Beat Sign Buehler and Lepeilbet
KENNESAW, GA (January 10, 2012) - The Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) today announced U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) defenders Rachel Buehler and Amy LePeilbet have agreed to terms for the 2012 season, pending league approval.
"I have heard a lot of good things about [head coach James Galanis] and about the way the organization is run in Atlanta," said Buehler. "They have top-notch facilities and my teammates have said wonderful things about it. I was really drawn to the style of soccer he wants to play."
Buehler is a three-year WPS veteran who started all 49 appearances in her WPS career. She has scored one goal in each of her professional seasons and has a reputation for being a strong defender. "Buehler is physically very, very strong," said Galanis. "When she goes in, her opponent will feel her strength. She is low to the ground and very hard to get around. She has really good anticipation and is very good in the air."
Buehler signed with the Boston Breakers as a free agent on Dec. 2, 2011, and led that backline to five shutouts in the 2011 season. Prior to joining the Breakers, she was a mainstay in FC Gold Pride's (Bay Area) defensive unit in 2009 and 2010. As a center back for the Bay Area, she commanded the 2010 WPS Championship team to eight regular season clean sheets, including back to back shutouts in May of that same season.
On the international scene, Buehler earned her first cap (international appearance) with the full USWNT against China on March 5, 2008. Since then, her cap total of now 67 includes a 2008 Olympic gold medal and last year's FIFA Women's World Cup silver medal journey.
"Buehler is perfect for our team and for our style of play," said Galanis. "Ideally, she and LePeilbet will work well together. She and Amy played together last year in Boston, and they've played together on the National Team, so they complement each other well."
Amy LePeilbet is also a three-year WPS vet, entering into her fourth professional season. Selected by the Boston Breakers as the fourth overall pick in the 2009 inaugural WPS Draft, the center back remained with the club for three consecutive seasons.
"I have heard great things about Atlanta," said LePeilbet. "The organization the coaching staff are great. I felt like it would be a good place for me to contribute and to grow as a player."
In 2011, the center back started all 10 of her Breakers appearances. In 2009 and 2010 seasons, she earned back-to-back MedImmune Defender of the Year honors, was named a WPS All-Star starter, and started all 41 games over the course of those two seasons. In 2009, she anchored a backline that maintained a 1.00 goals against average (GAA) and a league-leading fewest shots on goal allowed per game with 4.45.
"Amy is a fantastic anticipator," said Galanis. "She has a lot of speed and a lot of experience, and fantastic distribution skills. She is a very skilled player and defender, and she always seems to have a good game. She is very consistent, very good in the air, and just a fantastic leader on the field."
LePeilbet earned her first cap on Jan. 30, 2004, against Sweden. She was a part of last year's World Cup journey and was also a member of the 2010 USWNT that won the Algarve Cup. LePeilbet played every minute of the 2006 Four Nations tournament on a U.S. team that only gave up one goal in three games. She has earned a total of 56 caps in her international career.
"We are lucky that we have two players who have played together and who have a good soccer sense between each other," said Galanis. "They have expressed how much they love playing together at the middle of the defense, and they are both of our center backs."
Defenders Rachel Buehler, Amy LePeilbet, and all Atlanta Beat players will report for preseason on March 1, 2012.
2012 ATLANTA BEAT ROSTER
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