Utah Royals take Tziarra King with first pick in the NWSL Draft

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Royals FC forward Christen Press (23) is celebrated after scoring the first goal of the night as Utah Royals FC hosts the North Carolina Courage at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Saturday, July 27, 2019.

Utah Royals FC used its first-round pick in Thursday’s NWSL Draft to select Tziarra King out of North Carolina State eighth overall. She played four years for the Pack and was named to the Top 100 players by TopDrawerSoccer in 2019.

King started all 88 games in which she appeared during her college career. She scored 48 goals and added 19 assists in more than 7,200 minutes.

King was listed as a midfielder with NC State, but has experience playing multiple positions. She said during the NWSL broadcast that her favorite position is forward.

“I love to score goals,” she said.

The Royals chose midfielder Kate Del Fava of Illinois State with the 12th pick. Del Fava played four years for the Redbirds and had 25 goals and 11 assists in 82 starts.

Del Fava is another versatile player. For the first three years of her college career, she was listed as both a midfielder and a defender. It wasn’t until her senior season that the team listed her as only a midfielder. She has the capability of playing outside back, a position that rotated often for the Royals in 2019.

Utah picked forward Cyera Hintzen from the University of Texas at No. 31 in the fourth round. Hintzen is the former Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2018.

Hintzen scored 27 goals and added 18 assists during her time with Texas.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tziarra, Kate and Cyera, to the Utah Royals FC family,” Royals general manager Stephanie Lee said in statement. “With this draft we were hopeful to select talent that can make an impact immediately, and also down the road we believe these players check that box. We are eager to see what they bring to the pitch both this year and in years to come.”