PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. (December 26, 2007)- The Pali Blues Soccer Club announced today that Kendall Fletcher has signed with its W-League team for the 2008 season. Fletcher becomes the first player to sign with the Pacific Palisades team. The former University of North Carolina standout and FIFA World Youth champion is considered one of the top American defenders and will give the Blues much needed experience in the backline.
“Whenever I start a recruiting year, Kendall is always at the top of my list,” Blues head coach Charlie Naimo said. “She is extremely versatile, and she plays with tremendous passion.”
This will be the third W-League club in which Naimo and Fletcher have joined forces. The duo won the 2005 W-League championship together with the New Jersey Wildcats, and they again paired up in 2007 with Jersey Sky Blue. Fletcher entered the W-League in 2004 with the Carolina Dynamo Women, earning All-Central Conference accolades.
“I love playing with Charlie because I know that the team, organization and the whole environment that he creates is of the highest quality and professionalism,” Fletcher commented. “From the world class players he recruits to the staff and volunteers with whom he surrounds himself, everything is done right and with the purpose of providing an environment that will not only produce a great team but also develop better players. I am excited about the upcoming season, and I can’t wait to get out on the field with my teammates.”
Fletcher put together an impressive collegiate career at the University of North Carolina from 2002 to 2005 including an NCAA Tournament Championship in 2003. In her four years with the Tar Heels, she posted 13 goals and 17 assists in 92 appearances while leading the team to a 91-4-7 mark during her stay. As a senior in 2005, she played in all 25 games for the Tar Heels posting five goals and four assists while leading her team to a 23-1-1 mark and a trip to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal round.
Her time in the W-League has been extremely successful as well. She broke into the league in 2004 with the Carolina Dynamo Women and earned a spot on the W-League All- Central Conference Team after posting four goals and three assists in 11 games. She played for the New Jersey Wildcats in 2005 and 2006 leading that team to the 2005 W-League Championship and an overall two-year record of 30-2.
In 2002, Fletcher helped bring home the FIFA U-19 World Youth Championship when playing for the U.S. U-19s. She was also a key player for the U.S. U-21 national team that won the 2005 Nordic Cup, and she was team captain when that squad finished as runners-up to the 2006 Nordic Cup. Fletcher has also been capped twice with the full U.S. Women’s National Team.
Fletcher also saw great success in her time as an undergraduate player for the University of North Carolina. Her four-year career she scored 13 goals and notched 17 assists in 92 appearances, but the highlighted of her college career was the 2003 NCAA national championship. In her senior year, she played in all 25 games for the Tar Heels, posting five goals and four assists, leading her team to a trip to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal round.
While Fletcher has only had two caps with the full national team, Naimo firmly believes she will inevitably stick with the squad.
“I say it all the time: I am very confident that Kendall will be a full national team player in the future,” he stated. “There is no doubt that I will look to Kendall to be a leader on this team from day one.”
The Pali Blues are set to make their W-League debut this summer. All updates regarding the team will be released through the team website at www.bluessoccerclub.com.