Jan. 16, 2009
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Florida State volunteer assistant coach Lydia Vandenbergh was drafted by St. Louis of the Women’s Professional Soccer League on Friday, January 16. Vandenbergh, who joined the Seminole coaching staff in the fall of 2008, was selected in the 10th round with the 65th overall pick.
“I’m so excited and to be able to play in St. Louis for the Brazilian national team coach (Jorge Barcellos) is such an honor,” stated Vandenbergh. “I am just so excited, words can’t explain how I feel right now; I don’t know what to say.”
Vandenbergh played nine seasons in the W-League with the Asheville Splash (2000-04) and the Charlotte Eagles (2005-08). She was a member of the Eagles’ squad that advanced to the league semifinals in 2006. In 2008, Vandenbergh was named to the W-League Team of the Week during the tenth week of the season.
She also played on the professional circuit in Brazil for two seasons. In 2006, Vandenbergh was a member of Santos Futebol Clube in Santos, Sao Paulo, while playing a year for Cotia Futsal Clube in 2007.
A graduate of Clemson University, Vandenbergh was a three-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll. She participated in the NCAA Tournament in each of her four seasons with the Tigers leading Clemson to three straight years of finishing in the top 25. Vandenbergh appeared in 80 games over her career making 65 starts. She ended her college career starting 60 consecutive matches for the Tigers, a streak dating back to the beginning of her sophomore campaign in 2003. Vandenbergh finished her Tiger career with 24 points on five goals and 14 assists.
Vandenbergh, a native of Pisgah Forest, N.C., just finished her first season as a volunteer assistant at Florida State in 2008.
“I’ve always had that dream since I was a little girl to play professionally here in the United States,” added Vandenbergh. “When the WUSA (former women’s professional league) folded, it was such a dream crusher, but I was thankful to go to Brazil and play there but I always wanted to play here in front of my friends and family. The WPS is just so good for women’s soccer, for women to have a league and for young girls to have something to thrive for is great.”
The Women’s Professional Soccer League will kick off its inaugural season in April of 2009 representing the highest level of women’s professional soccer in North America. Formed in September 2007 as the result of the efforts of the Women’s Soccer Initiative, Inc., WPS consists of seven teams across the country located in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis and Washington D.C.
St. Louis Athletica 2009 Draft Choices:
#1 Kerri Hanks with the 6th overall pick (Notre Dame)
#2 Kia McNeill with the 9th overall pick (Boston College)
#3 Stephanie Logterman with the 20th pick (Texas)
—-TRADE: Saint Louis Athletica sends Joanna Lohman and the 23rd pick to the Washington Freedom for the 21st pick.
#4 Elise Weber with the 21st pick (Notre Dame)
#5 Nikki Cross with the 34th pick (Connecticut)
#6 Jillian Loyden with the 37th pick (Villanova)
#7 Lisa Stoia with the 48th pick (West Virginia)
#8 Megan Kerns with the 51st pick (Florida)
#9 Sheree Gray with the 62nd pick (Penn State)
#10 Lydia Vandenbergh with the 65th pick (Clemson)