I play on the Reign.”