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Sounders Women Hit It Big With New Coach, New Stars, New Logo and New MLS Partner
Washington Youth Soccer’s own Hope Solo
A lot has happened since the last time you saw the Seattle Sounders Women, when they narrowly lost a W-League semi-final at Starfire in July.
They hired a new coach — former U.S. Women’s National Team star, Olympic medalist and Washington Youth Soccer player Michelle French.
They became official partners with Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer, debuting a new Rave Green kit and new logo that incorporates the globally recognized Seattle Sounders FC shield.
And last month, they signed three of the most popular female athletes in the world to their roster, including U.S. Women’s National Team forwards Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan, and gold-medalist goalkeeper and Washington Youth Soccer alum Hope Solo.
Needless to say, there’s a buzz building for the Sounders this year — only it’s not just the men that everyone is buzzing about.
“We strive to be a team top-caliber players want to play for during the summer because they know they will get better, have a positive experience, and be successful," says French.
None of the signings made a bigger splash than that of Solo, perhaps the most recognizable women’s star in the world since leading the U.S. women to the 2011 FIFA World Cup Final, then appearing on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” in the fall. The Richland native and Washington Youth Soccer product rose to stardom during a four-year career at the University of Washington, and welcomed the chance to return to her home state as a pro.
Leroux, too, is returning to her Pacific Northwest roots — a B.C. native, Leroux starred at UCLA for four years before excelling with the U.S. Under-20 WNT and the full national team over the past few years. Morgan, meanwhile, put her star on the map during a breakout performance at last year’s World Cup, scoring several times off the bench to help the U.S. women reach the final.
“Hope is undoubtedly the best women’s keeper in the game today,” said Sounders general manager Amy Carnell. “Her signing represents the caliber of player Sounders Women’s fans can expect in 2012. As the landscape of women’s soccer continues to evolve, we realize the unique opportunity before us. The addition of [these players] sets the tone for what we think will be a very special year for Sounders Women’s soccer.”
Morgan, in particular, is excited for the Sounders’ future with their new coach, new affiliation with the Sounders FC men, and — most of all — the chance to play in front of some of the most loyal and rabid soccer fans in America.
"I am excited to play in a city that is so passionate about soccer," she said. "The Sounders have ... the best fan support in MLS. I can only imagine how Seattle fans would respond to having a full professional women's team in the future."
The Sounders Women will play three exhibition games against local college teams starting Apr. 9, prior to opening the 2012 season on May 31 at Starfire Sports against the Colorado Rush. They will complete the 14-game W-League season July 15 at Southern California squad Pali Blues, with the U.S. Women’s National Team stars expected to appear in at least 6-7 of the 10 home contests as they prepare for the 2012 London Olympics.
Season tickets, schedules and more info are available online at sounderswomen.com!
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