After spending time at Maryland SoccerPlex today with Washington Freedom Coach Jim Gabarra and club president/GM Joseph Quinn for a future print-edition/web story, I can tell you that.....
*Temporary stands are being assembled behind the permanent sideline bleachers across from the team benches, creating an additional 2,700 seats and expanding capacity to almost 6,000. Plans for permanent upgrades behind one of the goals have been stalled by economic factors. Seat bottoms are being added to the bleachers in the reserve seating section behind the benches, additional restrooms are being installed and a six-foot-high fence will enclose the stadium grounds. This is also good news for D.C. United, should the club turn to the SoccerPlex to host U.S. Open Cup matches this year.
*Forward Abby Wambach (broken leg) and defender Cat Whitehill (knee) are on schedule to be ready for the WPS opener March 29 at Los Angeles.
*The Freedom plans to approach German club Frankfurt in April about a possible summer loan deal for USA midfielder-defender Ali Kreiger, whom Washington was allocated last fall. Australian forward Lisa De Vanna has yet to sign but will come to training camp, which begins next week. Two foreign draft picks, French midfielder Louisa Necib and Norwegian forward Lene Mykjaland, are not likely to play for Washington this year because of contract issues with their current clubs. USA goalkeeper Briana Scurry has agreed to terms and Canadian goalie Erin McLeod is close to signing.
*"We are closing in on the final deal" for doubleheaders with United at RFK Stadium, Quinn said. United officials said last week that there would probably be two or three doubleheaders. The teams have three home games on the same date -- May 23, July 18 and Aug. 8.
*Gabarra is in the process of creating agreements with foreign clubs for the purpose of loaning out players during the offseason. WPS players are on seven-month contracts.
*The club has sold 700 season tickets and is targeting 5,000+ spectators for home matches.
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