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Social Scoop: Messi, Rooney celebrate

The Toe Poke
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By ESPN Staff

WUSA veterans and local stars to lead the team in 2007

The Washington Freedom Soccer Club announced Tuesday that eight players would be returning to the team from their 2006 roster. WUSA veterans Lori Lindsey, Nicci Wright and Casey Zimny lead the list which also includes Maryland natives Kelly Hammond, Melissa Whitley, and Lisa Zanti, Virginia native Tara Kidwell, and former American University star and D.C. native Anabel Jimenez.

"We are very pleased to announce the signing of these returning players for 2007", said head coach Jim Gabarra. "We are excited to be able to provide them with the highest level of competitive women's soccer in the US and look forward to seeing them on the field again this summer."

The Washington Freedom, featuring Mia Hamm, was the 2003 Championship team in the former WUSA. When the league ceased operations in 2003, the coaching staff stayed together, and with the support of Discovery founder John Hendricks they formed the Washington Freedom Soccer Club.

In anticipation that women's professional soccer will return when the WUSA relaunches in the future, the Freedom have joined the W-League for the 2007 season, the top women's league in the country.