The Women’s Professional Soccer league (WPS) held the Los Angeles Sol Dispersal Draft with the eight remaining teams via conference call Thursday.
With the seventh pick, the Washington Freedom selected Notre Dame star, Brittany Bock.
“She’s versatile, she can play in multiple positions, and we’re looking forward to seeing her in camp and seeing exactly where she fits in and how she fits in,” said Freedom head coach Jim Gabarra.
Bock fit in nicely with the LA Sol last season, starting 17 of the team’s 18 games. She was part of a solid backline that marked the Sol as the league leader in defense, with a goals against average of 0.5.
Having the highest goals against average in the league last season with 1.6, the Freedom might just find a good spot for Bock. But with the ability to play up top and in the midfield, her versatility gives flexibility to the Freedom roster.
Bock’s standout performance with regular season champion Sol was enough to catch the eye of U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage. She received her first full national team call-up in 2009.
In the second round of the draft, the Freedom selected Faith Ikidi. The Nigerian international played at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, as well as the 2007 Women’s World Cup in China.
“She’s a very good central defender. She’s still under contract in Sweden, so it’s basically kind of a pick for the future. Possibly next season she comes in,” Gabarra explained.
“We’re in a situation where we’re bringing back a large number of our players, and to add another player, that’s under contract, or draft choice, makes more decisions for us. This just puts off the decision. There’s good value in that pick and we basically just relinquished the rights to Nilla Fischer, who’s under contract as well in Sweden, but actually for another year and a half, I believe. So she’s not an option to us like we thought she may be. So it makes sense to us to swap them up, so to speak.”
With the recent drafts and the Freedom tryouts coming up later this month, Gabarra sees a more challenging fight for a roster spot. “It’s gonna be difficult for players trying out, players that are drafted, players that were already under contract. It’s gonna be very competitive.”
“We try to make it a situation where the best eighteen get their roster spots and the next four best get the developmental spots. And it shouldn’t matter if you were drafted, or if you were undrafted, or if you tried out, or if you’re currently under contract. Our responsibility is to put the best product we can on the field.”
Preseason starts March 7th, as the team heads down to Florida the next day for training. The opening roster due date is March 31st, less than two weeks before the season opener on April 10th.