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Atlanta Beat Add Two Players to Roster

May 26, 2011 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 26, 2011) - The Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer today announced a trade adding defender Julianne Sitch and midfielder Kelly Parker to the 2011 roster in exchange for a first and second round draft pick.

"Julianna is a tough tackling player with good distribution skills," said Beat head coach James Galanis. "She can play center mid and outside back, but she has also played various other positions. Kelly Parker is a player that can play center mid, outside mid, and up top. She is very experienced and versatile. She threads nice passes and is dangerous when she gets herself in goal scoring positions."

Both Sitch and Parker are veteran players who opened the season with the expansion Western New York Flash. The two began their professional careers with Sky Blue FC's (NY/NJ) 2009 WPS Championship season. In 2010, Sitch joined the Chicago Red Stars and Parker joined the W-League Flash.

"We actually started playing together with FC Indiana in W-League," said Sitch. "We were teammates at Sky Blue and then teammates again this year. Our friendship has grown every single year. It's cool to come to a new team and have a friend with you."

"Obviously Sitchy is a quality player, so I think this is a good opportunity for both of us," said Parker. "We are both looking to come in, help out and get our first Beat win this weekend."

Sitch, a defender out of DePaul University, was selected by Sky Blue FC as the 32nd overall pick in the 2009 WPS Draft. She started 11 of 16 regular season games with Sky Blue before earning three starts in 13 appearances with the Red Stars. She suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in mid August of last season, and says "I'm really excited and blessed to have the opportunity to play again. Everyday, I'm still getting better, getting fitter, and getting stronger. It's a good journey. I'm excited to be on it, and I'm feeling really good."

"I'm really excited to come to Atlanta. It's an awesome city. I've heard really good things about the character of the coaches, club and team overall. I think the stadium is fantastic, and I'm excited to play in this great venue."

Parker is a Canadian forward from the University of Texas-El Paso. She started 12 of 17 games for Sky Blue in 2009 before moving back into the W-League and leading the Flash to a championship in 2010. Over the course of her six W-League seasons, Parker averaged 10 goals and 6.5 assists per season. The Flash join WPS as a 2011 expansion franchise this season.

"I think coming from the Flash, we have a couple girls who played with the Beat last season," said Parker. "They had nothing but good things to say about everything. We're just excited to get there and contribute as much as we can to make Beat fans proud."

"I know that they are both very competitive, so I think it's going to rub off on some of our younger players," said Galanis. "They are both fantastic individuals as locker room personalities, and they have this never say die attitude which I think can help us a lot."

Note: All team transactions must be approved by WPS before becoming official.

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