Jan 18, 2024

Aurora Defender Kelsey Kaufusi Drafted by National Women’s Soccer League’s Portland Thorns 


[St Paul, MN] [January 17, 2024] –   Minnesota Aurora defender Kelsey Kaufusi was drafted by the National Women’s Soccer League’s Portland Thorns in Portland, Oregon on Friday, January 12. The Thorns were ranked second in the NWSL standings with a 10-5-7 record and 35 points scored in their 2023 season. 

Kaufusi was an integral part of Minnesota’s Aurora’s 2022 and 2023 teams, contributing to their two undefeated regular seasons. As a center back, her athletic talent and ability to connect long-range passes gave Aurora an offensive advantage and helped lead Aurora to back-to-back Heartland Division Championships. 

Kaufusi is from Syracuse, UT and is a graduate of Utah State University where she was named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year. 

“This is something I’ve worked for my whole life,” said Kaufasi. “I learned so much from my experience at Aurora. The high caliber of talent and the speed of play there prepared me to take this next step.” 

“It’s incredible to see Kelsey’s talent recognized at this level,” said Aurora Sporting Director and Head Coach Nicole Lukic. “She gave so much to the Minnesota Aurora team and community while she was here, and we’re thrilled to cheer her on in this exciting new chapter of her career.”

Kaufusi becomes the seventh Minnesota Aurora player to reach professional ranks, and is the first to be drafted by the National Women’s Soccer League.