With the WPS draft fast approaching, the Atlanta Beat are looking to make some additions to the expansion side before heading into preseason. They hold the No. 1 pick, which will set the stage for the entire draft. Depending on who the Beat select with that first pick, teams may or may not have to go to Plan B.
Who they’ve gotten throughout the offseason:
Defender Leigh Ann Robinson, who played for FC Gold Pride last season.
Midfielder Amanda Cinalli, who started and played the first 12 games of the 2009 campaign with the St. Louis Athletica before a shoulder injury knocked her out for the rest of the season.
Forward/midfielder Katie Larkin, who played for the WPS regular season champions, LA Sol.
Defender Sharolta Nonen, who was a teammate of Larkin’s in LA. Nonen was also a member of the WUSA’s Atlanta Beat from 2001-2003.
Forward Noelle Keselica, who played for the WPS champions Sky Blue FC last season.
Switzerland forward Ramona Bachmann, who has played for Umea for the past two and a half years.
Japanese forward/midfielder Mami Yamaguchi, who has been a teammate of Bachmann’s at Umea.
Danish forward/midfielder Johanna Rasmussen, who was also a member of Sweden’s Umea.
Mexican forward Monica Ocampo.
Free Agent Signings:
Boston Breakers midfielders Sophia Mundy and Stacy Bishop.
FC Gold Pride goalkeeper Allison Whitworth and defender Tracy Hamm.
LA Sol midfielder McCall Zerboni.
The Atlanta Beat have stayed silent about who’s their No. 1 pick. Speculators have thrown out names—Kelley O’Hara, Tobin Heath, Lauren Cheney, Whitney Engen, Ali Riley—but it’s anyone’s guess as to who that No. 1 pick would be. Regardless of who is chosen, she will definitely add to the Beat’s already talented lineup.
The Beat only have three defenders on their roster right now so picking up some additional defenders would definitely be in their best interests.
Unless they go with a defender as the No. 1 overall pick, several of the top defenders will be gone by the time the Beat make their second selection with the 21st pick in the draft. If not, defenders Kristi Eveland (UNC), Dea Cook (UCLA), and Brittany Taylor (UConn) may still be available.
A backup goalkeeper should also be a priority for the Beat, especially with the number of quality keepers coming out. They would be able to pick between Kelsey Davis (Portland), Kristen Olson (USC), Ashlyn Harris (UNC), or Erin Guthrie (Rutgers) among other prospects.
We only have to wait until Friday to see who the Beat will choose with the number one pick to add to their roster. The Atlanta Beat open up their season on the road at Philadelphia on Sunday, April 11, 2010.
To follow the WPS draft LIVE, visit www.twitter.com/womensprosoccer on Friday, January 15, 2010 at 10 AM ET / 7 AM PT.