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Washington Spirit Make Mid-Season Moves to Bolster Attack

In the last week, Washington has added some significant offensive firepower, bringing in German midfielder Kerstin Garefrekes last week and now the speedy De Vanna. Both moves should help free up Jodie Taylor, who has really carried the load at striker this season.

Kirsten Garefrekes (left); Lisa De Vanna (right)
Kirsten Garefrekes (left); Lisa De Vanna (right)
Left: Caroline Charruyer; Right: Cynthia Hobgood

Washington sends defender Bianca Sierra and its third and fourth round picks in the 2015 NWSL College Draft to the Breakers in exchange for Lisa De Vanna, who expected to join the Spirit this week, prior to the next match against Portland this Saturday. (Yes, that team with some player named Alex Morgan.)

De Vanna returns to Washington having played for the Freedom in the WPS from 2009-10 (and then for the magicJack after the franchise was sold and relocated.) She is a member of the Australian Women's National Team and played for the Melbourne Victory during the 2013-14 W-League season.

"Lisa is one of the most exciting attacking threats in the league and we are very pleased to welcome her to D.C.," said Spirit general manager and head coach Mark Parsons. "She has the ability to change games and will bring even more hunger and fight to our squad. I can't wait to see her make her Spirit debut."

Known for her attacking speed, De Vanna will help bolster the efforts Jodie Taylor on offense. The 29-year-old De Vanna scored five goals for Sky Blue FC last season, but has struggling this season with Boston, not yet scoring a goal. She now gets the chance for a fresh start, joining a club in the playoff hunt in what will be a hectic summer schedule.

A promising rookie from Mexico, Sierra has performed very well for Washington, especially during the absence of American and Canadian members of the backline this month. But the arrival of Niki Cross and Alex Singer has added depth to the defense, opening the door for Parsons to make a move to improve what has been a less than dangerous attack.

"We are all sad to see Bianca leave," Parsons said. "She has given everything to the team on and off the field and will be missed. I believe she has a great opportunity to continue her development and make a big impact for Boston this season and many more to come."

On June 13, the Spirit announced the acquisition of former German International midfielder Kerstin Garefrekes on loan from FFC Frankfurt for the remainder of the 2014 NWSL season.

"We are very grateful for Frankfurt's support to help make this happen," Spirit general manager and coach Mark Parsons said. "We are looking forward to having someone with her international experience and leadership for the rest of the year."

Garefrekes, 34, was second in goals in the Frauen-Bundesliga this season, leading her team to the league final where they fell to Champions League winners Wolfsburg. Since 2004, she has helped Frankfurt win a Bundesliga title, three German Cup titles and a Champions League title, recording an impressive 151 goals in 201 appearances.

Making her debut for the German National Team in 2001, Garefrekes scored 43 goals in 130 appearances.

Garefrekes and Washington captain played together for FFC Frankfurt from 2007-12. She is expected to make her NWSL debut sometime in the next week.

If you happen to be new to the dynamic play of Lisa De Vanna, check out this acrobatic 2013 goal for Sky Blue: