Zach Mathers selected by Seattle Sounders; Kara Wilson chosen by Washington Spirit

After ending their soccer careers at Duke on a successful note, two Blue Devils will go pro next season.

Senior midfielder Kara Wilson was selected with the No. 37 pick in the fourth round of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Friday and will play for the Washington Spirit this year, while senior midfielder Zach Mathers was chosen 15th in the second round of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft by the Seattle Sounders

Wilson totaled 68 games wearing a Duke uniform and had a crucial role in the 2015 season as she was the lone senior starter on a Blue Devil squad that made it to the NCAA Championship. The Potomac, Md., native's versatility on the pitch has helped her play center back in her junior year and she competed in all but one of Duke's 24 games in the fall, spreaheading the defense to 14 shutouts—the second-most in school history. In her four years at Duke, Wilson scored one goal and posted three assists.

Wilson's new team is a professional women’s soccer team based in Germantown, Md. Originally founded in 2011 with the name of D.C. United Women, the Spirit registered an 8-6-6 record last season and fell to the Seattle Reign 3-0 in the NWSL semifinals. Wilson is already a familiar face on head coach Jim Gabarra’s team as she played with the Spirit Reserve team in the last off seasons.

Mathers is the first Blue Devil to be selected to play in an MLS squad since 2013, when goalkeeper James Belshaw became a member of the Chicago Fire roster. Mathers—who received All-ACC Freshman Team honors in 2012 and conference First Team honors last fall—netted 14 goals and registered 18 assists in 71 contests as a Blue Devil. Although head coach John Kerr’s squad was left out of postseason with a 10-7-2 record, the Keller, Texas native managed to lead the team in scoring with eight goals and was the top-facilitator with eight assists as well.

The Sounders have captured four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups and won the Western Conference regular-season crown in 2014. Clint Dempsey—Team USA’s captain in the most recent World Cup—is the team's most popular player and the leader of a squad made up of skilled players such as Paraguayan striker Nelson Valdez and Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins.

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