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Rookie of the Year Signs with Beat

December 2, 2011 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release

KENNESAW, GA (November 29, 2011) - The Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer have agreed to terms (pending league approval) for the 2012 season with free agent and WPS Rookie of the Year, forward Christen Press.

Press was selected by magicJack as the fourth overall pick in the 2011 WPS Draft. She appeared in 17 of 18 games last season and recorded eight goals - just 2 behind league leaders Marta and Christine Sinclair. Nearly a week after the American heroics in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, Press made history on Saturday, July 30 by recording the league's first rookie hat trick.

"It's a great way to start our 2012 campaign," said Beat head coach James Galanis. "We are bringing in young and exciting striker who scored goals last year and who I'm sure will be even more comfortable with the pace of the game and the expectations this year."

"From what I have heard from Atlanta Beat head coach James Galanis and owner Mr. Johnson, there is a commitment to turn this program around," said Press. "The Atlanta Beat organization has shown great commitment in creating a winning program for 2012. From the players, I have heard that this is a good environment with great team chemistry, and it's a great place for me to be the best player I can be in 2012."

Press was recently called into the U.S. U-23 national team training camp following a stellar showing in her first professional season.

"She's got a fantastic soccer mind," said Galanis. 'We played against her last year on a number of occasions and what amazed me most were the creative runs she made. She knows when to check and when to make deep runs in behind the backline. Once you get the ball to her feet, she is dangerous."

Prior to joining WPS, Press was a standout at Stanford University where she earned the 2010 Mac Herman Trophy and remains the all-time leading Cardinal scorer with 71 goals. She holds school records for career points (183), assists (41), and shots (500) in addition to holding single-season records for shots (180) and game-winning goals (10).

According to Galanis, "Christen is a natural goal scorer and exactly what we need to make a huge impact in WPS next season."

Press is a native of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., where she attended Chadwick High School.

Atlanta Beat players report for preseason camp on March 1, 2012.

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