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Atlanta Beat's 2012 Draft Day Recap

January 13, 2012 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release

KENNESAW, GA (January 13, 2012) - The Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer made a big splash in the 2012 WPS Draft by selecting U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) forward Syndey Leroux (pronounced Luh-Roo) as the overall No. 1 draft pick before adding Auburn midfielder Katy Frierson (pronounced Fry-er-son) at No. 10 (second round) and University of Washington midfielder Kate Deines (pronounced Die-ness) at No. 23 (fourth round).

With these strong draft selections joining an already impressive roster of recent free agent acquisitions, Atlanta Beat head coach James Galanis said, "We are very proud of this team. We have carefully selected players who are really quality human beings. They are players who are skilled and who are going to suit our style of play."

Leroux, currently in camp with the USWNT, powered the Bruins attack from 2008-2011. She was the leading scorer for three consecutive seasons and finished with eight game-winners as a senior. The fast-paced forward was a MAC Herman trophy semifinalist as a sophomore and made the PAC-10 All-Freshman Team in 2008. Leroux marked her collegiate campaign in the record books by scoring the fourth most game-winning goals (23) and the fourth most all-time points (126).

With dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada, she played for the U-19 Canadian side at age 14 in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup. Not to mention, she also earned the armband for Canada's U-15 squad. As captain of the U.S. U-20's, Leroux was the leading goal scorer and the team's most capped player. She led that group to a 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship and earned the Golden Ball award, given to the tournament's top player. Leroux was instrumental in the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup win, where she led that team with six goals. The forward earned her first cap with the full USWNT against Sweden on Jan. 21, 2011.

Drafted as the second player in the second round, Auburn midfielder Katy Frierson became the Beat's next pick at 10th overall. Frierson's selection marks Auburn's second-ever WPS Draft pick and the Tigers' earliest player taken in a pro soccer draft. In 2009, goalkeeper Allison Whitworth went 54th overall (eighth round) to FC Gold Pride.

Frierson was a four-time, First Team All-SEC player and a two-time All-American. She leads all-time assists with 42, a mark that ranks fifth in SEC history. The midfielder also holds Auburn records for games played (89), points (104) and game-winning goals (11). She ranks third in school history for goals scored (31) and second all-time in both career starts (86) and total shots attempted (228).

Not only does Frierson hold the Tigers' single-season record for assists (13 - 2011), but she claims three of the top seven spots in that category. The No. 10 pick rates third (31 - 2011), fifth (28 - 2010) and ninth (25 - 2008) for total single-season points accumulated.

With the 23rd and final pick in this year's draft, Atlanta selected University of Washington midfielder Kate Deines at 23rd overall . Deines this year became one of only three Pac-12 student-athletes to be named a 2011 NSCAA Scholar All-American.

As a senior and two-time NSCAA West-Region academic selection, she was also named a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Candidate and a member of the Hermann Trophy Watch List. She earned First-Team All-Pacific Region, Second-Team All-Pac-12, Second-Team Academic All-Pac-12, and Second-Team ESPN Academic All-District.

Named to the 20-Year All-UW Women's Soccer Team, this Husky/Nike Invitational Offensive MVP earned both the 101 Club Scholar-Athlete and Faith Awards at her team's banquet.

"The thing that makes me so happy is the style of players we have and how they going to suit our style of play," said Galanis. "A lot of them chose Atlanta because we play possession style soccer, and they want to be a part of a team that does that. We picked up players who are genuinely great ball handlers."

Sydney Leroux, Katy Frierson, Kate Deines and all Atlanta Beat players report for preseason on March 1, 2012.


Sydney Leroux

Katy Frierson

Kate Deines

Carli Lloyd

Val Henderson

Stephanie Cox

Yael Averbuch

Rachel Buehler

Amy LePeilbet

Lauren Sesselmann

Alli Lipsher

Kelley O'Hara

Katherine Reynolds

Angela Salem

Lauren Fowlkes

Rebecca Moros

Nikki Washington

Christen Press

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Women's Professional Soccer Stories from January 13, 2012

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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