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By ESPN Staff

Former U.S. international Fair joins Chelsea Ladies

Chelsea Ladies announced Thursday that former United States international Lorrie Fair, the youngest member of the U.S. World Cup-winning team in 1999, will be joining the London-based team.

The 29-year-old from California made 123 appearances for the U.S. as a versatile midfielder or defender, the high point being victory over China in the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final. Most recently, Fair continued her soccer career playing on a U.S. semi-professional men's team.

Fair, who will become Chelsea's first U.S. recruit, said: "I had the opportunity to come to England and play for Chelsea, which was too good to turn down. It is an honour to play for such a great club.

"I am here first and foremost to hopefully help the team which has so many good players, and at the same time the challenge of trying to raise the profile of the women's game in England is also a big motivating factor. Those are the two key things that Chelsea and I focused on when we talked about me coming to play. It was about what I could contribute on the pitch."

Chelsea Ladies manager Shaun Gore said: "Lorrie is a great player and an icon in the U.S. No doubt she will generate a huge amount of exposure for the women's game in this country. Someone of her stature can become a role model for many young aspiring female players in the U.K. and to help more women and girls participate in sport generally."

Chelsea Ladies play in the Women's Premier League where they currently lie sixth. The team has three full and seven youth England internationals. They play their games at the Met Police ground at Imber Court and a list of their upcoming fixtures can be found on www.chelseafc.com.