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On the Clock: Washington Freedom

With Abby Wambach, Lisa De Vanna and Rebecca Moros running the show up top, the Washington Freedom do not need any help in the attack.  Head Coach Jim Gabarra will be looking to build depth through the midfield and defense in the 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer Draft.

“We need some presence on the defensive side of the ball, whether a defensive midfielder or a center back,” Gabarra said.

Even with Cat Whitehill and Becky Sauerbrunn in the back, Washington gave up 32 goals in 2009, the most in WPS.  The Freedom also scored the most goals in 2009, but with 32 goals scored, the team’s goal differential was a flat zero.

Gabarra has a lot of experience in drafts dating back to the days of the WUSA, and said that the draft offers a nice mix of top-notch players and unknowns with raw talent.

“The beauty of it is that there are a lot of players out there that aren’t stars on club teams or didn’t play on high-profile college teams that people don’t really know about,” he said.

In the later rounds, the Freedom may look to add familiar talent from its W-League squad that fell to the Pali Blues in the 2009 final.  In fact, those connections could even come into play immediately.  With the No. 7-overall pick, Florida State midfielder/defender Becky Edwards could be a realistic target for the Freedom.  Edwards played for the Freedom, so Gabarra knows what he is getting in Edwards.

“That is the reason we have our club model and we want to show that is a viable option,” Gabarra said of players advancing up to the professional ranks.

As a self-proclaimed “tight-lipped” guy about the draft, Gabarra will not be hinting at who he is taking at the No. 7 spot.  After that, the Freedom select again at No. 18, No. 27 and again in the later rounds.

This feature is the eighth of a ten part 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: Saint Louis Athletica” and The Equalizer’s 2010 WPS Mock Draft!

Part One: Sky Blue FC
Part Two: Los Angeles Sol
Part Three: Atlanta Beat
Part Four: Boston Breakers
Part Five: FC Gold Pride
Part Six: Chicago Red Stars
Part Seven: Philadelphia Independence

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

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