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FC Gold Pride Agrees to Terms with Niki Cross

August 10, 2010 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - FC Gold Pride News Release


HAYWARD, CA (August 10, 2010) - FC Gold Pride, Bay Area Women's Professional Soccer team announced today that the club has agreed to terms with Forward/Defender Niki Cross. Cross will occupy the Pride's final available space on its active roster of 18.

"Niki is a very versatile player, we can put her anywhere on the field and we know she will perform well," said FC Gold Pride Head Coach Albertin Montoya. "We are going to need everyone to play a role in helping us win a championship, and we feel Niki has the tools to help us get closer to that. It's exciting to have her back; she meshed really well with our team during preseason. We are confident she will fit right back in and have an immediate impact on and off the field for our organization."

"I'm very excited," said Cross of her return to the Bay Area. "I never really wanted to leave in the first place. It's a great group of women to play with and a great coaching staff, I'm really excited to be a part of a team that has been doing so well. I want to help the team in any way I can, to prepare for the end of the season and playoffs."

"I'm looking forward to experiencing the new facility and stadium," added Cross. "Those weren't there when I was, so I'm looking forward to taking it all in. It was preseason when I was there and we were all over the place, I'm definitely going to focus on soccer, but now I think I'll also have more time to spend with the team and enjoy the Bay Area."

Cross rejoins the Pride after splitting the first four months of the 2010 regular season between the Saint Louis Athletica and Boston Breakers. The Pembroke, MA native originally signed with the Pride as a free agent in October of 2009. She spent the majority of the preseason on the West Coast before going back to her inaugural (2009) season team, Saint Louis Athletica on April 1. Cross appeared in four matches for the Athletica before the team folded on May 27.

"There have definitely been some ups and downs this season," said Cross of the past five months "Finding new teams and starting over has been stressful. Restarting and coming into a new environment is like the first day of school, it's been tough at times, but I've met a lot of great people and sampled a little bit of every city I've been to; overall, it has been good."

Following the closure of the Saint Louis WPS franchise, Cross was signed by the Boston Breakers to one of the team's four developmental positions on June 11. She was waived by the Breakers on June 24 and resigned with the team again on July 30.

"I think they [the Pride] have been doing so well, even though I've played with the team before, it's still a little nerve-racking," said Cross of her return to FC Gold Pride. "Coming into something you haven't been a part of; I don't want to just show up and do my part, I want to do more to build up the relationship with the team and fans, and be a part of the whole thing."

A native of New England, the 25-year-old hails from Pembroke, MA. She represented the University of Connecticut (UCONN) Huskies from 2003-2006 where she was a regular starter all four years. She finished her collegiate career with 92 games played, 13 goals and eight assists and a MAC Hermann Trophy nomination. Cross will once again be reunited in the Bay Area with fellow UCONN alum and current Pride defender Kristen Graczyk.

Cross is expected to arrive in the Bay Area mid-week and will be available for this Saturday's (Aug. 14) match with the Washington Freedom, which is set to kick off at 7 PM PT at Pioneer Stadium on the campus of California State University East Bay in Hayward, CA.

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