Jan. 7, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Former consensus All-American and 2007 MAC Herman Trophy winner Mami Yamaguchi has signed a professional contract with the Atlanta Beat of the Women's Professional Soccer League.
Atlanta General Manager Shawn McGee announced the signing of the Japanese international back on January 1 as she was selected third by the Beat in the 2009 WPS International Expansion Draft. Yamaguchi becomes the second foreign player signed by Atlanta joining former Umeå IK teammate Ramona Bachmann for the Beat's 2010 inaugural season.
"Mami is a very technical and versatile player," said Atlanta Beat Head Coach Gareth O'Sullivan. "She is extremely clever in possession and will bring great experience to the team. We expect her to have an immediate impact in the WPS."
Yamaguchi has competed in the UEFA Women's Champions League and has won Swedish Championship gold with Umeå. She starred at Florida State becoming the school's first National Player of the Year in 2007 en route to leading the Seminoles to a berth in the national championship game. Yamaguchi has also gained valuable international playing experience as a member of the Japanese Women's National Team.
Yamaguchi will report to Atlanta for the pre-season in early spring of 2010.
In other news from the WPS, the St. Louis Athletica picked up former Seminole defender Sarah Wagenfuhr as a free agent. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native played an integral role in leading the Seminoles to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four seasons while guiding the Seminoles to three straight College Cup appearances from 2005 to 2007. Wagenfuhr served as team captain in her final two seasons and started 81 games for the Garnet & Gold over her four-year career. Wagenfuhr will report to St. Louis in March.
--WPS Atlanta Beat contributed to this article.