The Philadelphia Independence expects to announce the signing of free agent and United States Women’s National Team defender Heather Mitts as early as Tuesday, Philadelphia Head Coach Paul Riley said.
The deal is imminent, although not yet official. It has been held up, Riley said, due to Mitts traveling.
“We’re very, very close,” Riley said.
Mitts is currently in Mexico and Riley said the deal could be done onTuesday, although he admits that nothing is official until Mitts signson the dotted line.
Riley said that he believes Mitts is attracted to Philadelphia becauseof the “overall package” that it offers. An overall package is what first sparked Riley’s interest in Mitts, and he is already making plans that involve her.
“I think it’s the overall package,” Riley said. “She’s a local girl. I think we needed some experience; we need a leader. I think she fits those categories. I think she is a very, very good player. She is still the starting right back on the national team. In the formation we are going to play, I think she is going to be very good.”
Riley also recognizes what Mitts brings to the table off the field, calling her one of the two best marketing tools in the league. Hope Solo, he said, is the other.
“I think she’ll be the face of the franchise, to be honest with you,” he said.
Riley also added that every international draft pick has been signed, with the exception of Swedish defender Charlotte Rohlin.
That means that Swedish international Caroline Seger, English internationals Fara Williams and Lianne Sanderson and Icelandic international Holmfridur Magnusdottir are all on board for a Philadelphia team that is shaping up to be quite the squad.
The transactions are not done, either.
Riley said he has targeted free agent and U.S. international Carli Lloyd as a player of interest, and is also trying to acquire midfielder Tina DiMartino from FC Gold Pride.
“I would think, probably, we’ll get one or the other,” Riley said ofLloyd and DiMartino. “I don’t think we’ll get both, but I wouldn’t saywe are guaranteed. But, I’m pretty confident we’ll get one or the other at some point. We would love to have both. That would be luxury, but I don’t think we’ll be able to afford that or pull that off with the trades.”
The acquisition of goalkeeper Valerie Henderson earlier in the week also means that the Independence will shift itsfocus away from a goalkeeper with the 13th-overall pick in the 2010 WPS Draft. Riley said that Philly will be looking for the best player leftat that point.
Should nothing go wrong for Philly and Mitts in the coming days, Mitts will return to the city she called home in her WUSA days. What do you think of Mittsgoing to Philadelphia? How about Philadelphia’s seemingly stacked lineup? Share your thoughts below.
5 Comments… read them below or post one
|this is a cool news. Thank you.|
|Mitts will be an awesome addition! Boston’s loss is Philly’s gain!|
|Yes , she won’t have to compete for the right side with Alex Scott … The breakers have given up 2 USA national team players .. way to go Tony!!!|
|I wish they could also get the other best marketing tool in the league. Sadly she loves STL too much.|
|wow. Philadelphia is going to have one of the best teams in the league for sure. so much talent. a-rod, falk, lindsey, henderson, and now mitts, and probably dimartino and/or Lloyd? crazy I can’t wait to see how the team does this season|
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