The chairs and tables have been put away, the banners taken down and the humidity returned to its normal level in salon 201C at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and so ends the 2010 WPS College Draft.
For the home town expansion Philadelphia Independence, the first three rounds of the selection process were much like a Sunday drive through Amish country, scenic and slow.
After trading away their first and third round picks prior to the draft, the Independence were left with just one of the first 29 picks, but when their turn finally came, General Manager Terry Foley and his technical staff used the their second-round pick, 13th overall, to take Louisiana State University midfielder Malorie Rutledge.
“With our 13th pick we wanted a young player that would come out and add something to the group,” said Foley, “In Malorie we’ve got a player that is a very exciting player that can play in the mid-field and is a very, very technical player.”
Leading up to the first ever pick in franchise history, the Independence also had their eye on Florida State defender Becky Edwards, who played her high school and club ball just a soft pretzel toss away from the teams current training site in Downingtown, Pennsylvania (USTC).
Edwards was selected by the Bay Area’s F.C. Gold Pride with the 12th overall pick, one
selection before Philadelphia chose Rutledge.
Despite Atlanta’s selection of Edwards, Foley said the team is very happy with the choice it made at 13.
“At the end of the day we have to pick the best player for what we need. I’m not saying malorie is a better player than Becky, Becky is more of a defensive player and we don’t need that, we needed that forward that was going to come in and help make a difference”
No question, it would have been nice to select a player with local ties, much like F.C. Gold Pride did when they drafted two players from Stanford University.
There was however one other local player still on Philadelphia’s radar. Wake Forest Forward, Jillian Hutchinson, who played her prep ball at Conestoga High School in Wayne, Pa.
Hutchinson actually played for me when I was the General Manager of the WPSL’s Philadelphia Liberty. She is a physical presence who has the ability to set up plays and find the back of the net.
Unfortunately, the expansion, Atlanta Beat snatched Jillian in the fourth round, one pick before Philadelphia took Boston College defensive midfielder Kelly Henderson off the board.
The Independence did finally manage to add a local player with the 62nd selection. Using a pick acquired from defending WPS Champ Sky Blue, Philadelphia chose former William and Mary All-America, Dani Collins. In return, Sky Blue received the rights to Middletown, New Jersey native Jen Anzivino, a midfielder/forward from Rutgers who the Independence selected in the sixth round (No. 49)
Overall, it was relatively productive draft for the Independence despite not having a first or third round pick. The six players chosen will help add great balance to what is already a veteran laden roster.
Philadelphia Independence Draft Recap
13. Philadelphia Independence – Malorie Rutledge, M, LSU
31. Philadelphia Independence – Kelly Henderson, D/M, Boston College
40. Philadelphia Independence – Carrie Patterson, F, Georgia (traded to Atlanta for University of Georgia GK Mallori Lofton-Malachi)
49. Philadelphia Independence – Jennifer Anzivino, D/M, Rutgers (to Sky Blue FC)
58. Philadelphia Independence – Caitlin Farrell, D, Wake Forest
62. Philadelphia Independence – Danielle Collins, D/M, William & Mary
As expected, the University of North Carolina’s Tobin Heath was the No. 1 overall selection by the Expansion Atlanta Beat. Heath was one of seven Tar heels drafted, six in the first two rounds. Santa Clara had five players selected and UCLA and Wake Forest each had three. Overall there were 65 players chosen by nine teams.