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Philadelphia's New Women's Pro Soccer Team Awarded First Pick in the WPS International Draft

August 18, 2009 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Philadelphia Independence News Release


PHILADELPHIA, PA- August 18, 2009 - The Philadelphia Independence will select first in the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) International Draft to be held September 22, 2009. This No. 1 selection in the WPS International Player Draft gives the Independence the opportunity to place on its 2010 roster the best international female soccer player not now playing in the women's pro soccer league. The Atlanta Beat, the other WPS expansion team that recently joined the league and will start play in 2010, will select No. 2 in the WPS International Draft, with subsequent picks alternating between Philadelphia and Atlanta until both teams have selected five international players.

"We are thrilled to have the number one pick and will use it wisely" stated Philadelphia Independence General Manager Terry Foley. "There are several outstanding, marquee international female soccer players around the world not currently playing in the WPS. Some we saw in Portugal at the Algarve Cup this past March, and some will be showcased at the upcoming European Championship Tournament in Finland later this month. Whether they were not available in last year's draft due to their club restrictions or to injuries, these elite international players will have an immediate and positive impact on the development, maturity, and field presence of the Philadelphia Independence. The ability to pick first in the WPS International Draft in September, really allows us bring in that franchise international player and, along with the other players drafted, deliver a great team to the fans of Philadelphia in our first year of WPS play."

As the eighth franchise to join the WPS on March 16, 2009 and one of two expansion teams to begin WPS play in 2010, the Philadelphia Independence will participate in several player draft events to build its roster for the 2010 season. On September 15, 2009, the Independence will participate in the 2010 WPS Expansion Draft, whereby it will select up to nine players from existing WPS teams. Each of the seven existing WPS teams, as directed by league rules, can protect only ten on their current roster - leaving the others "unprotected" and eligible to be picked up by the expansion teams. Philadelphia and Atlanta, as the two expansion teams, will alternate player selections in this expansion draft until both the Independence and Beat have secured a total of nine players. Also, according to league officials, no more than three players from any existing team may be taken in the expansion draft, and after an expansion team selects a player from an existing team, that team can protect additional players.

The 2010 WPS International Draft is simpler. Philadelphia selects first, Atlanta second, and then the two expansion teams alternate with the Independence picking international players third, fifth, seventh, and ninth while the Beat gets fourth, sixth, eighth, and tenth selections for a total of five international players drafted in succession by each expansion team. Existing teams do not have the opportunity to select in this part of the International Draft since they already have their international players.

Since Philadelphia has No. 1 pick in the International Draft, Atlanta will select No. 1 in the 2010 WPS Draft held January 15, 2010 at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) convention in Philadelphia. The Independence will select second in this college draft event, then the existing seven WPS teams pick third through ninth, with the two expansion teams also drafting tenth and eleventh to close out the first round of this 2010 WPS Draft. The first round is the only round in which Philadelphia and Atlanta have two selections. After the first round, in all subsequent rounds (probably seven rounds total), the Independence will have the second selection in the round.

In addition to this 2010 draft process, there will be free agency at the conclusion of the 2009 WPS season in which players from existing teams may become available to Philadelphia. Finally, in January 2010, the Independence will hold tryouts to determine any final roster spots and to round out any player requirements not yet filled.

These activities provide very exciting times for the Philadelphia Independence organization and we hope you stay connected as the team's player drafts, ticket sales programs, youth development events, and community outreach activities pick up steam toward our 2010 season kick-off. Visit www.wpsphillyindependence.com .

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About Women's Professional Soccer (WPS)

The mission of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) is to be the premier women's soccer league in the world and the global standard by which women's professional sports are measured. Play kicked off on March 29, 2009, with WPS teams based in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The league's eighth franchise, Philadelphia, will begin play next season with Atlanta joining as the ninth team in 2010. For more information, visit www.womensprosoccer.com .

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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.

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