December 20, 2010

Atlanta Signs Whitehill; Independence Ink Three to Contracts

The Atlanta Beat have signed USWNT defender Cat Whitehill to a contract. Whitehill was one of the original USWNT allocations in WPS, spending her first two seasons with the Washington Freedom.

Whitehill, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, was originally allocated to Washington in 2008. She has scored four goals and four assists in her WPS career. The former North Carolina star has 134 career caps for the USWNT, scoring 11 goals.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Independence signed a trio of young veterans to contracts, all defenders. Kia McNeill and Leigh Ann Robinson both signed with Philadelphia after spending the 2010 season with Atlanta. Estelle Johnson, a defender on last year's Independence, has also resigned with the Independence.

McNeill, known as a tough defender who is strong in the air, was originally drafted by Saint Louis in January, 2009 out of Boston College. After a solid season with Athletica, she was traded to Atlanta where she spent the entire 2010 season. She has compiled over 3000 minutes in the WPS over two seasons. McNeill will most likely play central defender, although she has played outside on occasion.

Robinson was originally drafted by FC Gold Pride in January, 2009, after a successful college run at the University of San Diego. Her only career WPS goal was a game winner against Sky Blue on May 3, 2009. She was then the first selection in the expansion draft by the Atlanta Beat. Robinson plays outside defense and will get into the attack from that position.

Johnson was a draft choice of the Los Angeles Sol in 2010 and was then selected by Philadelphia in the dispersal draft following the Sol's demise. She appeared in 13 games last season, starting 10 for the Independence. Johnson played college soccer at the University of Kansas.