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Philadelphia Independence Re-signs Pair of Defenders

January 16, 2012 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Philadelphia Independence News Release


DOWNINGTOWN, PA (January 16, 2012) - The Philadelphia Independence has re-signed defenders Leigh Ann Robinson and Estelle Johnson, two starters from last year's team that saw a second place finish in the regular season and was runner-up in the 2011 Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) Championship Game. Both Robinson and Johnson were contributors to a backline that posted a 1.0 goal against average and allowed only 4.28 shots on goal per game, ranking them second in the league. The defense also boasted a league leading seven shutouts.

Robinson played in and started 19 games for the Independence and had two assists in her first season Philadelphia. One of the most consistent performers for Head Coach Paul Riley, Robinson is pleased to come back for another opportunity at a WPS Championship.

"I am so excited to be back with the core of the Independence and this amazing group of ladies," said Robinson. "Last year in Philly was an amazing soccer experience. I'm looking forward to getting back to the grind to make this year better than the last."

Robinson came to the Philadelphia Independence as a free agent from the Atlanta Beat following the 2010 season where she logged the most minutes by any Beat player (1973). Robinson played the 2009 season for FC Gold Pride and was selected as the first overall pick in the 2009 Expansion Draft by the Beat.

A native of San Diego, Robinson scored 15 career goals for the University of San Diego Toreros and was named to the West Coast Conference First Team in both her junior and senior seasons.

Fellow defender, Estelle Johnson, was a pleasant surprise for Coach Riley in 2011, earning a starting position on the backline and scoring her first career WPS goal in a game against Atlanta in May. Acquired by Philadelphia in the 2010 Dispersal Draft from the Los Angeles Sol, Johnson appeared in 13 games for the Independence in the team's inaugural year. Johnson is the first athlete, male or female, from Kansas University to earn a professional soccer contract. Johnson finished her career for the Jayhawks in 2009 recording the fourth most starts of any field player in team history. In 2008, Johnson was named to the Big-12 Championship All-Tournament Team and was All Big-12 Academic First Team.

NOTE: All player signings are subject to league approval before becoming official.

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