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Hope Solo signs with Saint Louis Athletica

March 23, 2009 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - St. Louis Athletica News Release

ST. LOUIS (March 23, 2009) - Athletica Head Coach and General Manager Jorge Barcellos announced today that Saint Louis Athletica of the new Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) league have agreed to terms with goalkeeper Hope Solo, who joined Athletica in September of 2008 as part of the WPS National Team player pool allocation.

"It felt good to put pen to paper," said Solo. "To be able to sign a contract with Saint Louis represents a big step for women's soccer in this country. I love to play for the national team but in the long run it is better for the development of the game and for the development of more players to have a full time professional league. It's also great to not have to wait for the Olympics or World Cup to have a chance to win a championship."

"Just coaching her is a great pleasure for me," says Barcellos. " To coach the number one goalie in the world is an honor. She understands the game, the tactics, and is always asking questions trying to learn my style of play."

Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Solo joins teammates Lori Chalupny, Angie Woznuk, Kia McNeill, Eniola Aluko, Melissa Tancredi, and Amanda Cinalli who have signed contracts with Athletica.

Solo, along with Athletica teammate Lori Chalupny, won the gold medal in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Solo played every minute of all six matches in China and was instrumental in leading the United States to the Olympic title. In 2008 she also was the starting goalkeeper in the championship games of the Four Nations Cup, The Algarve Cup, and the Peace Queen Cup. Solo most recently featured for the U.S. Women's National Team in this year's Algarve Cup along with her Saint Louis teammates Chalupny and Angie Woznuk. Solo was voted "Player of the Tournament" for her outstanding performance that helped lead the U.S. into the championship game.

Solo is a native of Richland, Washington and attended the University of Washington where she was a three time All-American.

Saint Louis Athletica begins play with their home opener on Saturday, April 4, at Ralph Korte Stadium on the Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville campus. Individual tickets for the home opener and all home games are on sale now. Visit www.saintlouisathletica.com or call 1-888-STL-Goal.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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