Fury defence adds Gunner

ROB BRODIE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

One of the most decorated names in English women's soccer is joining the Ottawa Fury's lineup.

Defender Faye White, the captain of both the Arsenal and England women's teams, has signed a contract with the W-League side for the rest of the season.

White arrives in the capital on Monday, and the Fury hope she'll be on the field for Wednesday's exhibition match with the powerful Jersey Sky Blue. It's a 7 p.m. kickoff at Keith Harris Stadium.

"She's going to be a tremendous addition to our squad for the rest of the season," Fury owner/CEO John Pugh said yesterday. "Any time you can bring in a defender of this quality, you're happy."

Pugh first learned the 6-foot White might be available through some contacts in England. She missed most of the 2006-07 season with a knee injury, but returned in time to help Arsenal win the UEFA Women's Cup. That completed a historic 22-0 season for the Gunners, who also took the Premier League title and League and FA Cups.

White, considered one of England's best central defenders, sees the Fury and the W-League as the right place to regain the fitness she needs to lead England into the women's World Cup in China in September.

White, 29, has earned 52 international caps for England. She first captained the national side in 2002, and suited up for it on May 17 against Iceland.

"What she requires right now is lots of match play and a good training environment," said Pugh.

It's also a perfect fit for the Fury, who counted two defenders among the five players they released to the Canadian national team residency program before the season.

"Faye is exactly what we need on the back line, to take us to the playoffs and beyond," said Pugh.

The Fury are off to a 3-0 start this season, and are shooting for their fifth straight berth in the W-League North American final. They were runners-up the past two years.


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