Butler grad hopes to get caught in pro soccer draft

STORRS, Conn. Meghan Schnur has accomplished plenty as an amateur soccer player.
She's played in the high school state finals, been an all-American in college and played for international tournament championship teams.
There's only one thing left to do: turn pro.
Schnur, 23, a Butler High and
University of Connecticut graduate, hopes to be selected today during the inaugural Women's Professional Soccer draft.
The new seven-team league begins its regular season in April. Schnur was one of 70 players invited to a league combine in
Florida last month. Another 70 players were invited to a combine in California.
The draft is 10 rounds, so 70 players will be selected.
"I'm hoping to be selected, but I have no idea where I stand going into this,"Schnur said.
"I've talked to a few of the coaches
Boston, New York-New Jersey, Washington D.C. and Chicago and they asked me the same questions I'm sure they've asked other players. They want to know how serious you are about playing and whether you would fit into their team's style of play."
Schnur is definitely serious about playing.
"I don't feel like I'm done yet," she said.
Other WPSfranchises will be in the Bay Area,
Los Angeles and St. Louis. The league plans to expand to Atlanta, Philadelphia and Dallas in 2010.
Currently serving her final internship toward achieving her master's degree in physical therapy at the
University of Connecticut, Schnur played her final soccer season at UConn in the fall of 2007.
Schnur scored 28 goals, 20 assists and 68 points at UConn and was an all-American and academic all-American her senior season, scoring four game-winning goals.
She missed most of last spring with her under-23 team to a broken foot before returning with her summer team, the New England Mutiny.
Schnur was invited to play for the U-23 U.S. international team in the Nordic Cup, an international tournament held in
Sweden in July. She played outside left back in that tournament and the U.S. won the event.
"I've always been a midfielder, so that was an interesting experience,"Schnur said.'
Last fall, Schnur served as an assistant student coach for UConn women's soccer.
"Meghan still wants to play and I'm excited for her," said Jeff Schnur, her father, Butler High principal and former soccer coach. "She had a tremendous senior season at UConn.
"We're thinking she's going to be drafted at some point. Teams are showing a lot of interest in her. She'd like to stay on the east coast, but she'll go with whatever team takes her."
If Schnur isn't drafted today, she still might be invited to a team's camp to earn a roster shot, particularly if some contracts to international players fall through.
"Then there's expansion and more opportunities next year," she said. "Just to be in this position to be considered, I feel fortunate and blessed in so many different ways.
"My dad and Mr. (Bob) Lowry instilled the love for soccer in us when I was 5 and that feeling has never left."
If Schnur does not latch on to a WP Steam this year, she said she would consider playing overseas for a year.
"Soccer has been an awesome experience for me," she said. "I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it. I'll just go with what I feel."



Schnur tapped in pro soccer draft

Butler graduate Meghan Schnur was selected in the second round Friday by Sky Blue FCduring the Women's Professional Soccer draft.
Schnur was the 11th pick overall. The league's seven teams selected a total of 70 players.
"I was surprised to be picked that high,"Schnur said.
Sky Blue FC is the New York-New Jersey franchise. Other teams in the league include
Boston, Chicago, Bay Area, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Washington.
Philadelphia, Atlanta and possibly Dallas will be expansion teams in 2010.
Schnur is listed as a midfielder on the draft chart, but said she might play some outside backer.
"I'm not sure how they'll use me, but I'm taking nothing for granted,"she said. "I'm going to keep training hard. You still have to go to camp and prove yourself."
Sky Blue's coach, Ian Sawyers, coached one of Schnur's
University of Connecticut assistant coaches with a team in California.
"She knows the style of soccer he likes to play. I was talking to her about it in case the New York-New Jersey team picked me,"Schnur said.
Sawyers is a former Women's United Soccer Association Coach of the Year. His wife is Julie Foudy, former captain of the
U.S. women's soccer team and a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
"She was my favorite player on the 1999 World Cup team. ... I'm trying not to be too overwhelmed by this," Schnur said.
Schnur was an all-American at UConn during her senior season in 2007, is a member of the
U.S. under-23 national team and played for the U.S. under-19 national team at the FIFAWorld Championships in 2004.
"Meghan has proven herself to be a top-flight player, both in the collegiate environment and the U.S.national team set-up,"Sawyers said in a released statement. "Her flank play has been exceptional and provides our team with tremendous balance.
"She has a very bright future in the game."
Sky Blue's first-round selection, the fourth overall, was Yael Averbuch, a midfielder from the
University of North Carolina who led the Tar Heels to NCAACollege Cup titles in 2006 and 2008.
Schnur said Sky Blue has an international blend of players, some from the
United States, Australia, England and Brazil.
"I'm sure I'm missing some other places," she said. "It's a huge assortment of very talented personnel."
WPSplayers are slotted salary-wise in three tiers. The top-level players will earn $40,000 over a six-month period, the second-level players will earn $25,000 and the third tier reserve or developmental players will earn $20,000. The salary figures are approximate.
Schnur said she will likely fall into the second tier.
Training camp begins March 1. The inaugural WPSseason begins in April.