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Sounders Sign WPS Rookie of the Year Nominee Keelin Winters

Tukwila, WA – The Sounders have added Keelin Winters to the 2012 roster. Winters, the 5th Sounders’ signing with US National Team experience, starred for the Boston Breakers of WPS last season, and was called up to the U-23 National Team this year.

I’m just really excited to be playing soccer in the northwest again,” Keelin said. “I played at the University of Portland, and we always had a lot of fans come out and support that team. That was cool, and I know the North West has such a big soccer community here in Seattle too.”

With the WPS suspended this winter, the University of Portland product began to look for new opportunities in her soccer career. Her new Sounders teammate offered Keelin a great option.

“Once WPS was suspended, I was obviously really disappointed,” Winters said. “I thought about going overseas, but transfer windows were closed and things became really complicated and frustrating. Then, I was at US National team camp in January, and Alex Morgan asked if I was interested in playing with her on the Sounders. [Alex] knew I have been living in Seattle. Right after that, I went back and sent [Michelle French] an email to find out more information about the Sounders Women. So that’s how it all started for me.”

Keelin grew up in California and Colorado, but there will be plenty of familiar faces for her in Seattle this summer. She will play for fellow Portland Pilot graduate, Michelle French.

“Having Frenchie as a Portland alum, I’ve heard so much about her and her playing career. So it was kind of cool to reach out to another alum, and I’m looking player for her,” Winters said.

Winters will also play alongside former U-23 National Team teammates Kate Deines and Alex Morgan.  Keelin and Kate also competed against each throughout college in the I-5 rivalry between Portland and Washington.

In 2008, Winters captained the U-20 National Team at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile. She scored the game-winning goal in the quarterfinal match against England.

After graduating early from the University of Portland, Winters was selected in the first round of the 2011 WPS Draft by the Boston Breakers. She scored her first goal in the 22nd minute of her pro debut. In her first season in the league, she tallied 4 goals and 2 assists. Winters’ excellent form earned her a nomination for the WPS Rookie of the Year award.

Keelin Winters describes what she brings to the Sounders; “I think being a holding center midfielder, one of the things I have to do is organize the lines in front of me and either side of me. Simply due to my position, I have to bring leadership in organizing on and off the field.”

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