January 11, 2013 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - FC Kansas City
Prairie Village, KS - The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) has announced the allocation of 55 National Team players to the eight clubs as 23 Americans, 16 Canadians and 16 Mexicans found out their teams for the inaugural 2013 season.
The allocation process was conducted with assistance from a panel of experts familiar with the player pools, including individuals from the collegiate level, recent professional and semi-professional clubs, and the youth and senior national team level in North America.
Along with the panel's collective input on the technical ability of the players, in preparation for the allocation, players selected their preferred destinations and the clubs also provided their preference with regard to specific players and qualities of players desired. Based on the input from the panel of experts and the teams, players were assigned numerical values on quality and desirability.
"This allocation process is obviously a big step in building the foundation for this league and each of the teams will benefit from a group of very talented players," said NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey. "This is always a difficult process, but we believe there was a fair distribution of talent across all eight teams and with the NWSL College Draft coming up in Indianapolis on Jan. 18, the rosters of the clubs will really start to take shape."
FC Kansas City was allocated:
Lauren Cheney (USA)
Nicole Barnhart (USA)
Becky Sauerbrunn (USA)
Lauren Sesselmann (CAN)
Desiree Scott (CAN)
Renae Cuellar (MEX)
Marylin Diaz (MEX)
"We're very pleased with the allocation process. We can't wait to get these world-class players here in Kansas City and start getting ready for the season," said FC Kansas City Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski.
Assistant coach, Huw Williams added, "I'm very impressed with the allocations of every team. I know that once we get these players here, they will fall in love with Kansas City and our soccer community.
The next step for coaches Andonovski and Williams will be the NWSL Draft on Jan 18th at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis. From there they will build a team that will begin play in Kansas City this spring.
Lauren Cheney (USA) - The USA's best post-up player had a breakout 2011 season, earning a spot in the first 11 just before the FIFA Women's World Cup. Cheney started in all six World Cup games, scoring two goals and leading the team with three assists to earn a spot on the Women's World Cup All-Star Team. In 2012, Cheney led the USA with seven assists in five games at CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in Vancouver, including four assists during the USA's 14-0 rout of the Dominican Republic. One of the USA's most versatile players over the past two years, she has become a key player in the U.S. attack and one of the rising young stars on the team. Cheney is tremendously strong and one of the USA's best with her back to the goal, she has also shown to be an adept passer and scorer when facing the net.
Nicole Barnhart (USA) - The tall, strong and athletic Barnhart played a key role for the USA in 2010 and 2011 when she stepped into goal as the starter in the absence of Hope Solo (who was recovering from a shoulder injury) and helped the USA qualify for the Women's World Cup. Heading into 2012, Barnhart had an impressive all-time career 26-3-4 record. She was the backup goalkeeper on the USA's last three world championship teams at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Becky Sauerbrunn (USA) - Becky was called into the U.S. team for the first time in January of 2008 and then earned a place on the roster for the Four Nations Tournament in China where she earned her first caps. Her first start and cap came against Canada in January of 2008. Sauerbrunn had a standout year for the national team, playing in 12 games while starting eight and made her first Women's World Cup roster. She played in one match in Germany during the semifinal victory against France.
Lauren Sesselmann (CAN) - Defender Lauren Sesselmann made her Olympic Games debut for Canada in London and was a member of the bronze medal winning women's team. At the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico, Sesselmann started at left back in four of five matches and appeared as a substitute in the other, helping Canada to the gold medal. She also played for Canada at the 2012 Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament in Vancouver.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, USA, Sesselmann acquired Canadian citizenship in 2010 through her father and won her first international appearance for Canada in September 2011. She played collegiately at Purdue University, where she set six records for the Boilermakers in points, goals, assists, game-winning goals, multiple-goal games, and shots on goal registered.
Desiree Scott (CAN) - Midfielder Desiree Scott made her Olympic Games debut for Canada in London and was a member of the bronze medal winning women's team. Scott began playing for Canada in 2003 at the U-16 level and represented Canada at the 2006 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Russia. Named to the roster for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, Scott came on as a substitute in two of the three matches for Canada. As a member of the 2011 Pan American Games gold medal winning team, Scott played every minute of the semifinal and final. She represented Canada at 2007 World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand and represented her home province of Manitoba at the 2005 Canada Games in Regina.
In the summer of 2006, Scott played for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, appearing in five matches, in the year the club took home their second W-League title, and then she returned to the team again in 2010. From Winnipeg, Manitoba, Scott was also a standout player at the University of Manitoba, earning many accolades including being named the Bison's 2005 Most Valuable Player
Renae Nicole Cuellar (MEX) - Participated in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany in 2010 for Mexico. She scored a goal in Mexico's 3-3 draw against Japan and netted the game winner in the 62nd minute in a 1-0 victory over England in group play. Cuellar was an alternate for Mexico's 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup held in Germany.
After transferring from the University of Arizona after the 2011 season, Cuellar made Oklahoma University soccer history by being named the 2012 Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year, became the first member of the Oklahoma program to earn a spot on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Central Region First Team in her lone season with the Sooners. Cuellar also earned spots on the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Newcomer Team for her efforts in 2012.
The La Puente, Calif., native led the Sooners with 26 points from a team-high 12 goals, which ranks as the third-most in a single season in Oklahoma history. Her 13 points from six goals in eight Big 12 regular season matches paced the conference. Cuellar, who was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week twice in 2012, earned national honors when she was named Disney Soccer/NSCAA Player of the Week after scoring game-winning goals against Kansas and TCU.
Marylin Viridiana Diaz Ramirez (MEX) - Diaz is a 21 year old defender who played with the Mexican National Team in the most recent Women's World Cup.