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Philadelphia Independence Scores Big In WPS Expansion Draft

September 15, 2009 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Philadelphia Independence News Release

PHILADELPHIA, PA (September 15, 2009) After much anticipation, the WPS held its Expansion Draft for the 2010 season today in which several outstanding players from WPS teams were selected by the Philadelphia Independence and the Atlanta Beat. The Independence organization has been doing due diligence on the players available in this draft process for some time and were thrilled with the day's results. General Manager Terry Foley commented, "This is the first step to our very important process of team-building and bringing the best possible female soccer athletes to this pro team and city. There were some great players available in this expansion draft, and I think we made best use of each one of our selection opportunities today. Now we'll move ahead next week (Tuesday, September 22) with the WPS International Draft to bring more superstars to the Independence."

The Independence scored big with its 1st selection, picking midfielder Lori Lindsey from the Washington Freedom. For the past several years, Lori has demonstrated her superstar talents by leading the Freedom's midfield with an incredible work-rate, solid defensive presence, and dangerous ball distribution. Her consistent play and invaluable leadership were key components to the Freedom's success this season. Her impact on the field did not go unnoticed by Women's National Team Coach, Pia Sundhage, who has named Lori to the squad for September's WNT training camp. Lori is one of 26 players invited to the 12-day camp to compete for a roster spot on the USA's trip to Germany in October.

A native of Indiana, Lori had an incredibly successful college and youth career. After competing with the U-16, U-17, and U-21 National Teams, she went on to become the first ACC Player of the Year from the University of Virginia in 2000. Lori is one of just two players ever to receive consecutive ACC Player of the Year awards, with Mia Hamm as the only other back-to-back recipient. Closing out her dominant college career with NSCAA All-American honors in 2001, it is no surprise that Lori continued her tremendous success at the professional level. Prior to her WPS debut, Lori was the fourth overall pick in the 2002 WUSA draft and helped lead the Washington Freedom to capture the Founders Cup in 2003.

Independence Head Coach Paul Riley could not be happier with the team's first selection. "Lori is a true professional in every aspect of her preparation and play. She will add tremendous leadership to our new franchise and has the presence to galvanize any locker room. She is intelligent, consistent and has a great appetite for the game."

Lori shares Paul's excitement about her move to Philadelphia. "This is a great opportunity for me as a soccer player. I'm really looking forward to working with Terry and Paul, and I am excited to be a part of the Independence in its first WPS season. It's fantastic that the WPS is growing, and I'm glad I can be a part of the first expansion team."

With the team's 2nd selection, the Independence chose Jennifer Buczkowski, another excellent midfielder boasting an impressive record with the WPS Champion, NJ Sky Blue. Jen was a key player for the Sky Blue during the inaugural WPS season, constantly disrupting opponents' attacks and creating dangerous scoring opportunities for Sky Blue from the center of the field. Her consistency and versatility proved to be a valuable asset to NJ's defensive line when Jen stepped up to fill a center back position late in the season and made a seamless transition into that vital role. Before being drafted by the WPS, Jen had a successful W-League career in Chicago from 2004-2008, earning All-Central Conference Honors in 2005 and 2008.

A three-time NSCAA All-American at Notre Dame, the Illinois native remains one of the best midfielders in Fighting Irish history. During her time at Notre Dame, she competed with the U-19, U-21, and U-23 National Teams, capturing the Nordic Cup title with the U-21's in 2005.

Terry Foley, General Manager of the Independence, believes Jen's recent success with the WPS Champions will be a great asset to Philadelphia. "Jen had a tremendous season for Sky Blue and has proven the value of her versatility. We are lucky to be bringing in a player that just helped her team win a WPS title and who played every minute of the WPS playoffs. We are excited to have players like Lori and Jen who will bring valuable experience to a new team."

Sky Blue captured the WPS Championship title as the underdog this past season, and Jen thinks Philly can do the same. "I think the Independence will be extremely competitive in the WPS this year, and I hope we accomplish what Sky Blue did last season to become WPS Champions in 2010. I'm excited to wear the Philadelphia uniform this spring."

With the team's 3rd selection in the WPS Expansion Draft, the Independence chose Nikki Krzysik, the 13th overall selection in last year's 2009 WPS draft. Nikki has WPS and W-League experience and has been a dominant player since her All-American days anchoring the defense at the University of Virginia. Both with the Richmond Kickers in 2008 and the Jersey Sky Blue in 2007, Nikki played an important leadership role to push her teams to success in the W-League. This past WPS season, Nikki helped the Chicago Red Stars hold off some of the league's toughest competitors, appearing in 14 matches and starting in 10.

