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Thursday, January 12, 2012
WPS DRAFT: Local prospects

By Scott French

Women's Professional Soccer follows Major League Soccer's lead and will stage its college-player draft Friday morning in Kansas City, Mo.

Here are seven local players angling to go to one of the five remaining clubs in America's top women's league:

Colleen Boyd (Oregon State): Goalkeeper from La Caņada Flintridge (La Caņada HS) was pivotal in the Beavers rise to regional power, an All-American who posted 27 shutouts and a 0.81 goals-against average in four seasons.

Judy Christopher (UC Irvine): Holding midfielder from Ontario (Upland HS) doesn't have sparkly numbers, but she's been the best defense-oriented midfielder in the Big West Conference for three seasons, critical to UC Irvine's conference title runs the past two years.

Sarah Devine (UC Irvine): Central defender from San Diego is coming out early -- she's a junior athletically after an injury redshirt her first year but eligible for selection. Sometimes overshadowed by her more celebrated teammate (below), but she's a solid, steady backline presence.

CoCo Goodson (UC Irvine): Central defender from Ramona (San Diego County) is a two-time All-American who, her coach says admiringly, plays the game like a man. She's got a rocket shot and is versatile enough to play anywhere on the field, but she's a force at the back.

Shawna Gordon (Long Beach State): Central midfielder from Rancho Cucamonga (Los Osos HS) is absolutely unflappable, a technical player who keeps things simple and expertly regulates the game's flow. She shared the 49ers' assists lead this year, with 10, despite taking a deeper stance in midfield, one of the maneuvers key to Long Beach State's run to the NCAA quarterfinals.

Sydney Leroux (UCLA): Forward from Vancouver, British Columbia (by way of Phoenix) is the big fish in this draft pool, a rising U.S. national-teamer and three-time All-American who scored 16 goals as a senior and 57 in four seasons with the Bruins while starring for the U.S. under-20 national team. Fast, intense, athletic.

Camille Levin (Stanford): Outside back from Newport Coast (Tarbut V'Torah Community Day School) might be the most impactful player in the draft. The first-team All-American is smooth, incredibly versatile and reminds some of another So Cal outside back from The Farm, WPS star Ali Riley.