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Charmaine Hooper returns
USL Hall of Famer signs with Wildcats
New Jersey Wildcats News Release - www.njwildcats.com
 
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
 
PRINCETON, NJ -- One of the most storied players in the history of women’s soccer is back in the W-League. The New Jersey Wildcats announced today that world renowned striker Charmaine Hooper will join the reigning W-League champions for the 2006 season. In a career spanning over 20 years, Hooper has put together a truly impressive resume – from the Canada Women’s National Team to the FIFA World All-Star Team to the United Soccer Leagues Hall of Fame to the top of the WUSA scoring charts to collegiate All-America status.
 
Known as one of the world’s most lethal strikers throughout her career, Hooper has been a fixture on the Canadian team since making her debut in 1986. She has played in three FIFA Women’s World Cups with Canada and has been selected to the FIFA World All-Star team twice. In 2002, she was inducted into the inaugural class of the USL Hall of Fame.

"We’ve had some pretty significant signings over the past few seasons and this one might be the biggest," said Wildcats General Manager Patric Santo Pietro. "To add an active member of the USL Hall of Fame and a player with Charmaine’s international and professional experience is a momentous opportunity for our franchise."

Hooper’s addition to the Wildcats squad gives the Wildcats two USL Hall of Fame members in the organization this season. Wildcats founder and owner Vince Baldino was inducted into the USL Hall of Fame in the "Builder" category last October.

"I’ve never seen Charmaine play personally, but if half the things I’ve heard are true then she’s going to be a tremendous addition," Baldino said. "To have another USL Hall of Fame member involved with the Wildcats this season is an honor."

Informally known as the fittest player in the league during her three seasons in the WUSA, Hooper is expected to make a significant impact with the Wildcats even at the age of 38. Born in Guyana and raised in Ottawa, Hooper is still a mainstay with Canada scoring twice in the team’s last international match – a 3-1 victory over Holland on March 4th.

"It’s an honor to have Charmaine wear the Wildcats jersey this year," said Wildcats coach Charlie Naimo. "We’ve spoken a bit here and there over the past couple years about her joining us and I’m glad it finally worked out. She will add so much to the team – her experience, her leadership, her versatility – I can go on forever."
 
Hooper made her debut with Canada on July 7, 1986 against the United States and she holds her country’s marks for most career caps (128) and most career goals (67). She appeared in the 1995, 1999, and 2003 FIFA World Cups with Canada playing every minute of all 12 games in those three tournaments. In 2003, she demonstrated her versatility helping Canada to a fourth-place finish as a defender before earning a spot on the FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team.

In the WUSA, Hooper ranked near the top of the scoring charts in all three years the league was in existence. She led the Atlanta Beat in scoring every season boosting her team to appearances in the Founders Cup championship game in 2001 and 2003. For her career, she collected 34 goals and 13 assists to finish tied with Norway’s Dagny Mellgren for the most points scored in league history with 81. Her goal total was the second highest in league history behind Mellgren.

In addition to her two trips to the WUSA championship game, Hooper was named to the Global 11 First Team in 2001 and was named to the All-WUSA Second Team in 2002 and 2003. She earned a spot on the South All-Star squad in 2002 and came through with a goal and two assists in the WUSA All-Star Game.

Hooper’s USL Hall of Fame career started with the inaugural season of the W-League in 1995 when she played with the Rockford Dactyls and captured the first-ever scoring crown with 31 points. She went on to become the league’s only three-time scoring champion. Hooper played with Rockford again in 1996 before moving to the Chicago Cobras from 1998-2000 and also again in 2004 after the WUSA folded. With the Cobras, Hooper was the scoring champion and W-League MVP in 1998 with 23 goals and six assists and she was also the league’s scoring champion in 2000 with 13 goals and five assists for 31 points when the Cobras claimed the W-1 crown.

On the collegiate level, Hooper was an NCAA All-America first team selection in 1989 and 1990 at North Carolina State. She still holds the NC State career marks for goals (58) and points (145) as well as the single season records for goals (26) and points (57). After college, Hooper traveled the world making stops at Start Kristiansand (Norway), Lazio (Italy), and FC Prima Ham (Japan) from 1993-1997. During her stay in Japan, she led the L-League in scoring twice and was named league MVP once.

