Dos Pueblos High graduate Kiara “Kiki” Pickett was selected by Kansas City with the No. 4 pick of Wednesday’s National Women’s Soccer League player draft.
Kansas City entered draft day with no first-round selections but took steps to ensure it could get the Stanford defender. It sent $175,000 in allocation money to New Jersey’s Sky Blue FC in exchange for that club’s fourth-overall pick.
“Kiki was a player that we identified really early,” Kansas City coach Huw Williams said. “The staff over here have put hours upon hours of time watching film, and consistently, among all of our assistant coaches, she came very high on everybody’s list.
“It was not only a high-caliber player but also a high-caliber player in the right position for us.”
He said he plans to play Pickett at right back.
“She is a great fit for our system,” Williams said. “She’s explosive and can attack from the back.”
Pickett, who stands just 5-feet tall, came up big for Stanford in its run to the 2019 NCAA championship with the decisive boot during the penalty kick shootout against North Carolina in the College Cup Final.
She played multiple positions for the Cardinal, scoring two goals with nine assists during its run to a third-straight Pac-12 championship and the national title.
“I am a very versatile player,” Pickett said. “I’m a right back who’s not afraid to go up and down that field.
“I love to coin the saying, ‘I don’t like 50/50 balls because I make sure they’re 60/40’s on my end.’ But I’m very aggressive, very tenacious. Even though I’m short-statured, I make sure that I play like 7-feet tall.”
She earned All-America honors in 2019 and was also part of Stanford’s run to the 2017 NCAA championship. Pickett announced just before the draft that she plans to delay her professional debut until after her spring season with the Cardinal.
“I am so honored to have this opportunity during these uncertain times and circumstances,” she said in a statement. “I’m very excited to have one last chance to compete for another championship with my closest friends. I want to enjoy these last moments in a Cardinal uniform before playing professionally.”
She has been a regular in the U.S. Youth National Program and received a call-up to the U.S. Women’s National Team ID camp.