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Washington Spirit signs six players to new contracts for 2017

BOYDS, MD (March 10, 2017) The Washington Spirit has signed forwards Cali Farquharson and Cheyna Williams; defenders Estelle Johnson and Alyssa Kleiner; and midfielders Joanna Lohman and Kristie Mewis to new contracts for the 2017 season. Per team and league policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“We are very happy to have signed these quality players to new contracts,” said general manager and head coach Jim Gabarra. “We expect healthy competition at all positions, and we are excited to see all of our team here at the [Maryland] SoccerPlex.”

Lohman had a stellar year in 2016, with her four goals tying for the second-most on the team. The Silver Spring, Maryland native scored the opening goal of the historic fourth NWSL season on April 16 with a bicycle kick to give the Spirit a 1-0 win.

Johnson came to the Spirit via trade prior to the 2015 season. In her first year with the team, she played in all but one game, starting 19. In 2016, the center back started and played in eleven matches.

In 2016, Kleiner played 17 regular season matches, including 12 starts for the Spirit. She scored her first NWSL goal on July 31 against Sky Blue FC in stoppage time. The 23-year-old also added an assist on June 18 against Orlando Pride.

The Spirit drafted Williams with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft. In her rookie season, she scored three goals, including her first career NWSL goal on July 31 against Sky Blue FC. She also scored against Orlando Pride on August 26 and Seattle Reign FC on September 7.

Farquharson returns to the Spirit after spending the offseason in her native Arizona rehabbing from a torn ACL that occurred on September 7. In 2016, the rookie played in 16 games, 8 starts, totaling 561 minutes.

The Spirit acquired Mewis in a trade with Boston Breakers over the offseason. She has 15 caps with the U.S. Women’s National Team. The 25-year-old was one of three Breakers players to start every match in 2015 and led the club in scoring that year with six goals.

Transaction: Washington Spirit signs Cali Farquharson, Cheyna Williams, Estelle Johnson, Alyssa Kleiner, Joanna Lohman and Kristie Mewis to new contracts for the 2017 season.

Cali Farquharson
Position: Forward
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Age: 23 (12/17/1993)
Height: 5’7″
College: Arizona State University

Cheyna Williams
Position: Forward
Hometown: Hampton, GA
Age: 23 (11/10/1993)
Height: 5’9″
College: Florida State University

Estelle Johnson
Position: Defense
Hometown: Fort Collins, CO
Age: 28 (07/21/1988)
Height: 5’6”
College: The University of Kansas
Last Club: WNY Flash

Alyssa Kleiner
Position: Defense
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Age: 23 (04/01/1993)
Height: 5’9″
College: Santa Clara University
Last Club: Portland Thorns FC

Joanna Lohman
Position: Midfield
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
Age: 34 (06/26/1982)
Height: 5’5
College: Penn State University
Last Club: Boston Breakers

Kristie Mewis
Position: Midfield
Hometown: Hanson, MA
Age: 26 (02/25/1991)
Height: 5’7″
College: Boston College
Last Club: Boston Breakers

The Spirit’s home opener will be on Saturday, April 15 against North Carolina Courage in a Championship Rematch. The Spirit’s first preseason match will be on Saturday, March 18 against Penn State University. Tickets for all preseason matches and 2017 season tickets can be obtained on our website at tickets.washingtonspirit.com or by calling 301-591-0927.