Beat Sign Carli Lloyd

January 12, 2012 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release

KENNESAW, GA (January 12, 2012) - The Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) today announced U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) midfielder Carli Lloyd will return for the 2012 season, pending league approval.

Lloyd is a three-year, WPS veteran who spent last season with the Atlanta Beat, starting eight of 10 appearances and scoring three goals with one on a game-winner against Sky Blue FC on April 16. She also scored a game-tying finish against the Western New York Flash on April 24.

"Everyone knows the history between me and Carli," said Beat head coach James Galanis who also serves as her personal trainer. "I have been working with her for almost 10 years now, and it's pleasant to be able to work together again in a team environment. She is a true professional who gives 110 percent in every session and in every game."

"I think it's going to be awesome," said Lloyd. "We came a long way last year and were just missing a couple pieces to the puzzle. This year, we have put together a great group of girls both on and off the field. I am super excited and can't wait for the season to start."

Lloyd joined the Beat as a free agent after spending the 2010 season with her hometown Sky Blue FC (NY/NJ) where she signed on Oct. 19, 2009. She started three of five games for the New Jersey club before suffering a season-ending, ankle injury. Lloyd's WPS career began as one of three USWNT players allocated to the Chicago Red Stars. She started 14 of 16 matches for the Midwest side, scoring two goals with one assist.

As a mainstay for the USWNT, the central midfielder has earned more caps (119) and has scored more international goals (28) than any other Atlanta Beat player. "We are absolutely thrilled to have Carli back in the fold," said Beat owner, chairman and general manager, T. Fitz Johnson. "She is a team leader both on and off the field. Her abilities to hold off the middle and to press forward have been true positives in the building of this team. With five full USWNT members, Carli will be in much more familiar surroundings."

Last year, she was the U.S. team's leading scorer up until the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup where she scored a penalty kick against Brazil in the quarter final match. Lloyd is also known for another big finish in a major world tournament She scored the game winner in the gold medal match of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"Right now we are obviously trying to go after the Olympics, win a gold medal, and bring that home," said Lloyd. "Coming back and playing well in Atlanta, we want that WPS Championship as well. All of us are trying to get better on the field and to improve our game in different areas. I think (head coach) James Galanis is going to be able to help us do that."

"When I first started working with her," said Galanis. "She was a player that had the potential but who needed to make some adjustments physically, mentally, and tactically, and she has made those adjustments. She has gone on to become one of the best midfielders in the world. Her drive remains the same. She has played in two World Cups and this will be her second Olympics. But, she still trains like someone who hasn't achieved anything and that's what I admire most about her."

"I am proud to have been a part of her development after all these years," he said. "2012 is going to be another special year that Carli and I will share."

Lloyd played college soccer at Rutgers University where started 18 games as a senior and was named the 2004 Big East Midfielder of the Year. She became the first Scarlet Knight to earn All-Big East first team honors all four years (2001-04), and she finished her Rutgers career as the all-time leader in both points (117) and goals (50). Lloyd was named a three-time NSCAA All-American, a finalist for the Hermann Trophy, and a Big East Academic All-Star. She led Rutgers with 15 goals and 37 points in 2001 to become Big East Rookie of the Year.

Midfielder Carli Lloyd and all Atlanta Beat players will report for preseason on March 1, 2012.

2012 ATLANTA BEAT ROSTER

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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