Yesterday began The Equalizer’s ten part “On the Clock” series, which will profile each team’s potential 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer Draft plans and include a mock draft. Part one looked at defending champion Sky Blue FC, and today part two will take a look at the Los Angeles Sol.
LA tore through the first half of the 2009 WPS season before slumping through July and August and losing the final at home to Sky Blue FC. On paper, Shannon Boxx, Marta, Aya Miyama, Camille Abily and company had the most talent in the league, so falling short of a championship made for disappointment in SoCal.
Han Duan and Aly Wagner are gone and the Sol roster currently sits at just nine players, though General Manger Charlie Naimo said that it will be at 13 by draft day with yet-to-be announced international signings. Two of them are surely Czech Republic’s Pavlina Scasna and Denmark’s Cathrine Paaske Sorensen, as first reported on The Equalizer.
That leads Naimo to admit that Los Angeles is “pretty taken care of in the attack,” so defensive selections should be a priority. The usual cast of names discussed yesterday apply to Los Angeles as well. This group is headlined by North Carolina center back Whitney Engen, who will most likely be off the board by the time Los Angeles picks at No. 5, leaving defenders like Aly Riley, Becky Edwards and Brittany Taylor as options.
Naimo and Head Coach Abner Rogers could steer away from a defensive selection at No. 5 with the depth of the draft. The Sol possess selections 5, 8, 9, 20 and 22, allowing LA to pick up at least three of the country’s absolute best players.
As head coach of the Pali Blues, Naimo knows the quality of his championship W-League side and predicts that five of the top eight picks could come from Pali. If she is still available, UCLA midfielder Lauren Cheney could be a sound option for Los Angeles.
It is really going to come down to a gut feeling, as Naimo explains it, and Boston’s selection at No. 2 could completely change LA’s decision. Naimo admits there is a fine line between taking the best available player and a player in a position that is needed.
“If the best available is a lot better than go with that,” he said. “If it’s only slightly better, go with what you need.”
Currently, LA has about ten names on the board, meaning that it should be able to get three of its top choices with selections No. 5, 8 and 9. With so many high draft picks, the Sol could only get stronger in 2010.
This feature is the second of a tenpart series titled “On the Clock, ” which will feature a draft preview for each WPS team and culminate with a mock draft. Check out the full WPS Draft order here.
Tomorrow: “On the Clock: Atlanta Beat”
The 2010 WPS Draft will take place on Friday, January 15 at 10 a.m. in Philadelphia. Look for live and exclusive coverage from The Equalizer.
Follow me at Twitter.com/JeffKassouf
|2 Comments… read them below or post one|
|Yes, it should be a very lucrative draft for Los Angeles. The talent is out there, but the key will be locking it up and developing it long-term.|
|It looks like the Sol Management has positioned themselves for draft picks better than any other team. They still have a strong core team AND picks 5,8 and 9!!!|
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