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Spirit add veteran Spanish forward Del Rio

The Washington Spirit announced Thursday the signing of Spanish forward Laura Del Rio, who will start training with the team on Friday.

“Laura is a dynamic forward who has the ability to make us very dangerous in the final third,” Spirit coach Mark Parsons said.

Despite being Spain’s all-time leading scorer with 40 goals, Del Rio will not be with Spain at this year’s World Cup, the team’s first. She had a falling out with coach Ignacio Quereda several years ago and has not since returned to the team, meaning she will not miss time due to World Cup commitments.

Del Rio, 33, has played for Bristol Academy in England’s FA WSL since 2012. She previously played in the United States during the WPS era, suiting up for the Boston Breakers in 2010 and for the Philadelphia Independence in 2011. She also previously played for FC Indiana in the USL W-League and for FFC Frankfurt as well as several Spanish teams.

Washingto benefits from Del Rio’s ownership of a green card, meaning she will not take up an international roster spot. The Spirit recently lost offseason signing Natasha Harding, a Welsh forward, due to undisclosed visa issues.

Highlights of Del Rio (No. 13):


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