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D.C. United Women drawing on tradition by hiring Harkes

D.C. United is not pulling any punches as it enters a women’s team into the 2011 W-League season.  On Tuesday, D.C. United Women named Cindi Harkes its first assistant coach.  Harkes is of course the wife of John Harkes, former D.C. United and U.S. National Team legend.

A former University of Virginia player, Harkes played professionally in England with Sheffield Wednesday Ladies and Stanton Rangers.  She then competed with the Maryland Pride in 1996, winning the inaugural W-League title.

“This is a tremendous opportunity, and I’m excited to once again be a part of top level soccer in Washington,” Harkes said. “I’ve played and coached in this area for a long time, so I know this region is rich with soccer talent. I’m looking forward to helping build a successful franchise with D.C. United Women. It all starts this Saturday with our first tryouts.”

Credit has to be given to D.C. United Women General Manager Tim Schweitzer and his staff here.  The buzz this team is attracting as a W-League team in the WPS era is incredible.  Having not even played a game, D.C. United Women is already on the same name recognition level as the Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders and Pali Blues W-League programs.  The D.C. United name carries a lot of weight both locally and nationally.  To bring in the wife of John Harkes – a man idolized by United faithful – should attract some extra fans to the SoccerPlex.  Surely that is the plan.

Check out this full interview with Schweitzer in which he discusses the team’s plans moving forward.

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