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.
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