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Atlanta Beat’s Bachmann has ailing back

It’s been a long summer for Ramona Bachmann, the 19-year-old Swiss prodigy the Atlanta Beat made its top international draft choice.

She’s scored just one goal in six games in Women’s Professional Soccer, and now a sore back is limiting her time with the Swiss team at the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

Bachmann was pulled from the first half of Switzerland’s 5-0 loss to the U.S. Saturday. She said the back has been bothering her for the last couple of years and stems from one leg being a bit longer than the other:

“After the World Cup I shall go and see a specialist. If it needs an operation I will have to do it. I am just 19 and my big, big goal is to be the best in the world and for that I need to be fit.”

The Swiss are all but eliminated from the group stage after losing their first two matches. Their group finale is Wednesday against Ghana.

Some very good news for the Beat on the field: They earned their first WPS road victory by downing FC Sky Blue 1-0 on Sunday night. Eniola Aluko got the lone goal of the match in the 7th minute.

Atlanta returns home for a Wednesday match against Chicago at 7:30 p.m. at the KSU Soccer Stadium.

July 19, 2010   1 Comment

Will Beat’s Swiss sensation yield to WPS overtures?

Ramona Bachmann is regarded as one of the top youth female players in the world, and the Atlanta Beat didn’t hesitate to take the 18-year-old forward in the Women’s Professsional Soccer League’s international draft this week.

But will she be in an Atlanta uniform for the team’s inaugural season in 2010?

Bachmann, who turns 19 on Christmas Day, was voted the Swiss player of the year after scoring 19 goals in 30 matches for Umeå IK, the Swedish champions. That’s the same club that Marta, the Brazilian world player of the year, left earlier this year for the Los Angeles Sol of WPS, where she was the league MVP.

Will Bachmann follow Marta from Sweden to WPS? (ramonabachmann.ch)

Will Bachmann follow Marta from Sweden to WPS? (ramonabachmann.ch)

Bachmann has turned down a previous offer to come to the United States, but age might have been a consideration.

The players taken Tuesday by both the Beat and the Philadelphia Independence will have to go through the usual FIFA process to transfer, if they so choose, but they are under no obligation to negotiate.

The Beat also selected two of Bachmann’s Umeå club mates, forward Johanna Rasmussen of Denmark and midfielder Mami Yamaguchi of Japan. Brazilian midfielder Maurine Dorneles Gonçalves and Swedish midfielder Therese Sjögran were the other selections by Atlanta general manager Shawn McGee and head coach Gareth O’Sullivan.

But Bachmann especially bears watching, and she knows she does. She has her own Web site, with photos and video clips, including this one (unfortunately, it’s not embeddable) in which she demonstrates some amazing ball skills and terrific athleticism and talks about her game. I’m no talent scout, but this kid looks like she can be one of the best in the world at any age with a little more seasoning.

Who's that guy with Ramona Bachmann? (ramonabachmann.ch)

Who's that fellow with Ramona Bachmann? (ramonabachmann.ch)

And if she does show up in these parts, by all means, Atlanta Beat, promote her like crazy! She’s already doing it rather well for herself, but I see some very good crossover appeal here. Bachmann shouldn’t be just for little girls to emulate.

With 10 players on the roster (here are the players chosen in the expansion draft last week) O’Sullivan continues to scour talent to fill out the squad. The W-League is holding a talent combine in Tampa.

Not long ago O’Sullivan outlined some of his thoughts on starting a team from scratch, and doing it in the Atlanta market:

“Atlanta is a hotbed for the sport of soccer and I believe that with my experience in both collegiate and international soccer, along with the great coaching staff we have put together, we can craft a team that will not only be competitive on the field, but also will be exciting to watch.”

September 24, 2009   No Comments