As the Women's Professional Soccer league get's set to embark on it's second annual entry draft, the expansion Philadelphia Independence find themselves on the outside of the first round looking in.
The fact that Philadelphia is without a first round pick is no ones fault but their own, especially when you consider they started the draft process with two opening round selections; No 2 and No 11 overall.
So what happened? Well, back in September Independence General Manager Terry Foley traded both picks to Tony DiCicco’s Boston Breakers, in exchange for Boston’s first round pick, No 5 overall and dynamic forward Amy Rodriguez.
Wait a minute, is that the same Amy Rodriguez the Breakers took with the No 1 overall pick in 2009? You are correct my friend, the same Rodriguez who played in 17 games last season, 11 as a starter. Unfortunately for all her hard work, Amy’s efforts produced just one goal.
Some might say that giving up two first round picks for Rodriquez is a steep price to pay for an expansion side, but not Foley. The independence GM told me that when you have a chance to add player with Amy’s ability to your roster, sometimes it’s at no cost.
Amy is known for her remarkable ability to create scoring opportunities. In the 2004 FIFA U-19 World Cup in Thailand, Amy finished the tournament with two goals and two assists. In her 19 games with the U-20 National Team, she posted 11 goals before being called up to the next level.
At just 18, Amy earned her first two caps with the National Team in the 2005 Algarve Cup, and she has continued to be an offensive force for the United States since. Scoring her first international goal in January of 2008, Amy also posted game-winning goals against Brazil in the Peace Queen Cup and Olympic send-off Match. Her outstanding play in the 2008 Olympic Games helped the U.S. capture the Gold Medal and also made her the first-ever University of Southern California soccer medalist.
I guess that kind of explains why Foley and the rest of the Independence front office won’t mind sitting through the first round of the draft. Oh, and if you are wondering what Philadelphia did with the first round pick they received in the Rodriguez trade, they shipped it off to Los Angeles along with their third round pick, No. 22 overall for defender Alison Falk and goalkeeper Val Henderson, one of the best backstops in the business.
Trust me, if you take a closer look at Philadelphia’s roster and the caliber of players they have assembled through the international and expansion drafts, you won’t feel sorry for them. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are even a few other teams a bit envious.
None the less, the Independence will still have five selections in the draft with picks in the second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.
The overall No. 1 pick in the 2010 WPS draft belongs to the expansion Atlanta Beat who are expected to take North Carolina midfielder Tobin Heath.
To follow the WPS draft LIVE, visit www.twitter.com/womensprosoccer on Friday, January 15, 2010 at 10 AM ET / 7 AM PT.