May 28, 2010 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC
VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC continue to put the final pieces in place, as the club announced today the signing of goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain from Chelsea Ladies FC of the English Premier League, pending international clearance. The club also announced the re-signing of Canadian youth international goalkeepers Gurveen Clair, Kristen Funk, and Stephanie Panozzo.
Chamberlain, 26, joins the Whitecaps from the English Women's Premier League outfit Chelsea Ladies FC. The England international helped Chelsea to a third-place league finish during the 2009-10 season and an English Football Association (FA) Women's Cup semifinal appearance. Chamberlain has also made 16 appearances for England, holding a 10W-4L-2D record. She was also part of the England squad that participated in the 2007 FIFA Women\'s World Cup in China.
Funk, 20, is currently with Trinity Western University. The Calgary, Alberta, native sported an impressive 0.45 goals-against-average in 2009, as she started 11 out of 13 appearances for the Spartans. With Funk standing tall in goal, the Spartans captured back-to-back Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships in 2008 and 2009. She recorded three shutout wins during the 2008 CIS championship tournament, while she was named to the tournament all-star team in 2009. In addition to making a number of key saves, Funk added a pair of shootout markers in the semifinals and finals to help secure Trinity Western\'s second national title in as many years. Funk also represented Canada at the 2009 International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia.
Panozzo, 20, returns for her fourth season with the Whitecaps. A product of the Whitecaps Prospects program, the native of Maple Ridge, BC, helped the Prospects Women's team claim the Keg Spring Cup title at the University of Victoria in March 2008. The young shot-stopper\'s career has included time with Canada's U-15 and U-16 national team programs, as well as a successful run representing British Columbia at youth level. With the BC provincial team, Panozzo won gold and silver medals at the Canadian All-Star Championships. Panozzo was also selected as part of the Canadian U-20 squad that competed at the 2008 CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship in Puebla, Mexico, and the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile. She will play her freshman year for the University of Illinois in 2010.
Clair, 18, joins the Whitecaps women after making her way through the club\'s Prospects program. In 2009, the Surrey, BC native helped the Prospects Women claim the Nike Friendship Cup title in Portland, Oregon, and the Pacific Coast Soccer League's (PCSL) Dave Fryatt Challenge Cup in Kelowna, BC, last year. Clair was also a member of the Team British Columbia squad that captured gold at the 2009 Canada Games in Prince Edward Island, while she recently took part in two four-day identification camps with Canada\'s U-20 women\'s national team.
The Whitecaps will kick off the 2010 W-League season on Sunday, May 30, at 2 p.m. PT, when they battle Colorado Force FC at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam, BC - hosted by Coquitlam Metro-Ford Soccer Club. The Whitecaps Women's Soccer Series is in partnership with the Girls Metro Soccer League (GMSL) and presented by BC Hydro, Flight Centre, HUB International, and Mr. Lube. For a complete schedule of the 2010 Whitecaps Women's Soccer Series and ticket information, visit whitecapsfc.com/women or call 604.669.WAVE (9283).
ABOUT THE USL W-LEAGUE
The United Soccer Leagues (USL) was founded in 1986, with the W-League\'s inaugural season taking place in 1995. The first and longest-standing womens league in North America, the W-League is USLs highest level of womens soccer in the United States and Canada. The 2010 USL W-League campaign features 29 teams in three regional conferences playing 10 or 12 regular season matches. The Western Conference is comprised of the following active teams: Colorado Force, Colorado Rush, Pali Blues, Santa Clarita Blue Heat, Seattle Sounders, and Vancouver Whitecaps. The league is recognized throughout the world for providing elite competition for female players, while providing affordable family entertainment for fans across North America.