With the sixth pick, WPS Champions Sky Blue FC select…Brittany Taylor .
“It was pretty cool to be able to say, obviously knowing it, but being able for them to say that 'the WPS 2009 champions drafting Brittany Taylor' was pretty cool to actually be able to hear in front of everyone. ‘Cause obviously everyone knows it but I didn’t realize they were actually gonna say it out loud, so it was pretty cool.”
Taylor spent last summer playing with the Hudson Valley Quickstrike—Sky Blue FC’s W-League affiliate. That experience could not have been more beneficial for the former Husky defender. She credits the team environment with Quickstrike for preparing her to play at the professional level.
“The environment was similar to a WPS club [with Quickstrike].” Taylor said. “They take care of the players well—it should make for an easy transition.”
Not all players were able to make the transition into the pros that easily last year. Together, the first round of the 2009 draft scored nine goals and added seven assists. Amy Rodriguez, who was the first round pick going to the Boston Breakers, struggled to find the back of the net, scoring only one goal.
The former Breaker was dynamic at the University of Southern California during her collegiate career but failed to impress in Boston last season.
Hopefully, this year’s crop of talented young stars, including Taylor, doesn’t have the same problem.
Taylor got plenty of preparation to play at the next level last summer as she took the field against the top players that were looking to play in WPS in 2010. The W-League also boasted the top collegiate talent that would go on to be first round picks in the 2010 draft all suited up in the W-League.
While the environment played a huge role for Taylor, the connection between Quickstrike proved to be invaluable. The Quickstrike Lady Blues were able to watch and participate in a Sky Blue FC practice, both allowing them to play with some of the best players in the world as well as being able to be seen by the coaching staff.
The Sky Blue FC coaches were able to evaluate the Quickstrike players easily because of the close relationship between the two programs.
“I was able to be seen during the collegiate season and during the W-League season too,” the Connecticut native explained
Taylor has clearly benefitted from the relationship between the two programs and recommends that any player looking to make it to WPS “get involved with a feeder team”.
Photo Credit: Laine Schmid