Countdown to WPS Draft Continues; Experts Rate UNC Engen as Top Defender

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Countdown to WPS Draft Continues; Experts Rate UNC Engen as Top Defender

With the 2010 WPS Draft draft a mere three weeks away, the media experts weigh in this week by ranking the top defenders coming out of college and available for the WPS Draft on January 15, 2010 at the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia, PA.

For the second week in a row, a Tarheel from the University of North Carolina was the top prospect at an individual position with Whitney Engen (Rolling Hills Estates, CA) selected as the best defender available in the upcoming draft on five of six ballots submitted by the panel.

Engen’s UNC teammate Ashlyn Harris was voted as the top goalkeeper prospect last week. Engen helped lead her team to the 2009 College Cup title and was named the 2010 Honda Sports Award-winner for soccer.

As we did last week when rating the goal keepers, below is the individual rankings of six media professionals and the tallied ranking with each first place vote scoring five points, four for second, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth place. The tallied ranking appears under my name.

We will be ranking the midfielders and forwards in the upcoming weeks.


Top Prospects for the 2010 WPS Draft - Defenders

Todd Civin, Bleacher Report (Tallied Ranking)

1. Whitney Engen, North  Carolina    (23)                                                              2. Brittany Taylor, Connecticut    (15)
3. Ali Riley, Stanford (8)
4. Jordan Angeli, Santa Clara, Kelly Henderson, Boston College (6)
6. Andrea Willis, Brigham Young (5)

Charles Cuttone, Soccer News Net
1. Brittany Taylor, D, Connecticut
2. Whitney Engen, D, North Carolina
3. Andrea Willis, D, Brigham Young
4. Kelly Henderson, D, Boston College
5. Danielle Mutters, D, Illinois State
Others to Watch: Ali Riley, D, Stanford

Scott French, The Soccer Magazine
1. Whitney Engen, D, North Carolina
2. Lauren Wilmoth, D, UCLA
3. Brittany Taylor, D, Connecticut
4. Meagan Holmes, D, USC
5. Jordan Angeli, D, Santa Clara
Others to Watch: Vaila Barsley, D, St. John's; Kristi Eveland, D, North Carolina; Kaley Fountain, D, Wake Forest; Lauren Hyde, D, Florida; Blakely Mattern, D, South Carolina; Ali Riley, D, Stanford

Graham Hays, ESPN.com
1. Whitney Engen, North Carolina
2. Brittany Taylor, Connecticut
3. Blakely Mattern, South Carolina
4. Jordan Angeli, Santa Clara
5. Kaley Fountain, Wake Forest

Paul Kennedy, Soccer America
1. Whitney Engen, D, North Carolina
2. Brittany Taylor, D, Connecticut
3. Ali Riley, D, Stanford
4. Kaley Fountain, D, Wake Forest
5. Lauren Wilmoth, D, UCLA

Dan Lauletta, Womensprosoccer.com
1. Whitney Engen, D, North Carolina
2. Kelly Henderson, D, Boston College
3. Nikki Marshall, D, Colorado
4. Kristi Eveland, D, North Carolina
5. Ali Riley, D, Stanford
Others to Watch: Blakely Mattern, D, South Carolina; Brittany Taylor, D, Connecticut

Mark Rogondino, Fox Soccer Channel
1. Whitney Engen, D, North Carolina
2. Ali Riley, D, Stanford
3. Jordan Angeli, Santa Clara
4. Andrea Willis, D, Brigham Young
5. Dea Cook, D, UCLA

About 2010 WPS Draft
The 2010 WPS Draft is January 15, 2010 at the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia, PA. The draft is scheduled for seven rounds with the two expansion teams each being given an additional selection at the end of Round One. Interested players must declare their interest in the draft by Monday, January 4 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT by registering online at: http://www.womensprosoccer.com/Home/players/interested-player.aspx .

The previous story used excerpts from a Press Release by the WPS. Todd Civin is a freelance writer and community leader for the Bleacher Report. His stories can be found on his own blog, The 'xoxo' of Sports or on Bleacher Report, Sports, Then and Now and Seamheads.

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