St. Louis Athletica, who gained the first overall draft pick in a trade with Atlanta, announced Thursday that they had selected US international and WPS All-Star midfielder Shannon Boxx with their first selection.
"Shannon Boxx will be a great addition to this squad," said Head Coach Jorge Barcellos in a WPS press release. "She has been a remarkable player for the United States Women's National team in her career, and she will compliment the players we have in the lineup right now."
With the eighth overall pick, St. Louis chose attacking midfielder Aya Miyama and added Tina DiMartino with the 14th draft selection following a trade with Chicago. Athletica gained the 14th selection from the Red Stars in exchange for their second round pick in the 2011 WPS draft.
Barcellos was happy with the selections Athletica made. "Aya Miyama gives us the additional play making ability that we have been searching for, and Tina DiMartino is a player I have admired for a long time."
St. Louis now has four US national team regulars on their roster in Boxx, Athletica captain Lori Chalupny, Lindsay Tarpley, and Hope Solo. Boxx has appeared in 118 games for the United States and has scored 20 goals so far in her international career. Four of the 11 starters from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games gold medal match could be in the Athletica's starting lineup this season.
Chairman Jeff Cooper offered a statement to the WPS. "There was a lot of speculation about who we would select over the last couple of days. Ultimately Shannon Boxx was the player we wanted, and the one we felt best fit our needs. We are thrilled to add a player of Shannon Boxx's stature. Being able to select Miyama with our eighth pick was a very welcome bonus, and trading to get Tina DiMartino was the icing on the cake for us."
In her time on the LA Sol roster, Boxx served as team captain, scoring three goals and serving three assists in 19 games. Miyama lead the Sol in assists with six, though a bigger statistic is that she started all 20 games for the Sol, ending the season with a perfect 1,800 minutes of playing time, having never come off the field. DiMartino played 18 games for FC Gold Pride last year, recording one assist. She was traded in the off-season to the LA Sol.
Miyama has appeared in the 2003 and 2007 World Cup for Japan, as well as the 2008 Olympic Games. DiMartino is also a member of the US Women's National Team.
About Saint Louis Athletica
Saint Louis Athletica is a founding member of Women's Professional Soccer, WPS. In Their inaugural season St. Louis Athletica finished in second place in the WPS, and reached the WPS Super Semifinal. Saint Louis Athletica plays their home matches at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park i suburban St. Louis. The 2010 home opener will e on April 11 against FC Gold Pride. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-888-STL-GOAL.
About Women's Professional Soccer (WPS)
Headquartered in San Francisco, Women's Professional Soccer (WPS is the worlds' premier soccer league for women with eight teams across the United States featuring the best players from around the world. In 2010, eight teams will play 24 games scheduled from April 10—Sept. 12 including sex original WPS teams—Boston Breakers Chicago Red Stars, FC Gold Pride (Bay Area), Saint Louis Athletica, Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY) and Washington Freedom-and two expansion teams Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence.
The top four finishers in the regular season will qualify for the 2010 WPS Playoffs scheduled for Sept. 19-26. For more information, visit the WPS official website at www.womensprosoccer.com or follow all news at www.twitter.com/womensprosoccer.