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Lorrie Fair Joins Chelsea

She's a class player who could play on most men's teams. She doesn't make mistakes and plays smart soccer. While she's athletic and quick, I think it's more her cerebral senses that make her a must pick for a lot of teams. As a defender, she provides common sense in the back, a sense of control and an ability to keep possession in the back.

If Mia Hamm went to England to play she'd be the women's version of the Beckham transfer to the MLS. Well maybe that's a reach, and on a smaller scale that's just what Lorrie Fair is doing right now, trying to raise the women’s game in England.

I'm guessing she'll be back when the new women's pro league starts up in 2009.

The 29-year-old from California made 123 appearances for the U.S. as a versatile midfielder or defender, the high point being victory over China in the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final. Most recently, Fair continued her soccer career playing on a U.S. semi-professional men's team.

Fair, who will become Chelsea's first U.S. recruit, said: "I had the opportunity to come to England and play for Chelsea, which was too good to turn down. It is an honour to play for such a great club.

Fair joins Chelsea ladies

Update: Great piece on Lorrie Fair - about her time with Chelsea and acting an ambassador for the game, doing various charity work:

"It was great timing and a great club. It was just a no-brainer," Fair said in a recent call from London. "[Chelsea FC] came over last summer, and I had done some ambassadorial work for them, around their tour. The idea came up to have me go over to play in the off time -- help out with some grassroots programs, stuff that was a bit more near and dear to my heart with the global charity. So it was a perfect opportunity and time in my life."

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