Boyds, MD (June 19, 2017) – The Washington Spirit has signed Argentine international forward Estefanía Banini, pending receipt of her International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Per team and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The dynamic 26-year-old playmaker returns to Washington following a brief stint with Spanish club Valencia. Banini played for the Spirit from 2015-2016 and led the team in scoring last season. Despite playing in only 13 games due to injury, Banini earned the Spirit 2016 Golden Boot award, netting five goals in a seven game stretch.
“Having Estefi return to the Spirit is something we were hopeful would happen last fall,” said Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra. “We’re looking forward to having her back in our lineup and continuing her impressive development. Her impact will be a big asset as we continue to battle through the NWSL regular season toward the goal of reaching the NWSL championship match again.”
During the 2016 season, Banini also earned NWSL Goal of the Week for Week 13, NWSL Player of the Week for Week 13, and NWSL Player of the Month for July. Banini has played for the Argentina Women’s National Team since 2010, and has scored seven goals across major competitions including the Women’s Copa America in 2010 and 2014, and the 2014 South American Games.
“I am very happy and grateful to be part of the Washington Spirit again. I wish to help them in the best way, and for that I will train very hard,” Banini said. “While I already know the team, all experiences are different and I’m coming with great enthusiasm, wanting to add a lot to the team!”
From 2011-2014, Banini helped Chilean side Colo-Colo sweep the domestic league championships for four straight years. She received the 2013 “Bronze Condor” award, which annually recognizes the best female soccer player in Chile.
The Washington Spirit returns to National Women’s Soccer League competition on Saturday, June 24 for a home game against Portland Thorns FC. [TICKETS]