DRAFTED: Iliana Hocking Heads to NJ/NY Gotham FC in NWSL Draft

Arizona Soccer’s Midfielder Iliana Hocking becomes the first-ever Wildcat selected into the NWSL, being drafted by Gotham FC.

It wasn’t quite a guarantee it would happen, but to those who follow Arizona Soccer, it was not a shock to see Midfielder Iliana Hocking get drafted by Gotham FC, becoming the first-ever Wildcat selected in the NWSL.

The Arizona Wildcats and the draft feels just like gameday, some people like Bennedict Mathurin are simple straightforward early picks, and those like Arizona Soccer’s Iliana Hocking on Thursday night could be a bit of a roller coaster, where they have to wait nearly until the end to hear their name called.

Thursday night was Hocking’s turn to watch her dreams come true, as with the 44th overall pick in the NWSL Draft, Iliana saw her name called as the first-ever Arizona Wildcat drafted in the NWSL.

Arizona midfielder Iliana Hocking is off to the Big Apple to continue her soccer career, now as a professional with Gotham FC.

The Wildcats midfielder will not need to look far to get a good idea of what to expect as she heads to Gotham, as Head Coach Becca Moros came to Tucson after serving as an Assistant Coach for them in 2020-21.

In the 2022 season, Hocking chipped in with a goal and assist on the season for the Wildcats to take her career totals to five goals and four assists in her time in Tucson.

The Anaheim native now looks to join a team that looks to build itself into a contender with U.S. Women’s National team players Lynn Williams, Kristie Mewis, and Midge Purce. Collectively, Gotham will look to better their 2022 season in which they finished 12th in the NWSL.

With Hocking being what appears to be the first Wildcat soccer player drafted, we may not need to wait long, as with another strong season, we may very well see Hope Hisey selected in 2024.

One thing is certain, however, and that is Coach Moros is bringing a much different approach than Tony Amato did to the Wildcats, and there is now a Wildcat drafted to the next level! Bear Down, Arizona!

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