Nikki is no stranger to high level competition. After competing for the United States at the U-16 and U-17 levels, Nikki played a crucial role for the United States in the U-19 and U-20 World Championships. She made 11 starts for the U-23 National Team in 2008, and remains a member of the National Team Player Pool. Her time at UVA was equally as impressive, garnering a long list of accolades during her four years as a Cavalier. Nikki received All-American Honors, helped anchor the defense that lead the nation with the lowest goals against (GA) average and most shutouts, and was named ACC Player of the year.

"I have followed Nikki since her days at the University of Virginia, where she had an outstanding career" says GM Terry Foley. "She is a young player with a lot of potential and a standout individual who will be a great asset to our organization."

A New Jersey native, Nikki is excited to return to the area and play in front of her family and friends next season. "I'm really happy to be coming to Philly next year" says Nikki of her selection to the Independence. "Being part of a start-up team is a great opportunity, and playing close to home will be a lot of fun."

With the team's 4th selection, Head Coach Paul Riley selected Sue Weber, a strong defender that played the 2009 WPS season for the Boston Breakers. Paul knows Sue well as he coached her previously in the WPSL with the Long Island Fury, where she anchored his defense and led her team to the National Championships in 2006. For the Breakers, Sue started in 8 matches as a part of one of the strongest defensive units in the league, unfortunately missing the end of the season due to a knee injury.

Sue also had an illustrious college career at Georgia and Hofstra. In her freshman year at Georgia, Sue started every game and was named to the SEC All-Rookie team. Transferring back to her home state of New York to play the remainder of her college career, Sue went on to become arguably the best player in Hofstra Women's Soccer history. She led the Pride to their first NCAA appearance and most winning season, while earning honors as CAA Defensive Player of the Year three times and CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player twice. In 2005, Sue was named as Hofstra Women's Soccer first All-American, which she was awarded again in 2007.

As her former coach, Paul Riley is familiar with Sue's abilities: "She has great physical qualities and a superb soccer mind. Sue is bright, tough and possesses an undoubted will to win. There is no doubt in my mind she can make an impact at this level."

Sue is thrilled to be joining Philadelphia next season. "I'm so excited to be playing for the first expansion team in the league, and I'm glad I will be competing even closer to home (Long Island). It's awesome that the league is maturing and expanding, and I'm looking forward to being on the field in Philadelphia in 2010."

With the team's 6th selection in the WPS Expansion Draft, the Independence chose Danesha Adams, the 6th overall selection in the 1st round of last year's 2009 WPS draft. Danesha has WPS and international experience and has been a dominant player since her All-American days at UCLA. From 2004 to 2007, Danesha led the Bruins to four straight NCAA College Cups with her creative play and dangerous speed. Danesha earned All Pac-10 honors three times, leading the Pac-10 her sophomore year with 46 points on 21 goals and 4 assists.

This past season, Danesha helped Chicago in the WPS, playing in 12 games and providing an offensive spark for the Red Stars. Internationally, Danesha made her senior National Team debut in 2006 against Chinese Taipei. That same year she received U.S. Soccer's Young Female Athlete of the Year award and was named as one of the tournament's Most Valuable Players at the FIFA U-20 World Championships. Danesha has had a dynamite soccer career and continues to make an impact at the professional level. Both GM Terry Foley and Head Coach Paul Riley are optimistic about the talent that Danesha will bring to Philadelphia next season.

Philadelphia's 7th selection in the Expansion Draft was Sarah Senty from the Washington Freedom. Picked 7th by Washington in the WPS draft last year, Sarah joined the Freedom late in the season after completing her college degree at the University of Virginia. In Sarah's four years playing for the Cavaliers she was a solid presence in the back line and part of the 2007 defensive unit that led the nation in goals against average (.40) and set the school record with 15 shutouts. Sarah was named to the Mid-Atlantic All-Freshman team in 2005, and as a member of the Washington Freedom in 2007 Sarah helped her team capture the W-League Championship title.

Terry Foley followed Sarah at UVA and believes that she can play an important role in the back line for the Independence. "Sarah had an impressive college career and played very well in the WPS when she joined the Freedom this season. We are looking forward to having her in Philadelphia."

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