There was a considerable amount of question surrounding the No. 2-overall selection that the Boston Breakers held in the 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer Draft. With the team in need of defensive help, some (including this guy) felt that the Breakers would take North Carolina defender Whitney Engen to partner Amy LePeilbet in the back.
Instead, Boston did what may be called the more conventional thing and took UCLA forward Lauren Cheney with the second selection, addressing the need to find a strike-partner for English international Kelly Smith.
At 5’10”, Cheney is a towering presence that will bring an aerial threat that should compliment Smith well. Head Coach Tony DiCicco and General Manager Andy Crossley will be getting a tall forward with an instinct to finish in Cheney.
“I know that I will just bring that passion day in and day out and that is all you can guarantee,” Cheney said. “Who knows who is going to be scoring goals and what role I’ll be asked to play, but I know I can bring that every time.”
The MAC Hermann Trophy finalist finished the 2009 season with 18 goals and 10 assists (46 pts.) and will fly out to The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on Sunday to take part in the 20-day training camp for the United States Women’s National Team. The 22-year-old began getting looks from the senior national team in 2005, and also won a 2008 Beijing Olympic Gold Medal.
She will join several other 2010 draftees in California, including Tobin Heath Casey Nogueira, Kelley O’Hara and Brittany Taylor. Those players will look to make the United States’ roster for its trip to the Algarve Cup in Portugal in late February.With so many young stars in one draft, Cheney was able to witness some of her friends fulfill the dream of going professional along with her.
“I am so proud of everyone,” Cheney said. “I’m so excited for all of them. Every single name that was called I felt like I was like a proud mom, because it was just so exciting to see your best friends go also.”
Cheney is one of several players drafted from the Pali Blues, which won the 2008 and 2009 W-League Championships in undefeated fashion. Between Pali, UCLA and her youth coaches, Cheney credits all of them for developing different aspects of her game.
There will be a clear need for some more warm clothes in Boston, Cheney joked. The switch from LA to Boston is eerily similar to Rodriguez’s switch from SoCal to Boston last year, but the attention given to that story truly has nothing to do with Cheney other than pure coincidence. Cheney is just ready to get started in Bean Town.
“It’s just exciting,” she said. “I’m excited to start this new chapter of my life and it is nice to know where I am going to be headed these next couple of months.”
DiCicco clearly has some strong feelings on her as well. He made some boldly confident statements on her.“I believe Lauren was the best pick in the draft,” he said. “She is an outstanding player who reads the game well. She has the ability to play in the tightest spaces, especially in the penalty area and we were lacking that last year.”
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