Athletica acquire Fletcher and Welsh in trade with Sol
Kendall Fletcher, Christie Welsh - isiphotos.com

Saint Louis Athletica have acquired defender Kendall Fletcher and forward Christie Welsh from the Los Angeles Sol. (isiphotos.com)

ST. LOUIS (May 8, 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 traded a conditional draft pick in 2010 and a first round draft pick in 2011 to the Los Angeles Sol in exchange for defender Kendall Fletcher and forward Christie Welsh.

"We had no choice due to Daniela’s injury so we had to make a change in the roster. We lacked a little bit of offense and we lacked physical play in the middle," said Barcellos. "Fletcher has a lot of potential and is a very physical player in the middle and Welsh is a player who shoots well from outside of the box. I hope they can contribute to what we are doing here in St. Louis."

Christie Welsh, 28 years old, joins Saint Louis Athletica after a distinguished career with the United States Women’s National Team. Welsh has been capped 39 times with the U.S. and has scored 20 goals over the span of her career. Welsh played collegiately at Penn State University where she scored 82 goals and added 52 assists in a sterling four-year career that saw her honored as the first ever four-time NSCAA All-American in the history of women’s collegiate soccer.

"I am very excited and looking forward to joining a great team and an outstanding organization," said Welsh. "I can definitely contribute on the offensive end and I know my role will become more specific once I begin training with the team."

Kendall Fletcher, 24 years old, will be rejoining her collegiate teammate Lori Chalupny. Fletcher and Chalupny were in the same class at the University of North Carolina and were members of the Tarheels undefeated 27-0-0 NCAA National Championship team in 2003. Fletcher and Chalupny, along with Athletica midfielder Angie Woznuk and forward Kerri Hanks, also played together with the 2002 U.S. Women’s U-19 National Team that won that years World Cup Championship in Canada.

"From a playing standpoint I am thrilled to be joining Saint Louis Athletica," said Fletcher. "I am really excited because I know a lot of the players here. They have had a slow start in terms of wins and losses but they are an extremely dynamic team."

"I think we acquired two world class players," said Athletica Captain Lori Chalupny. "I think Kendall Flecther is one of the best defenders in the United States and Christie Welsh is a powerful forward with a knack for burying her chances. I think they will certainly blend in with the team and help us in our goal of winning the WPS Championship."

In addition to Fletcher and Welsh, Athletica received the Sol's second-round selection in the 2011 WPS Draft.

Saint Louis Athletica is in action Saturday night May 9 against FC Gold Pride at Ralph Korte Stadium on the Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville campus. Individual tickets for the game are on sale at www.saintlouisathletica.com or call 1-888-STL-Goal.

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