Tierna Davidson skips senior year at Stanford to go pro

Defender Tierna Davidson was selected with the first overall pick by the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women's Soccer League draft, just hours after she announced that she'd skip her senior season at Stanford to play professionally.

She made her announcement to leave Stanford in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday morning, saying she wanted to pursue playing soccer "at the highest level" and promised to return to the university in the future to complete her degree.

Davidson, named U.S. Soccer's Young Player of the Year for her play last season, is a hopeful for the team that will represent the United States at this year's World Cup in France. 

The NWSL has adopted rules that allow players who are 18 to enter the draft with college eligibility remaining. 

Davidson's junior season with Stanford was cut short when she fractured her left ankle in a game against North Carolina in September.

Davidson told The Associated Press last month that she was focused on making the U.S. roster and was concerned about how to juggle that with Stanford's rigorous academic requirements.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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