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USC's Amy Rodriguez is top pick in women's soccer draft

The Boston Breakers, of Women's Professional Soccer, pick the forward to build their team around. The Los Angeles Sol picks Notre Dame's Brittany Bock with its first pick and two UCLA players.

January 17, 2009|Grahame L. Jones

Olympic gold medal winner and U.S. national team forward Amy Rodriguez of USC on Friday was selected as the No. 1 pick in the Women's Professional Soccer draft held in St. Louis.

Rodriguez, 21, was chosen by the Boston Breakers, who are coached by former U.S. national team coach Tony DiCicco.

"I think she was the pick of the litter. First of all, she's a great kid and an awesome soccer player with a tremendous upside to her game," DiCicco said of the former Santa Margarita High standout.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Sol, which will open the inaugural season of WPS against the Washington Freedom on March 29 at the Home Depot Center, made Notre Dame midfielder/forward Brittany Bock its first-round pick.

UCLA midfielder Christina DiMartino was picked No. 3 overall by FC Gold Pride, a Bay Area-based team.

Bock, co-captain of the Irish team that went 26-1 in 2008, is expected to add depth to an attack led by Brazilian forward Marta, the three-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, who signed last week.

Sol Coach Abner Rogers said Bock's versatility will make her invaluable.

"She's a very good holding midfielder, she's played forward, she can actually play as center back," Rogers said. "I don't ever guarantee a player a starting position, but she's definitely good enough to start on this team."

With the Sol's second selection in the draft and the 10th pick overall, Los Angeles chose Stanford defender Allison Falk, an elegant player who caught Rogers' eye some time ago.

"The game that impressed me was when they played USC and she marked 'A-Rod' [Rodriguez], who I know so well and how quick she is and how she turns," Rogers said.

Also chosen by the Sol were Brigham Young midfielder Katie Larkin (19th overall), West Virginia defender Greer Barnes (24th) and former UCLA goalkeeper Valerie Henderson (33rd).

In addition, Rogers selected former University of Denver midfielder Katie Hooker (38th), UCLA midfielder McCall Zerboni (47th), University of San Diego goalkeeper Brittany Cameron (52nd), former Cal State Fullerton defender Erika Janke (61st) and former University of Portland midfielder Lisa Sari (66th).

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grahame.jones@latimes.com

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