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The Chicago Red Stars have signed Australian midfielder Heather Garriock for the 2009 WPS season, General Manager Marcia McDermott announced today.

Garriock, 26, is a 10-year veteran of the Australian National Team, having earned 112 caps and scoring 19 goals.  She made her Australian National Team debut in 1999 at the age of 16, and has competed in two World Cups and two Olympics.

“It’s an absolute dream come true for me to continue my career in the United States, playing with and against some of the best players in the world,” said Garriock. 

The Chicago Red Stars selected Garriock in the second round with the 12th overall pick of the WPS International Draft last September. The Australian midfielder’s international experience, tireless work rate and attacking mentality were qualities Chicago Red Stars Head Coach Emma Hayes was looking for in building her roster. 

“She’s a born leader, with a fantastic left foot,” praised Hayes.   “She possesses great energy levels to go up and down the flank, and she has a winning pedigree.”

Garriock is the second international player to sign with the Red Stars.  She joins English forward Karen Carney, whom the Red Stars signed last week.  The Red Stars have the WPS playing rights to Sweden’s Caroline Jönsson and Frida Östberg, as well as Brazilian striker Cristiane.  Each WPS is allowed to carry five international players on their roster.

Garriock is the third Australian player to sign with a WPS team.  Midfielder Collette McCallum and forward Sarah Walsh, a teammate of Garriock’s at Sydney FC, have already penned contracts with Sky Blue FC of New Jersey.  A fourth Australian player, forward Lisa De Vanna has been drafted by and is in negotiations with the Washington Freedom.

The Red Stars kick off the 2009 WPS season on April 5th on the road against St. Louis Athletica at Ralph Korte Stadium on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.  Following a second road game against the Washington Freedom on April 11th, the Red Stars will play their home-opener at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois on Sunday April 19th against Sky Blue.  Season tickets, starting at only $120 for 10 regular season games plus two bonus games, are on sale now.  Call (866) WPS-2009 or log on to to reserve your seats.

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