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Spirit add Welsh forward Natasha Harding

The Washington Spirit have signed Welsh international forward Natasha Harding.  The 25-year-old will arrive in Washington in March and join countrywoman Jessica Fishlock of the Reign as Welsh players in NWSL.  Harding has played eight seasons in England, the last three with Bristol after five at Cardiff City.  She scored 14 goals in more than 50 appearances with Bristol.

“Natasha is a great talent who will bring plenty of quality and pace to our front line,” Spirit coach and general manager Mark Parsons said.  “She is a tireless worker with tremendous character and has the ability to make us very dangerous in the final third.”

Jodie Taylor led the Spirit with 11 goals in 2014 but no other forward scored more than one goal.  Taylor figures to be part of England’s World Cup squad next summer and could miss significant league time.  Her countrywoman Lianne Sanderson elected not to return to the Breakers in 2015 and will instead stay closer to home playing for Arsenal Ladies.

Wales did not qualify for the World Cup, meaning Harding should be available to Parsons throughout the season.

“I’m really excited to start this new chapter in my career and in my life,” Harding said in a statement.  “I’m a winner and I believe Washington is the place or me to progress further and hopefully win trophies.  I cannot wait to get started.”

The Spirit also announced this week that defender Tori Huster and midfielder Christine Nairn have signed new contracts for the 2015 season, with options for 2016.


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