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Fri 13th, January 2012
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - The Atlanta Beat picked U.S. national team and UCLA forward Sydney Leroux No. 1 overall in the 2012 Women's Professional Soccer draft Friday.
The 21-year-old Leroux scored 30 goals in 36 games for U.S. Under-20 national team from 2008-10. She made her debut for the U.S. senior side last year, when she was also a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist as the best college player.
"She is the best player in the draft without a doubt," said Beat manager James Galanis. "Not only based of her credentials but also just as a soccer player.
"She is really, really fast; she is skilled; she makes very mature runs for her age, and she puts the ball in the back of the net. She was clearly always going to be our No. 1 pick."
Leroux, a Canadian-American, made her international debut for Canada when she was just 14, appearing at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup and captaining the country's U-15 squad.
She later moved to the U.S., and helped the U-20 side win the 2008 World Cup. Leroux debuted for the American senior side against Sweden last January.
"For this to happen is definitely a dream come true. It's been a crazy journey from living in Canada with hopes to play in college, professionally, and on the national team," Leroux said.
Sky Blue FC picked Notre Dame forward Melissa Henderson second, and the Boston Breakers followed with San Diego forward Stephanie Ochs with the third pick.
With its second pick in the first round, Sky Blue FC took Stanford midfielder Camille Levin fourth, and the Philadelphia Independence selected Wisconsin- Milwaukee forward Sarah Hagen with the fifth pick.
Western New York Flash had the final two picks of the first round and selected a pair of Stanford players. Forward Lindsay Taylor was taken sixth and Hermann Trophy winner Teresa Noyola, a midfielder, was taken seventh.
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