D.C. United Women has added two players who bring both firepower and defensive bite to its 2012 roster. Pending league and US Soccer Federation approval, joining the Black-And-Red for their first seasons are former West Virginia standout and WPS player Carolyn Blank, and Sarah Sample, former Maryland star who went on to play for both Washington Freedom and Ottawa Fury.
D.C. United Women will be Blank’s fifth club in the past two years. In 2010, she was picked by St. Louis Athletica in the WPS Draft and played six games with the club before it ceased operations. Atlanta Beat jumped at the chance to sign her for the remainder of the season, where she played 13 matches. After a stint in 2011 with Swedish club Vittsjo, Blank was all set to play in WPS for Sky Blue FC before the league suddenly suspended operations this spring.
Blank was a four-time MVP and remains the all-time leading scorer at Toms River High School East in New Jersey, and played in college at West Virginia. She helped take the Mountaineers to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four seasons with the program and was a two-time All-American.
She has started more games (92) than any other player in West Virginia history. Blank plays a holding position in the midfield that has helped every team she’s played for retain, and maintain ball possession. Her ball control skills will be a valuable asset to D.C. United Women in 2012.
Sample, an Annapolis native, will be one of several Maryland products on United Women’s roster this season. She was a standout for St. Mary’s High School and once earned the honor of McDonald’s All-American. She spent her first two collegiate seasons at George Washington before transferring to Maryland for her junior and senior years.
As a sophomore at GW, she led the team in points with 14 and was named First-Team All-Atlantic 10. She started 36 games for UMD over the next two seasons and since then has upstarted a coaching career with local power Bethesda FC, in addition to playing for the Fury where she was a member of the 13-1 first-place squad for the W-League Northern Division in 2008.
Sample has been with D.C. all spring, training hard to prepare for 2012. She used all of her 5-foot, 10-inch frame to score the winning header against her former Terrapins last month in a 1-0 preseason exhibition win. Blank is re-locating from New Jersey to the Washington area in early June, and will commute for training and games until arriving.
United Women will host Boston Breakers this Saturday, May 12 in a special exhibition titled “Return of the Pros”, referencing Boston’s full professional status. The match is expected to feature former U.S. World Cup and Olympics stars Cat Whitehill and Leslie Osborne, among others. Kickoff on May 12 is at 6:00 p.m.
Local youth league Washington Area Girls Soccer League – or WAGS – is sponsoring the night as well, with the league offering discount tickets to member teams as part of their “WAGS Night” promotion. Member teams can purchase tickets at any quantity at the full group rate from the league website.
After the Boston game on May 12, D.C. officially begins their second USL W-League season on Saturday, May 19 with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff at their Maryland SoccerPlex Stadium. United Women have never lost a game at the SoccerPlex, but expect a strong test from a visiting Virginia Beach Piranhas team with a long history of success on the W-League.