Chicago Red Stars Trade for GK Karina Leblanc
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced Tuesday that they have traded their first-round (third overall) and third-round selections in the 2011 WPS Draft to the Philadelphia Independence for veteran goalkeeper and Canadian international Karina LeBlanc.
"When we knew she was available, giving up a couple of draft picks for a goalkeeper who I think will add to the goalkeeping position was a no-brainer," Red Stars Head Coach Omid Namazi said. "She brings experience, leadership and will provide for healthy competition for the starting spot within our team. We're happy to be getting a quality goalkeeper."
The 2011 first-round draft selection traded to Philadelphia is Chicago's pick based on 2010 standings and the addition of the Western New York franchise, which will have the first overall selection. The Red Stars previously acquired a first-round selection (second overall) from the Atlanta Beat during the season.
Namazi said the organization would like to have its 2010 starting goalkeeper Jillian Loyden back, as well, to create heated competition and provide goalkeeper depth with the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup on the horizon.
"We feel that we need additional depth given the potential for extensive national team call-ups during a Women's World Cup year, for Jill or any other players," Namazi said.
LeBlanc split goalkeeping duties for the Independence with Val Henderson during the 2010 WPS season. LeBlanc made 14 starts, logged 1,260 minutes, posted a 5-5-4 record and saved 55 of 76 shots. She also had a pair of shutouts, one of which was against the Red Stars.
LeBlanc had a successful run against Chicago this past season, winning both matches. She made three saves during a 1-0 shutout on May 15 at Toyota Park. Then she posted another three-save effort as Philadelphia edged Chicago, 2-1, on Aug. 11, in Bridgeview, Ill.
LeBlanc was the starting goalkeeper of the 2009 WPS regular-season champion Los Angeles Sol as she posted 12 shutouts, an 11-3-5 record and a 0.53 goals allowed average.
The University of Nebraska alumna has been a member of Canada's national team since May of 1998. LeBlanc played for the Women's United Soccer Association's Boston Breakers from 2001 to 2003, earning the No. 1 goalkeeper position in 2002 and 2003 and leading the Breakers to the 2003 regular-season title.
"I know playing against her -- not only in this league, but in the WUSA -- that she brings some leadership qualities for us," Namazi said.
PLAYER BIO: Karina LeBlanc Position: Goalkeeper Height: 5-9 Birth date: 3/30/1980 Hometown: Maple Ridge, British Colombia Previous team: Philadelphia Independence How acquired: Trade with Philadelphia Independence on Oct. 12, 2010
WPS: 2010: Was selected in the first round (second overall) of the 2010 Los Angeles Sol Dispersal Draft by the Philadelphia Independence. Made 14 starts and logged 1,260 minutes, compiling a 5-5-4 record, two shutouts and a 1.50 goals allowed average. She saved 55 of 76 shots. ... 2009: Was acquired in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2009 WPS General Draft by the Los Angeles Sol. Started and played in 19 regular-season matches for regular-season champion Sol. In 1,710 minutes, she compiled an 11-3-5 record, 12 shutouts and a miniscule 0.53 goals allowed average. She saved 78 of 93 shots. LeBlanc was named to the 2009 WPS All-Star Team Starting XI.
International: Has been a member of Canada's national team since May of 1998 and made her international debut in 1999 during the Women's World Cup when Canada faced China. ... Was a member of Canada's 2003 World Cup team, starting in four matches and earning three shutouts.
Club: Played for the New Jersey Wildcats of the W-League in 2005 and 2006. In 2005, she earned W-League All-League and Goalkeeper of the Year honors and captained the Wildcats to the 2005 W-League Championship. That season, LeBlanc led the W-League with a 0.10 goals allowed average, allowing only one goal in 901 minutes in regular-season play. ... Member of the WUSA's Boston Breakers from 2001 to 2003 and was the Breakers' starting goalkeeper in 2002 and 2003. She helped lead the Breakers to the 2003 regular-season title.
College: Played for Nebraska from 1997 to 2000, posting a 60-6-3 record and saving 207 shots. In 2000, she was an NSCAA First Team All-Central Region selection and ranked second in the nation and first in the Big 12 Conference with a goals against average of only 0.40.
• Discuss this story on the Women's Professional Soccer message board...
Women's Professional Soccer Stories from October 12, 2010
- Chicago Red Stars Trade for GK Karina Leblanc - Chicago Red Stars
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.