"Charmaine will be a key ingredient in our quest to keep the Wildcats among the top teams in the W-League in 2006," Naimo said. "Much like a number of the other players that we’re signing this season, she has a high level of versatility. She’s played on a world-class level as both a forward and a back and that should make us that much more dangerous."

Hooper is expected to be in uniform with the Wildcats to kick off the 2006 season on May 13th when the team travels to face the Long Island Lady Riders at 7:30 p.m. at Hofstra University. The Wildcats return to New Jersey the following weekend with home matches against the Northern Virginia Royals on May 20th at 7:30 p.m. and Ottawa Fury on May 21st at 5 p.m. at Mercer County Community College.

WILDCATS IN DEPTH: Charmaine Hooper
- Hometown: Ottawa, ON
- Birthdate: January 15, 1968
- Has been a member of the Canada Women’s National Team for the past 20 years
- Made her debut with Canada on July 7, 1986 in a 2-0 loss to the United States at the Norway Cup
- Holds the all-time marks for most appearances (128) and most goals (67) for Canada
- Selected to the FIFA World All-Star Team in both 1999 and 2004 taking away MVP honors in 1999 World All-Star Game
- Earned the title of Honorary Ambassador at the first-ever FIFA Women’s Under-19 World Championships held in Canada
- In the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, played every minute of every game leading Canada to a fourth-place finish with two goals in six games playing as a defender
- Earned a spot on the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team
- Scored the game -winner in 1-0 victory over China in the quarterfinals
- In the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, played every minute of all three games scoring two of Canada’s three goals in the tournament
- In the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup, played every minute of all three games
- Played all five games at the 2004 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Costa Rica scoring scoring two goals
- Played all five games in the 2002 Women's Gold Cup sharing top scoring honors with Christine Sinclair and Tiffeny Milbrett with seven
- Named to the 2002 Gold Cup's "Starting XI" All-Star Team
- Scored a goal in all five games at the 2000 Women's Gold Cup
- Competed in the 1991, 1994, 1998 CONCACAF Championships
- Played in the WUSA for the Atlanta Beat from 2001-2003 and also participated in the 2004 WUSA Festivals
- Holds the career scoring mark in WUSA history with Dagny Mellgren with 81 points
- Second all-time goalscoring leader in WUSA history with 34 goals
- In 2003, led Atlanta in scoring with 29 points (11 goals, seven assists) as the Beat advanced to the Founders Cup
- Named to the 2003 All-WUSA Second Team and ranked fifth in the league in scoring
- In 2002, led Atlanta in scoring with 25 points (11 goals, three assists) to finish fourth in the league in scoring
- Named to the 2002 All-WUSA Second Team
- Named to the WUSA’s South All-Star squad and posted a goal and two assists in the 2002 WUSA All-Star Game
- In 2001, led Atlanta in scoring with 27 points (12 goals, three assists) as the Beat advanced to the Founders Cup
- Named to WUSA’s Global 11 First Team and ranked third in the league in scoring
- Inducted into the inaugural class of the United Soccer Leagues Hall of Fame in 2002
- Played in the W-League for the Rockford Dactyls (1995-1996) and Chicago Cobras (1998-2000, 2004)
- In 2000, was the W-League Scoring Champion with 13 goals and added five assists as the Cobras won the W-1 Championship
- In 1999, posted 10 goals and three assists to help the Cobras to a W-1 runner-up finish
- In 1998, captured the W-League Scoring title with 23 goals and six assists for 52 points while also earning W-League MVP honors
- In 1995, became the first-ever W-League scoring champion in the league’s inaugural season
- Played professionally for Start Kristiansand (Norway), Lazio (Italy), and FC Prima Ham (Japan) from 1993-1997
- Twice led the Japanese L-League in scoring earning league MVP honors once
- Also played for the Nepean Spiritas and Lynwood Spirits in Canada
- Played for North Carolina State University from 1987-1990
- Holds the NC State records for goals (58) and points (145) scored in a career as well as goals (26) and points (57) scored in a season
- In 1990, named NCAA All-America first team and All-ACC first team
- In 1989, named NCAA All-America first team and All-ACC first team while leading ACC in scoring (57 points) and goals (26 goals)
- In 1988, named All-ACC first team leading the conference in goals with 15; named to the ACC All-Tournament Squad as the Wolfpack captured the ACC Championship
- Older brother Lyndon played for the Canadian Men’s National Team
- Has her own website CharmaineHooper.com


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