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W-League players in high demand in 2008 WPS General Draft

USL News Release

Monday, October 6, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – USL W-League players represented 24 of the 28 picks made in Monday’s Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) General Draft, which consisted of four rounds of selections between the seven WPS clubs. Moreover, 18 of those 24 selections competed as recently as the 2008 W-League season. Six players taken in the draft, including the number two overall selection Jill Oakes, were part of the recent USL W-League Combine held in Tampa, Florida.

Huffman, Oakes and Sauerbrunn taken in top three of WPS Draft (Shane Canfield)Washington Freedom head coach Jim Gabarra spent little time selecting his own W-League players, taking Sarah Huffman with the first overall pick and Becky Sauerbrunn with the third overall selection. Huffman had helped guide the Freedom to the W-League title in 2007 and nearly repeated with Sauerbrunn in 2008, falling in the W-League Semifinals to the eventual champion.

Charlie Naimo, coach of those 2008 W-League Champion Pali Blues, who was named General Manager of the Los Angeles WPS franchise on Friday, October 3, saw two of his championship players taken in the first four selections before Los Angeles came to the board. Bay Area, with the number two overall selection, took Oakes, who played a pivotal role on defense for Pali during the 2008 W-League season. The Boston Breakers then selected defender and championship game goal scorer Amy LePeilbet with the fourth overall selection.

       WPS General Draft Selections with W-League Experience [+]

With the fifth selection, Naimo took his former New Jersey Wildcats goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, who helped lead the club to a W-League championship in 2005. Naimo also took Kendall Fletcher of his Pali Blues side with the 10th overall selection, and two slots later Christie Welsh, who has played the past two seasons with the Washington Freedom after winning the 2005 title with Naimo and LeBlanc in New Jersey. He closed out his picks with another former Wildcat, Manya Makoski, at selection 19.

Gabarra continued to draft familiar players, taking Lori Lindsey 17th and Emily Janss with the 28th and final selection of the draft. Both helped lead the Freedom to the championship in 2007.

The Blues and Freedom proved to be high value player pools with seven each being selected. The Chicago Red Stars took Pali’s Danesha Adams sixth, while St Louis took India Trotter 14th. Bay Area selected two from Pali, picking up Kandace Wilson 13th and List Bogus 16th.

Chicago also selected Ella Masar of the Freedom in the ninth spot with St Louis taking Joanna Lohman 24th.

Goalkeeper Cori Alexander was the only other first-round selection who attended USL’s W-League Combine last month. Selected seventh overall by Jersey Sky Blue, Alexander also played in four matches last season with the W-League’s Seattle Sounders. During that time Alexander compiled a goals against average of 1.71 and made 22 saves.

Other W-League Combine players taken were Bogus, Jennifer Anderson-Hammond (Chicago Gaels), Amanda Cinalli (Cleveland Internationals) and 2008 W-League Defender of the Year Sue Weber (Long Island Rough Riders).

The 24 W-League players selected in the General Draft join 10 that were selected in the WPS International Rights Draft September 24 and the 13 alumni that were originally assigned September 16 as part of the US Women’s National Team allocations.

       WPS International Draft Selections with W-League Experience [+]

WPS US WNT Allocations with W-League Experience [+]

 


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