Author Topic: Atlanta Beat  (Read 2633 times)

Offline redrobin

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Atlanta Beat
« on: June 18, 2009, 06:05:33 PM »
Atlanta Beat Announced as Ninth Team in Women’s Professional Soccer

Team Name and Colors Unveiled at Ceremony in Downtown Atlanta
Beat Will Join League for 2010 Season Along with Philadelphia

San Francisco, California/Atlanta, Georgia
June 18, 2009

Women’s Professional Soccer Commissioner Tonya Antonucci and Atlanta Team Owner Fitz Johnson today officially unveiled the Atlanta Beat as the ninth Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) franchise at a ceremony at downtown Atlanta’s Metro Chamber of Commerce with Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin in attendance. The Atlanta Beat join the Philadelphia Independence as expansion teams in WPS and will begin play in the 2010 WPS Season.

“We are excited and proud to add Atlanta as our ninth WPS franchise for 2010 and to have Fitz Johnson, who is such a passionate and dynamic businessman, as an owner in our growing league,” said WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. “Atlanta is a soccer hotbed with its numerous youth leagues and tournaments, and the region has played host to some big time women’s soccer events over the years including the Olympics and WUSA championship games.”

The Atlanta Beat’s colors will be Ferrari Red and Gold and the team will be led by General Manager Shawn McGee, who was announced as the Beat’s GM by Fitz Johnson on Wednesday.

“We are thrilled to be bringing Women’s Professional Soccer to Atlanta for the 2010 season and are excited for this milestone announcement,” said Johnson.  “As a team, we will feature the highest level of women’s soccer in the world and it is our goal to be entertaining, exciting and affordable for fans.  We feel the new team name, the Atlanta Beat, embraces our city’s past support of a professional women’s soccer team.  Our logo and colors are distinct and vibrant, representing the flavor of the warmth, and energy of this city.  There is no question that a WPS franchise will diversify and add to Atlanta’s robust professional sports community.”

Atlanta entrepreneur T. Fitz Johnson, former CEO of Eagle Group International, LLC, leads the local WPS ownership group and is the team’s managing partner. A member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), Johnson holds an Advanced National Diploma from the organization and has extensive ties to soccer at the youth, collegiate, amateur and professional levels.  Johnson is a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, having earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Kentucky, College of Law.  Prior to serving as CEO of Eagle Group International, he served as the organization’s Chief Counsel, V.P. for Human Resources, Executive Vice President, COO, and President.

McGee was previously an associate athletics director at SMU and spent 10 years with FC Dallas in Major League Soccer.
Ticket information about the Atlanta Beat is online at:

Offline redrobin

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Re: Atlanta Beat
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 02:20:02 AM »
As reported by shlj, cardy and rach_83 in other threads on the WPS board, the Beat and the other expansion team, Philadelphia Independence, have been building their rosters for their start in the WPS next summer in accordance with rules and procedures set by the league.

The first phase was a draft of a limited number of players from the 7 founding teams in the league. The second phase was a draft of negotiating rights for five international players.

The outcome for Atlanta Beat was as follows:-

Expansion Draft

1 Leigh Ann Robinson
   Defender from Gold Pride
2 Amanda Cinalli
   Forward from Saint Louis Athletica
3 Katie Larkin
   Midfielder from Los Angeles Sol
4 Sharolta Nonen
   Defender from Los Angeles Sol
5 Sara Larsson (Sweden)
   Defender from Saint Louis Athletica
6 Noelle Keselica
   Forward from Sky Blue

International Draft

1 Ramona Bachmann (Switzerland)
2 Johanna Rasmussen (Denmark)
3 Mami Yamaguchi (Japan)
4 Maurine Dormeles Goncalves (Brazil)
5 Therese Sjogran (Sweden)

Offline redrobin

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Re: Atlanta Beat
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 01:43:23 AM »
Beat pursue creative, attacking players in International Draft
by Dan Lauletta,
24th September 2009

The women’s soccer world focused its attention in Finland for the European Championships from Aug. 23-Sept. 10, but when it came time to acquire the rights to five international players, Atlanta Beat head coach Gareth O’Sullivan took a more global approach.  Of the five players he acquired the rights to in Tuesday’s International Draft, only three are European, and one of those, top pick Ramona Bachmann, is from Switzerland who did not qualify for the Euros.

“I watched her three times before the Euros because obviously Switzerland didn’t make the Euros,” O’Sullivan said.  “She’s very good and one of the best players in the Swedish league.  She’s a very exciting prospect.”

Bachmann is one of three Beat draft picks playing for Swedish champions Umeå.  However, she was under the weather and did not play last month when Umeå came to the United States to play the WPS All-Stars.  It was an absence that did not disappoint O’Sullivan, who coveted Bachmann as his top choice but selected second after the Philadelphia Independence.

“She’s an out and out center forward,” O’Sullivan said of Bachmann.  “(She) loves to run at defenders, is very quick, and has a great nose for the goal.”

Like Bachmann, the Beat’s second selection Johanna Rasmussen is listed as a forward, but O’Sullivan looks at her as a midfielder.  She too was not in her usual spot for Umeå at the All-Star Game because she was at the Euros playing for Denmark.

“She’s got one of the best left foots in the women’s game,” O’Sullivan said.  “She’s a very quick and exciting left-sided midfield player.  She can play in a 4-3-3 up top as well.”

The Beat’s third selection, also from Umeå, is a player familiar to followers of women’s college soccer in the states.  Japanese midfielder Mami Yamaguchi played collegiately at Florida State where she became the first Seminole to win the MAC Hermann Trophy, awarded to college soccer’s top player.  At the WPS All-Star Game, she assisted on Madelaine Edlund’s goal in the second minute and was robbed of her own goal on a strong save by Karina LeBlanc.

“She’s a player I’ve admired for quite awhile,” said O’Sullivan, who added that he tried to acquire Yamaguchi for his club team in Iceland before she signed with Umeå.  “She’s extremely intelligent, very creative, and very versatile.  She played as an attacking midfielder at Florida State.  This season at Umeå she has played a large part as a holding mid, and she has also played as an outside forward in a 4-3-3 for them.”

O’Sullivan also acquired the rights to Brazilian midfielder Maurine Dorneles Gonclaves and Swedish midfielder Therese Sjogran.  As all Brazilians go by a single name, this one goes by Maurine.

“She plays on the left side of midfield for the National Team and plays on the right side for her club team so again she gives us options,” said O’Sullivan, who called Maurine a very typical Brazilian player.  “There’s going to be goals in her.”  The coach added that Maurine was the last player to make her way onto his radar after he watched her score twice in a recent club match.

“Therese Sjogran is widely regarded as one of the top players in Sweden,” O’Sullivan said of his final pick.  “She has fabulous touch and great creativity.  We’re very excited to have her rights.”

‘Rights’ is the operative word when reviewing the International Draft because none of the 10 players taken—the Philadelphia Independence also selected five—have signed WPS contracts.  The Beat will begin working immediately in an effort to get all five under contract for their inaugural season.

O’Sullivan will spend the next few weeks scouting domestic players and could acquire others via trades or free agency before the 2010 WPS Draft on January 15.  And although the Beat already have the rights to enough players to field a side, none are goalkeepers.

“That’s a priority obviously,” O’Sullivan said.