Pali Blues News Release - www.bluessoccerclub.com
Friday, March 7, 2008
PACIFIC PALISADES, CA -- The Pali Blues Soccer Club announced today the acquisition of three established players from the Australia National Team, which made headlines at last year’s Women’s World Cup. Midfielder Collette McCallum, forward Sarah Walsh and forward Caitlin Munoz are set to play for the Blues this summer in their inaugural season in the USL W-League.
The trio, pending international clearance, will join the club after completing current commitments in Australia.
"With everything happening in the Blues organization, I cannot be more excited,” Blues owner Ali Mansouri commented. “We have already begun training and have a quality championship under our belt. To finalize these three world class players is just monumental for our first-year franchise."
Blues head coach Charlie Naimo reiterated that excitement.
"I cannot say enough about what this means to our franchise and the league itself,” Naimo stated. “The Australian National Team had a breakout performance in this past summer’s World Cup, and the Blues are honored to have three of their best performers."
McCallum comes to the Blues with 38 games of international experience with the Matildas (Australia National Team), scoring eight goals. She made her national team debut in January of 2005 against China. The 2006 FIFA U-20 World Cup All-Star has been a key member of squads in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championships in Thailand, 2006 AFC Asian Women’s Cup in Adelaide, 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia and the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.
McCallum was recently was of the three finalists for the Asian Football Confederation’s Player of the Year honor alongside Korea DPR’s Ri Kum-Suk and former W-Leaguer Homare Sawa of Japan. McCallum finished third behind Ri, who received the honor, and Sawa, who won the award in 2004. Her Australian coach won the Coach of the Year award.
Walsh brings to the Blues 52 international caps and has recorded 25 goals in those contests. She gained her first cap with the Matildas in a 2-0 win over New Zealand in the 2004 Australia Cup. Some highlights of her highly-acclaimed career include the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, 2006 AFC Asian Women’s Cup in Adelaide and 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.
Munoz joins the Blues with 38 caps for the Matildas, netting 12 goals. She logged her first minutes of international play in March of 2005 against Japan. In a May 2006 match up against Mexico, she registered her first hat trick when she tallied three scores in a 4-0 victory. She has also played a critical role in the offense of the Matildas in the 2006 AFC Women’s Cup in Adelaide and the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.
Munoz is returning to the W-League for the first time in four years. She helped lead the Renegades to an unbeaten 13-0-1 season in 2004, tallying 12 goals and nine assists in the 14 games played. She earned All-Conference honors and was 10th in the league in points and fourth in assists.
"The trio of Collette, Walshy and Caitlin is unique in its on-field diversity,” Naimo continued. “Collette is one of the best playmakers in the world, Caitlin can play underneath the forward line or as a target while Walshy is a very busy and dangerous player that can cause all kinds of problems. She can change a defense with her pace alone."
The Pali Blues Soccer Club will play the first game of their inaugural USL W-League season on the road against the Ventura County Fusion on Saturday, May 10. The following weekend, the Blues will play their inaugural home contest at the “Stadium by the Sea” when they host the Los Angeles Legends on Saturday, May 17. Tickets for home match ups are only $10 for adults ($8 with student ID) and $5 for kids under the age of 12.