- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 17, 2002

The Washington Freedom acquired Chinese team captain Pu Wei and top German defender Steffi Jones yesterday, giving the club a major confidence boost as it prepares for the 2002 Women's United Soccer Association season.
Jones and Pu played for their countries in the 1999 World Cup and 2000 Olympics and are considered two of the world's top players.
Pu, 21, is an attacking midfielder, who will team up with Chinese teammate Bai Jie for the Freedom.
"Pu Wei is a great, hardworking, two-way player with tremendous endurance," said Freedom coach Jim Gabarra.
Jones, 29, a tall strong defender with an attacking flair, has German and American citizenship and will not count against the league's quota of four foreign nationals.
"Steffi will bring us experience and leadership, and will be a huge presence defensively," Gabarra said.
Jones drew media attention at the 1999 World Cup because she is the daughter of a U.S. serviceman and German mother. Her father left Germany when she was 4 after her parents divorced.
According to Gabarra, Jones will remain with her club, FFC Frankfurt, for the duration of the German season and likely join the Freedom in early May.
Pu, who plays in Shanghai, should arrive next month.
The Freedom, which went 6-12-3 last year and failed to make the playoffs, begins the 2002 season against the New York Power at RFK Stadium on April 13.

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