(Boyds, Maryland) D.C. United Women has added two of the most well-known female soccer players in the world in Joanna Lohman and Lianne Sanderson. Pending final approval of the league and US Soccer Federation, the duo will arrive in the USA next week, each having just completed a season in Europe with professional side RCD Espanyol.
The two last played in the USA for WPS side Philadelphia Independence in the 2011 season, reaching the league final against eventual champions Western New York Flash. The record-breaking match for attendance at a WPS final went through two overtimes, and then penalty kicks, with Sanderson converting first for Philadelphia, but her team falling 4-5 overall.
“Jo and Lianne are amazing soccer players, and huge personalities in the women’s game,” said team owner Bill Lynch, “They both could have played anywhere, and I think their choice to come play in the W-League and with D.C. United Women is a major statement that the best players still come to America to shine.”
Sanderson is an English striker with a soccer pedigree that few in the world can compare to. She was selected to join Arsenal Ladies youth academy at age 9, and spent the next 11 years with the club. She scored in their 2006 FA Cup win over Leeds United and was voted Player of the Match. Over two seasons from 2006-2008, the 5’ 6” strikers notched an incredible 91 goals in just 77 appearances.
Sanderson joined Chelsea Ladies in 2008 and stayed through 2010, before taking her game stateside in 2011 for the Independence. She tallied eight goals in 40 appearances with Philadelphia, before spending the second half of 2011 playing for Espanyol in Spain.
In addition to her club career, Sanderson was a major contributor for England from 2006-2010, appearing in 29 matches and netting eight goals in her time with the “Three Lions”.
Lohman is a veteran and an ambassador in the world of women’s soccer. The 29-year-old Penn State alum, who can play a variety of positions in the midfield and defense, is joining her seventh different club in her 11-year career. Her résumé includes stints with the Maryland Pride, MagicJack (formerly the Washington Freedom), Swedish club Bälinge IF, St. Louis Atletica, the Philadelphia Independence and recently wrapping up the season with Espanyol in Spain.
In college, she was a three-time All American and one-time Big Ten Player of the Year, in addition to being named the 2004 Pennsylvania NCAA Woman of the Year. She has also made seven appearances with the U.S. National Team.
A local of Silver Spring, Maryland, Lohman is not just a player but a leader for the game of soccer. She has served as general manager of the Washington Freedom Futures, and in 2010 co-founded – with Sanderson – the JoLi Academy, a training center for youth female soccer players in India.
In addition to playing with United Women in 2012, the pair will be assisting in coaching with D.C. United Reserves, an Under-20 team also being fielded this year by D.C. in the USL Super-20 league.
Tryouts for both the W-League and Super-20 teams, as well as acceptance into an elite all-ages training group, will be held this Sunday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Interested players should register immediately at http://www.dcunitedwomen.com/Team/Tryouts as space is limited to 50.
United Women will host Boston Breakers next Saturday, May 12 in a special exhibition before kicking off their second USL W-League season on Saturday, May 19 with a 7:00 p.m. tap against Virginia Beach Piranhas. All home games in 2012 will once again be held at Maryland SoccerPlex Stadium, where United Women have never lost a game. Tickets at https://tickets.dcunitedwomen.com