WPS made official on Saturday that the Atlanta Beat have signed former University of Memphis midfielder Vendula Strnadova.
After not being drafted in the 2011 WPS Draft, Strnadova signed with the Beat as a free agent. Strnadova finished her Memphis career with 23 goals and 17 assists (63 pts.) in 88 games. Of those 88 appearances, Strnadova started 86 games. She is a 2010 third-team NSCAA All-American.
The most pressing question for Beat fans is surely, well, who is she?
Strnadova was born in Liberec, Czech Republic, but calls Las Cruces, N.M., her hometown. Read up on her year-by-year performances here. Judging by some video highlights (below), it is clear the Strnadova has some serious technical ability as well as a great long-range shot. Her individual ability is clear at 4:40 in the highlight clip, when Strnadova goes on a Maradona-like individual run. Have a look:
The big question is whether or not Strnadova will be able to adapt to WPS. It is a tough adjustment for many recently graduated college players, but it is not impossible. Even Taryn Hemmings, the last pick in the 2010 WPS Draft at No. 65-overall, played a fairly significant role with the Boston Breakers in 2010, proving that significant minutes are not limited to just first-round draft picks.
While Memphis won four-straight Conference-USA titles during Strnadova’s term, the average quality of opponent for Memphis will make it tough for her to jump to much higher level in WPS. Clearly, there is some flat-out awful defending in some of those highlights. Memphis lost 5-0 to Oregon State in the first round of the 2010 NCAA tournament. Strnadova’s coach at Memphis, Brooks Monaghan, thinks she can make it at the WPS level:
Also made official Saturday were the signings of Christen Press and Meghan Klingenberg by magicTalk SC/Washington Freedom. The Boston Breakers also made official the signing of Nikki Washington.
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