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Flash add four draft picks for 2013 NWSL season

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

The Western New York Flash selected four players in today’s NWSL College Draft, addressing defensive concerns with their first pick and taking a widely-respected midfielder in the second round.

Oklahoma State goalie Adrianna Franch was selected by head coach Aaran Lines and owner Joe Sahlen as the sixth overall pick in the NWSL College Draft, likely cementing Franch and Mexican international allocation Pamela Tajonar as the Flash’s goalkeeping tandem. On most mock draft sites, Franch was slated to be chosen No. 3 overall to FC Kansas City—coincidentally also in the same state as Franch’s home—as the keeper seemed locked into a top five spot.

Nicknamed “AD,” Franch arrives in Rochester with accolades aplenty—along with No. 3 overall pick Kristen Mewis, the 5’9, 22-year-old keeper was just recently called into full U.S. Women’s National Team camp in New Jersey. A three-time All-American at OSU, Franch peaked in her junior year (2011), registering a ridiculous 12 shutouts in 20 matches. She maintained only six clean-sheets in her senior season, but her 1.07 goals against average was still solid. We envision Franch (pictured below) as Lines’ starter from day one and a building block for the franchise.

The Flash staff called the name of Amy Barczuk in the second round, 14th overall. The University of Colorado alum was a third-team All-Pacific Region selection after her senior year, and the midfielder—who may be a valuable defender at the next level—started 76 of 78 games during her four years as a Buffalo.

Standing 5’10, Barczuk has already knocked on the door of the U-23 Women’s National Team, earning a call into training camp last year. Perhaps Nikki Marshall, a stalwart defender during the Flash’s 2012 title run in WPSL-Elite and former Colorado Buffalo, put in a good word to Lines about Barczuk’s potential.

Here’s All White Kit’s description of Barczuk, who was also on the top All-Academic Big 12 team, in the website’s final mock draft: “A powerful figure who’s also comfortable on the ball, Barczuk (pictured below) could also be used as a deep midfielder if necessary…”

I remember speaking with Lines during the 2012 WPSL-Elite season, when he lauded the two DiMartino sisters—Tina and Gina—for their technical gifts and quickness. Even though Boston College forward Vicki DiMartino didn’t appear on many mock draft lists, Lines is trusting bloodlines with this selection. Maybe DiMartino was overshadowed by Eagles’ superstar Kristen Mewis—at least in terms of draft prospects—but Vicki DiMartino ends her career third on the Eagles’ all-time points list with 93.

Finally, the Flash took defender Jackie Logue 30th overall, a little later than most projections had her (AWK had her in the low-to-mid-20s in their mocks). Logue’s two most impressive college traits are her endurance (94 games played, 89 starts) and her three years as Wake Forest’s captain.

Expected to be a left-sided defender, Logue joins Barczuk as two rookies vying for time in the Flash’s back four.

Chicago Red Stars head coach Rory Dames shocked the masses of NWSL fans with his pick of Zakiya Bywaters at No. 1 overall—the UCLA forward was projected to go between Nos. 8 and 12. The surprise set the tone for the rest of the draft, as it’s clear that pundits had rather little foreknowledge of what was on the minds of NWSL coaches.

Here is the list of players who are currently the Flash’s property:

Abby Wambach, forward
Carli Lloyd, midfielder
Pamela Tajonar, goalie
Bryanna McCarthy, defender
Veronica Perez, forward
Jodi-Ann Robinson, forward

Adrianna Franch, goalie
Amy Barczuk, defender
Vicki DiMartino, midfielder-forward
Jackie Logue, defender

(Photo of Franch courtesy of news9.com; photo of Barczuk courtesy of cubuffs.com; photo of DiMartino courtesy of NewEnglandSoccerNews.com).

TAGGED: aaran lines, adrianna franch, jackie logue, nwsl, nwsl college draft, vicki dimartino, western new york flash, wny flash

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