October 12, 2010

LeBlanc to Red Stars for Draft Selections

The Philadelphia Independence have traded goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc to the Chicago Red Stars for two picks in the 2011 draft. The Independence will get the 3rd overall selection in the 2011 draft, plus Chicago's third round pick.

LeBlanc started 14 regular season matches for the Independence, but played backup to Val Henderson in the WPS playoffs. She finished the season with two shutouts and a 1.50 goals against average. It was a stark contrast to her 2009 campaign when she posted 12 shutouts and had a microscopic goals against of 0.53 with Los Angeles.

Philadelphia had acquired LeBlanc in the Los Angeles Sol dispersal draft. She was their starter for much of the early part of the season, but coach Paul Riley turned to Henderson with increasing regularity as the season progressed. Henderson got the starting call for the last two regular season matches and for all three playoff games.

The Independence now have two first round selections, a second round selection, and two third round selections in the 2011 draft. Chicago still has the second overall selection from a trade they made with Atlanta.

This trade will likely lead to a lot of speculation regarding Jill Loyden. Will Chicago protect both Loyden and LeBlanc in the expansion draft? Will they battle for the number one goalkeeper spot next season? Could Loyden be used in a trade, much as Athletica traded her to Chicago last season for Lindsay Tarpley? Only time will tell.