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Charge make five selections, two trades in busy draft day

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Posted: February 03, 2003

After two years of losing first-round playoff games, the Charge have decided to reshape the team for their third Women's United Soccer Association season. Sending a message that few jobs are secure, the Charge made two trades and selected five players in the four-round college draft, including three in the first round, during a busy draft day yesterday in Atlanta.

The Charge chose University of Washington goalie Hope Solo as the fourth overall selection in the draft with the first of their picks. They picked Clemson forward Deliah Arrington sixth and Dartmouth midfielder Mary McVeigh seventh.

Midfielder Erin Misaki of Portland was the Charge's second-round pick, chosen 14th overall. University of West Virginia midfielder Rachel Kruze was taken in the fourth round, 30th overall.

The Charge also acquired midfielder Anne Makinen from the Washington Freedom in exchange for midfielder Rebekah McDowell and their 2003 third-round pick.

The Charge also sent midfielder Kerry Connors to the San Diego Spirit for defender Anna Kraus and a 2004 second-round selection.

In selecting Solo as his team's first pick, was coach Mark Krikorian trying to send a message to incumbent keeper Melissa Moore? Last season Moore led the WUSA with a 1.00 goals-against average while playing behind arguably the league's best defense. A team usually does not select a player that high without plans to use her.

"She gives us more of an opportunity to have a variety of options," Krikorian said of Solo, who is the University of Washington's career leader with 18 shutouts. "Between her, Melissa and Maite [Zabala, a backup] we have three good goalies."

And now maybe more potential trade bait.

McVeigh ended her college career fourth on the Dartmouth all-time scoring list with 50 goals.

"I am feeling nothing but 100 percent excitement right now," said McVeigh, who heard the draft news yesterday with family at an aunt's home in Ivyland, Bucks County. "I have spent a great deal of time in the Philadelphia area throughout my life and I couldn't have asked for a better place to be drafted."

Arrington was the 2002 Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year at Clemson, and she scored a school-record 50 goals.

"Dee is the fastest player I have seen," Krikorian said of Arrington. "She is much faster than [Marinette] Pichon, and her athletic ability is second to none."

That is quite a compliment, since Pichon was the Charge's leading scorer and the WUSA's MVP.

As for the trades, Krikorian knew he had to give up value to get something in return. Connors started 15 games and had two goals and one assist, and McDowell went scoreless in 12 games, including seven starts.

"It was difficult to give up Kerry Connors, but Kraus will help in the back line," Krikorian said. "It's also hard to let Rebekah go, but Makinen has international experience and could play in the back."

A native of Finland who attended Notre Dame, Makinen started nine games last season for the Freedom and contributed two goals and two assists. Kraus started nine games as a defender for San Diego.

Krikorian is considering moving Makinen to the back line because all-star defender Erica Iverson isn't expected to return. Iverson has requested a trade to Boston to be with her fiancee, but talks have stalled.

"It doesn't look like we will do anything with Boston and if she isn't interested in playing here, she probably won't play this year," Krikorian said. "We are looking for fair value."

The Charge should soon announce the signing of 20-year-old forward Pavlina Scasna of the Czech Republic.

Krikorian also said that the team's top player, Kelly Smith, who suffered a season-ending knee injury on June 1, is once again healthy.

Borski chosen. The Freedom selected Darci Borski, a graduate of Nazareth Academy and the University of Virginia, in the third round. Borski, the 20th selection, is the daughter of former U.S. Rep. Robert Borski (D., Pa.). She redshirted one season at Virginia and graduated in May. She took graduate courses during the fall, but said because she has her degree, she will be able to train immediately with the Freedom, who feature women's soccer's most recognized player, Mia Hamm.

"I just feel lucky to be drafted," Borski said. "To be on [Hamm's] team is incredible."

Santa Clara University all-American midfielder Aly Wagner was the first player drafted, by San Diego. Penn State forward Christine Welsh went second to the New York Power.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com.

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