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Posted: December 1, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Triathlon: Washington Freedom Renames W-League Team the Freedom Futures

Teen Triathlete Hunter Lussi's America Fitness Tri Sponsors Team

BOYDS, Md. -- The Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer has officially renamed its W-league team affiliate. The W-league team, which plays in the United States Soccer League (USL Division 1), has been changed from the Washington Freedom W-league to the Freedom Futures, a move made to reinforce the difference between the W-league team and the WPS first team, the Washington Freedom.

Washington Freedom coach, Jim Gabarra states, "We are thrilled to continue to operate our W-League team. The 'Freedom Futures' is a part of the club's continuing effort to be a valuable soccer resource to our community."

Additionally, the team has announced its first sponsorship partnership with America's Fitness Tri. As part of the deal America's Fitness Tri's logo will appear on the front of the their jerseys and website address on the back of the jersey. America's Fitness Tri is a triathlon held each Labor Day anywhere Americans swim, bike and run with their friends and family. America's Fitness Tri emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle, which is a message the Futures promote.

Hunter Lussi, the founder of America's Fitness Tri says, "America's Fitness Tri is so pleased to be the jersey sponsor for the Freedom Futures. We also have a great amount of respect for the Washington Freedom organization starting with the owner, Mrs. Hendricks, and President and General Manager, Mr. Washo. Together with Coaches Jim, Clyde, and the entire Freedom staff, the organization does more than just deliver the highest quality of Women's Professional Soccer. It delivers the highest quality role models who just happen to be professional women soccer players."

The club has also selected the Freedom Futures' first General Manager, Joanna Lohman. Lohman, a real estate specialist and professional soccer player, is also a vice president with Tenant Consulting, LLC and holds a business and mathematics degree from Penn State. Growing up in Maryland and playing for the Bethesda Soccer Club, she went on to play for the United States Women's National Team and professionally for the Washington Freedom.

"After achieving my childhood dream of playing professional soccer for the Washington Freedom, I am extremely excited to be the General Manager of the Freedom Futures. We have a dedicated staff working hard to make this team a success. The collaboration of Win Puffer, our head coach, in whom I have an enormous amount of confidence and respect, and the presence of Jim Gabarra and Clyde Watson, coaches of the professional team, will make the Futures a top competitor in the W-League," says Lohman.

Gabarra sees the appointment of Lohman as a huge motivation for the Futures' players. "This is a huge step for our club and fits right in with the vision we have had for years in creating post-soccer job opportunities for players. To have Joanna as a GM of the Futures shows our commitment to player development on and off the field. It's great to have a dedicated GM for this team."

Lohman explains, "The vision of this team is to provide the optimum soccer training environment along with providing business opportunities off the field to allow each player to build a (future) career inside and outside of soccer. We want to win championships, serve the community, and build a foundation for the elite women's soccer player to cultivate her power to affect the future of America. Our jersey sponsor, America's Fitness Tri, emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle, which is a message the Futures promote. With all of this, we expect to create an environment where our players can excel both on and off the field."

President and General Manager of the parent team, Mark Washo sums it up this way, "Today's W-League team announcement is a big win for the entire Freedom organization. Changing the team name to Freedom Futures signifies what this team is all about, naming a capable female General Manager that still plays competitively at the highest level is a great privilege for our club and announcing the first jersey partner with America's Fitness Tri demonstrates commitment from the corporate community in supporting women's soccer. We look forward to our upcoming Freedom Futures season with Joanna at the helm as team GM."

(left to right Jim Gabarra, Hunter Lussi, Joanna Lohman and Mark Washo)

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