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Freedom of Information

The Washington Freedom (2.0 version) held a news conference today at RFK Stadium to introduce Maureen Hendricks, who owns and operates the team with her husband, John; President and GM Joseph Quinn, the chief financial officer for Hendricks Investment Holdings; returning coach Jim Gabarra; and defender Cat Whitehill.

D.C. United President Kevin Payne talked about the relationship between the clubs, which will include joint marketing and ticketing efforts, and the proposal of three DCU-Freedom doubleheaders at RFK next year. The Freedom will play the bulk of its home matches at Maryland SoccerPlex, the Montgomery County facility that seats 3,200 and will likely be expanded to accommodate at least 6,000.

The club has unveiled a new logo.

You should also know that.....

*Washington will select fourth in tomorrow's international draft, which will give each of the seven clubs the WPS rights to four foreign players apiece. It's just the rights, not an actual acquisition, and the teams must pursue contracts with those players. Gabarra said the S.F./San Jose team has the first pick. Brazilian superstar Marta is the top international player, but a team might be scared off by what will sure to be a high price tag. (The salary cap has not yet been finalized.) It is unclear whether the league will announce the results of this draft right away or wait until Thursday.
*Freedom star forward Abby Wambach is rehabbing her broken leg back on the West Coast, where she has lived for five years, and was not available to attend today's event.
*The third U.S. national team player allocated to Washington, defender Ali Krieger, is with German club Frankfurt. The Freedom will attempt to acquire her on loan this summer, Gabarra said.
*Whitehill said she fondly remembers spending time in this area as a Alabama youth player competing in the prestigious WAGS tournament in Northern Virginia. Washington was Whitehill's first choice of destination, in large part, she said, because her husband Robert is in his second year of medical school at North Carolina and the couple lives in the Chapel Hill-Durham area.
*Whitehill said she is ahead of schedule rehabbing her damaged knee and expects to be ready for workouts this winter.
*Whitehill said she watches Fox Soccer Channel all the time and is a big Liverpool supporter. She attended Galaxy games while in residence with the national team in Los Angeles, but as a teenager, followed John Harkes and DCU.
*An additional four-round draft to disperse W-League and other U.S. and foreign players will be held Oct. 6. Player combines and another draft will be held this winter. Teams will conduct tryouts in February and open training camp March 1. The first WPS season will begin in early April.

By Steve Goff  |  September 23, 2008; 2:34 PM ET
Categories:  Women  
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Next: DCU Stadium (continued)



Posted by: 18th Street Saint | September 23, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Arrrggghh! Abby not rehabbing with the team! She's a witch! Burn her!

Posted by: JkR | September 23, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

WAGS - that's an unfortunate name for a women's soccer tournament, given the Brits' fondness for gossiping about footballers' wives and girlfriends.

Best of luck to Cat and Abby with their recoveries.

Posted by: The Colleen McLoughlin Experience | September 23, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info Steve. Any insight into which foreign player's rights the Freedom will try to get?

Will the WPS have shirt sponsors? I can see the Freedom rolling our "Shark Week" jerseys when appropriate.

And the Freedom inverted the DC flag motif on their new logo. Reminds me of the upside-down maple leaf in the World Series.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 23, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

If they make the announcement on Thursday, can we expect our share of news leaks on Wednesday night?

Posted by: The Jeff | September 23, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

WAGS and WAGs -- never really thought of that. But it may be a good vehicle to help explain the difference between accomplishment in one's own right, on one hand, and notoriety as a male adornment on the other.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 23, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I like the new logo - big improvement.

Posted by: Tank | September 23, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. That is a much better logo than the old one.

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | September 23, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I'll third the logo love. Great logo.

Posted by: isaac101 | September 23, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

the new logo is a exact ripoff of the colorado rapids logo. NOT IMPRESSED.

Posted by: ohboyohboy | September 23, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The new logo has the same shape as the Rapids' but is not "a [sic] exact ripoff." I like it.

Posted by: Falls Church | September 23, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I also like the if the PG county stadium goes through do DCU and Freedom go there together??

Posted by: D C B 23 | September 23, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The feasibility study says the Freedom are interested in being tenants of the PG stadium.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The study actually assumes interest although it has been mentioned in the past.

Posted by: sitruc | September 23, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

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