In the span of a week the Atlanta Beat have transitioned from a team with an expansion look to potential contenders. Through the international draft and the pickup of Tobin Heath the Beat has acuired enough talent to provide the offensive spark. The question that lingered in my mind was whether or not they could score more goals then what our defense would concede. With the recent additions via trades and the dispersal draft The Beat have significantly strengthened their squad and it should allow Coach O’Sullivan to play the attacking style this team seems to have been built for playing.
Prior to the LA Sol dispersal draft the biggest weaknesses seemed to be in defense and to a lesser extent the midfield. Atlanta Beat Owner Fitz Johnson, who formerly lived in Lexington, KY, should be familiar with the word trifecta. That’s exactly what the Beat scored by trading the #1 pick in the dispersal draft and picking up 3 established starters with WPS experience. By getting Defender Kia McNeill and Midfielder Angie Kerr from St. Louis and taking Manya Makoski with the number 8 pick the Beat solidify the backline and strength the midfield. Those three players have more combined starts (50 vs 46) and minutes (4335 vs 4216) then the other 8 field players on the roster with WPS experience in 2009.
The current preseason roster includes 27 players that will have to be cut down to 22 final roster spots. That is broken into 18 full roster spots and 4 developmental spots. The Beat now turn their attention to taking these talented individuals and building the team chemistry that they hope will be the next step in becoming the “Best in the World”.
The current preseason roster is as follows:
Fowards: Ramona Bachman (I), Shelley Thompson (I), Amanda Cinalli (E2), Monica Ocampo (FA), Noelle Kesalica (E6), Jill Hutchinson (C), Kasey Langdon (C), Shaneda Gordon (C), Carrie Patterson (C via trade)
Midfielders: Tobin Heath (C) Mami Yamaguchi (I), Johanna Rasmuss (I), Angie Kerr (T), Katie Larkin (E3), McCall Zerboni (FA), Stacy Bishop (FA), Sophia Mundy (FA), Marisha Schumacher-Hodge (FA), Amanda Poach (T)
Defenders: Kia McNeill (T), Leigh Ann Robinson (E1), Sharolta Nonen (E4), Manya Makoski (D), Blakely Mattern (C), Tracy Hamm (FA), Shameda Gordon (C),
GK: Allison Whitworth (T), Brett Maron (FA)
Means of Acuiring Rights
- (C) WPS Draft – College
- (D) Dispersal Draft – LA Sol
- (E#) Expansion Draft – number represents pick
- (FA) Free Agent
- (I) International Draft (International players underlined)
- (T) Trade
So how do you feel the team’s coming together?
UPDATED AS OF 2/27