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Atlanta Beat Preseason Roster Update

Manya Makoski, Acquired via LA Sol Dispersal Draft

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

LA’s Loss is Atlanta’s Gain

Let me start by saying I think it’s very unfortunate that the deal to get new ownership for the LA Sol of Women’s Professional Soccer fell through.  You hate to see if firstly for the individuals involved directly with the club in LA, but also the fans and the WPS league.  Hopefully we’ll see someone step up soon in an ownership role that can bring WPS back to LA.

Atlanta Beat Owner T. Fitz Johnson said “All the team owners and members of the Board are confident that this setback will be quickly overcome by the exciting developments that the league has in store for the 2010 WPS Season. This includes two new franchises, the debut of a brand new stadium built specifically for WPS, a longer regular season and an even better product on the field with incoming talent from the college ranks and the many top internationals that have been signed in the off-season.  Without question, this season is poised to build on our successful launch year.”

Several of the Los Angeles players, including WPS All-Stars Shannon Boxx and Marta, are signed to multi-year, guaranteed contracts, and are expected to play in WPS for the remainder of their contracts with other WPS teams following the dispersal draft.

The dispersal draft will be held Thursday, Feb. 4 with the eight franchises selecting players from the Sol roster over three rounds.  Atlanta will have pick #1, 16, & 17

Marta would seem the obvious choice but the question would be how much of her salary would the Beat be on the line for covering.  As LA found out last year Marta doesn’t have the full Beckham effect.  LA’s attendance at The Home Depot Center last year was about 6,000 for the Sol.  It’s been rumored Marta will go to whomever is willing to put up the most money.  Whether that means Atlanta will get anything in return for that remains to be seen.

For more details see the press release here or stay tuned to The Equalizer who focuses on Women’s Soccer.

Who do you think Atlanta should pick?  Will there be a ripple effect spurring a new round of trades?