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Christie Welsh, Demian Brown make first W-League appearances of season

By Kaeley McEvoy

Two new faces made their W-League debut this week – one player and one coach – both looking to make an immediate impact on their respective clubs. On the East Coast, former U.S. Women’s National Team player Christine Welsh joined the newly established D.C. United Women. Welsh, a WUSA and WPS veteran, joins United as both a player and an assistant coach. Welsh’s resume is overwhelmed with national team experience, international excellence, and collegiate glory. During her first full year with the national team in 2000, Welsh scored 11 goals in 15 games. Her college scoring record, as a Penn State Nittany Lion, is equally as impressive with 82 goals and 53 assists in her four-year career at Penn State. She was honored as the first ever four-time NSCAA All-American in the history of women’s collegiate soccer and by winning the M.A.C. Hermann Award during her junior year.

Assistant Coach Mike Jorden is enthused to welcome Welsh to his new team: “Christie brings with her international experience at the highest level,” Jorden said. “She will play an important role for the club on the field, and just as important, in helping guide our
younger players who are new to the this level.”

Welsh and the United Women conceited a late goal in their season opener against the 2005 W-League Champion New Jersey Wildcats Wednesday night, losing in their franchise debut. They will look to regroup over Memorial Day weekend and be back on the pitch Sunday, June 5 against the New York Magic on the search for their first victory.

The LA Strikers are on the search for a victory after going 1-3 to start the season. In out of conference play last weekend, the Strikers beat the Colorado Force, 1-0, on Friday before losing, 4-1, to and Colorado Rush the following day. Striker owners Joe and Debbie Caricciolo decided to part ways with former head coach Reggie Rivas. Just two weeks in to the season, the Caricciolo’s have hired coach Demian Brown, head coach of the Cal State Fullerton women’s soccer team, to take the reins as new head coach for the LA Strikers. After arriving in 2007, Brown has coached the Fullerton Titans to three Big West regular season championships, three conference tournament titles, and back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances. He was also named Big West Coach of the Year after he became the first-ever, first-year, first-time head coach in the history of the conference to lead his time to both regular season and tournament titles.

Luckily for the LA Strikers, it seems that Coach Brown may have talent for impacting programs the moment he enters them. Club owner Joe Caricciolo certainly believes so. “The decision to make the change was difficult, but necessary for the future of this franchise,” Joe Caricciolo said. Brown and the “future of the franchise” will be tested very soon as the LA Strikers are set to play the Santa Clarita Blue Heat on Sunday, May 29.

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