2012 Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year realizes professional dreams.
Jan. 11, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. -- Former University of Oklahoma soccer forward Renae Cuellar has been allocated to FC Kansas City of the new National Women's Soccer League.
"It's a dream come true," said Cuellar. "Ever since I was six years old, I knew I wanted to be a professional soccer player. It's even better than going overseas with it being so rare to have a professional women's soccer league in the United States. Representing my family and my country and my university is a huge deal. It's very exciting."
A member of the Mexican Women's National Team, Cuellar is one of 55 U.S., Canadian and Mexican National Team players allocated to the NWSL's eight clubs. The NWSL is an eight-team league organized and administered by the U.S. Soccer Federation that will begin play in the spring of 2013. The eight founding clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Sky Blue FC (New York/New Jersey), Seattle Reign FC, the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash.
Cuellar, who made OU soccer history by being named the 2012 Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year, became the first member of the Oklahoma program to earn a spot on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Central Region First Team in her lone season with the Sooners after transferring from the University of Arizona. Cuellar also earned spots on the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Newcomer Team for her efforts in 2012.
The La Puente, Calif., native led the Sooners with 26 points from a team-high 12 goals, which ranks as the third-most in a single season in Oklahoma history. Her 13 points from six goals in eight Big 12 regular season matches paced the conference.
"It was the best collegiate soccer experience I had," said Cuellar of her senior season at OU. "Making the change was the best decision I could have made. Great people, a great athletic environment...it's all about a family there. My teammates were great and my coaches were great. As a developing soccer player, it was the best environment for me, surrounding myself with great players and a great coaching staff. There was only room for improvement with that environment, and that's a huge deal as an athlete and as a person."
Cuellar, who was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week twice in 2012, earned national honors when she was named Disney Soccer/NSCAA Player of the Week after scoring game-winning goals against Kansas and TCU.
Oklahoma finished the 2012 campaign with an overall mark of 7-9-4 and finished fifth in the conference standings with a Big 12 record of 3-3-2 under first-year head coach Matt Potter.