Thoughts on the 2009 WPS International Draft
Yesterday, the Philadelphia Independence and Atlanta Beat held their respective drafts for International players. Here's who they ended up obtaining, in order.
Selection Player Position Country
1.) Philadelphia Caroline Seger M Sweden
2.) Atlanta Ramona Bachmann F Switzerland
3.) Philadelphia Charlotte Rohlin D Sweden
4.) Atlanta Johanna Rasmussen F Denmark
5.) Philadelphia Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir M Iceland
6.) Atlanta Mami Yamaguchi M Japan
7.) Philadelphia Fara Williams M England
8.) Atlanta Maurine Dorneles Goncalves M Brazil
9.) Philadelphia Lianne Sanderson F England
10.) Atlanta Therese Sjögran M Sweden
Just like last year, there is no commitment on these players to sign with a WPS team. It is simply the beginning of a process by which the Independence and Beat will go as per the world-famous FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
That was quite a mouthful. First impressions:
No German or French players? - Yep. Nobody from the German national team that won Women's Euro 2009 is on this roster. Sooner or later, this will have to change.
I also noticed that no French players were taken in this draft. Seems that Abily and Bompastor is who we'll have to see again in 2010. Le sigh...
North Korea off the radar - Not surprising, no North Korean players have been taken. Curse that Dear Leader and the lack of defections.
Umeatlanta Beatrottsklub - Ramona Bachmann, Johanna Rasmussen and Mami Yamaguchi was selected as the first three international picks by Atlanta. As key members with the Umea Idrottsklubb (yes, you've heard of them), the pipeline of talent from Umea IK to the WPS continues to build.
Bachmann is a young Swiss superstar in the making. Voted as Swiss women's player of the year this year, she has found the net 19 times in 30 appearances while making a name for herself in the Swiss U-20 team.
Watch out for Ramona Bachmann, Atlanta fans. She's getting better and better, and her choice to be picked in this year's draft was easier than ever.
Rasmussen appeared in 44 matches for the Danish national team, while Yamaguchi spent some time playing for the Florida State Seminoles.
New Brits on the Block - Philly fans will be in for a treat when they get to watch Fara Williams and Lianne Sanderson.
Williams, known to the Toffees as "Queen Fara," is a midfielder with the ability to finish. As of August 2009, Williams had scored 26 goals in 71 appearances for the English national team.
Sanderson, who made a name for herself as a key member of Vic Akers's Arsenal Ladies, won just about every trophy the club could earn: a UEFA Women's Cup, five Premier League crowns, four FA Women's Cups, two Premier League Cups and two Community Shields. A proven goal scorer, Sanderson scored 40 goals in 41 appearances in the 2006-07 campaign.
The next wave of Brazilliance - Not to be outdone, Maurine Dornelles Goncalves was selected by the Beat as the eighth pick in the 2009 International Draft. A key member of Santos FC (who currently has the Los Angeles Sol's Marta, Chicago Red Stars' Cristiane and FC Gold Pride's Erika on loan), Maurine's presence in the midfield will be criticial to Atlanta's chances of giving the rest of WPS a run for their reais.
Iceland breaks the mold - Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir is a midfielder with a proven ability to finish. Drafted by the Independence, she has scored 108 goals in 124 appearances for Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur (KR Reykjavik [pronounced: Ray-kya-vihk]) and Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja (IBV Vestmannaeyjar [pronounced: West-men-eh-yar]).
For those of you wondering how to pronounce these names, it's Natt-spur-noof-ell-agg Ray-kya-vihk-er and Ihp-rot-ah-bahn-da-lahg West-men-eh-yah. Now you know a little Icelandic, and you will know a lot more about Magnúsdóttir (pronounced like Magnus daughter) when the 2010 WPS season rolls along.
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