The Atlanta Beat promises to be a new-look team in 2012. AWK has learned that defender Rachel Buehler is the newest addition to James Galanis’ side. She recently signed a one-year deal with the club.
The 26-year-old has been a mainstay with the United States Women’s National Team since 2008 and holds 66 caps with the senior team. Buehler appeared for the Boston Breakers in 2011 before spending two years with FC Gold Pride. The California native was an important cog in the Gold Pride team that won the 2010 WPS Championship. She anchored a defense that allowed the fewest goals in the league that season.
It’s been a different story for the Atlanta Beat. The franchise has finished last in the table in each of its two years in WPS. The team’s defense has conceded the most goals in the league in those two seasons as well.
The Atlanta Beat’s current incarnation has yet to match the mark left by the WUSA franchise of the same name. Helmed by Tom Stone, that Atlanta Beat team reached the playoffs in each of the WUSA’s three seasons, becoming the only side in league history to do so.
The Beat will likely be forced to part with Buehler for the Olympics, but the signing affirms that it’s a new day in Kennesaw.
The additions of Buehler, Rebecca Moros, and Lauren Fowlkes should buttress Atlanta’s defense. Last night Jeff Kassouf reported that the Beat are also interested in goalkeeper Val Henderson.
The team made its first splash of the offseason in December by acquiring Hermann Trophy winner Christen Press. The Beat will look to use its two first round draft picks to round out its squad at the 2012 WPS Draft on January 13.
(Photo courtesy of NC-Soccer.)