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Notable omissions from our Top 50

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No. 40: Marouane Fellaini, Man Utd

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No. 39: Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal

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No. 38: Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea

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No. 37: Robin van Persie, Man Utd

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Notable omissions from our Top 50

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By ESPN Staff

Freedom sign forward Christie Welsh

The Washington Freedom Soccer Club announced Wednesday that it has signed forward Christie Welsh to their 2007 roster.

Welsh, who had 7 goals and 15 points for the U.S. women's national team in 2005 and led the team in both categories, is considered one of the top forwards in the country.

At the 2005 Algarve Cup she scored five goals, including the game-winner in the championship against Germany, to help lead the U.S. to the tournament title. She scored 18 goals in her first 27 caps for the U.S.

Welsh played at Penn State University from 1999 through 2002, where she collected 82 goals and 52 assists over her four seasons as a Nittany Lion, all Big Ten records. She was the first player in women's soccer history to earn NSCAA All-America honors for four consecutive years. She won the prestigious Hermann Trophy and M.A.C. Player of the Year in 2001, the highest honor bestowed upon a collegiate soccer player.

Welsh previously played in the W-League for the Long Island Lady Riders (2000) and Hampton Roads Piranhas (2001-02), scoring 12 goals and five assists with the Piranhas over her two seasons with the club. She returned briefly in 2005 with the New Jersey Wildcats to record two goals and an assist in three games, bringing her career W-League scoring totals to 15 goals and seven assists.

"The Freedom are proud to announce the signing of Christie Welsh," said head coach Jim Gabarra. "She is a proven goal scorer at the highest level and we all expect her to have a great impact with our team this summer both in W-League matches as well as in the development of our players."