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Atlanta Beat Prepares For International Draft

September 22, 2009 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release

ATLANTA, GA - Atlanta Beat General Manager Shawn McGee announced the five international players acquired in Tuesday's 2009 International Draft for Expansion Teams. With Ramona Bachmann, Johanna Rasmussen, Mami Yamaguichi, Maurine Dornelles Goncalves and Therese Sjögran, the Beat now have 11 players representing six different countries.

Philadelphia drew the first pick, but Atlanta made a strong second pick with Ramona Bachman from Switzerland as the second overall. Bachman is a world renowned forward who had previously declined offers from both Germany and other WPS teams to spend another year with Swedish powerhouse, Umea IK. She has two Swedish Premier League titles with Umea, has twice appeared in the UEFA Women's Cup Final, and was recently voted Player of the Year for Swiss Soccer.

Atlanta chose Johanna Rasumussen of Denmark as the Beat's second selection. Rasmussen is also an Umea forward who appeared in the 2007 Women's World Cup Final.

The Beat selected 2007 NCAA MAC Herman Trophy winner Mami Yamaguchi as their third pick. Yamaguchi is also among the noteable cast from Umea and had an assist against the WPS-All Stars in the final game of the WPS season. She won a Swedish Championship gold medal with Umea in 2008 and has experience playing in the UEFA Women's Champions League. Yamaguchi starred at Florida State University and has played at various levels with the Japanese National Team.

Atlanta chose Brazilian midfielder Maurine Dornelles Goncalves as the draft's eighth overall selection. Goncalves received a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was a gold medalist in 2007 Pan American Games. She also earned a bronze medal in the U-20 World Cup and plays for Brazilian club, Santos FC.

With the final pick in the 2009 International Draft, the Atlanta Beat selected Swedish midfielder Therese Sjögran. Sjögran was named the Women's Player of the Year for Sweden in 2007 and was awarded the Carlsberg Player of the Match award against Russia in the European Championships.

"I'm thrilled with the selections we made," said Beat Head Coach Gareth O'Sullivan. "The draft worked out exactly how we had planned, and every player will fit right into our style of play."

"We are ecstatic," said General Manager Shawn McGee. "We had a plan coming into this and were able to select every player we targeted. We believe that these players will be the backbone of our team."

The Beat selected its first six players in last week's WPS Expansion Draft and had the chance, along with fellow expansion team, Philadelphia Independence, to draft a maximum of five international players the 2009 International Draft for Expansion Teams.

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