- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 19, 2003

The Washington Freedom hope the rest of the season will yield some thunder from down under.
Australian attacking midfielder Kelly Golebiowski will make her debut with the Freedom tonight against the San Jose CyberRays at Spartan Stadium in the first of Washington's three West Coast trips.
Her appearance couldn't come at a better time after the Freedom's sluggish midfield performance in their last outing, a 3-1 victory over the New York Power. The 5-foot-4 Golebiowski is considered one of the Australian national team's most dangerous weapons and could make a formidable attack even more lethal for the Freedom (2-0-0).
Coach Jim Gabarra doesn't plan to start Golebiowski, who missed the Freedom's first two games while helping Australia qualify for the Women's World Cup, but he intends to give her minutes against the CyberRays (1-0-0).
"We'll probably use her off the bench because we're looking at being flexible enough to change our system and we've got the players that have been playing the first couple of weeks and it's been working," Gabarra said. "It's good to have a weapon like that coming off the bench because she can play up front or in an attacking midfield role."
Golebiowski, 22, said she is more likely to play outside midfielder in Washington's system. Currently, Freedom star Mia Hamm is playing on the flanks. If Golebiowski, who scored seven goals in 12 matches last year for the Australian national team, can crack the starting lineup, it could move Hamm up top or into the role of playmaker. It's a win-win situation.
"Kelly provides us with a lot of forward momentum," forward Abby Wambach said. "She likes to take the ball and dribble forward, which is good because we want our attacking midfielders to do that."
Signed as an international discovery player, Golebiowski worked out with the Freedom during the offseason and training camp, so she is familiar with the players.
Golebiowski, from Sydney, is one of four Australians playing in the Women's United Soccer Association this season. Of women's soccer in Australia, she said, "We're not at this level, but we're not far behind."
For the past two years, Golebiowski played for the Hampton Roads (Va.) Piranhas in the W-League and was the club's leading scorer both seasons. She was the league's rookie of the year in 2001, when she scored nine goals and added three assists, and was named second-team All-W-League her second season in Tidewater.
"To have more players like myself, either on the bench or to come on the field and playing, it's a healthy sign," Golebiowski said.

Notes The Freedom will play Hampton Roads in an exhibition May 2 at 7 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. … Freedom midfielder Monica Gerardo will retire following next Saturday's match against the Atlanta Beat at RFK Stadium to become an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Gerardo has appeared in 40 games for the Freedom and is best remembered for her goal in a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Charge in last season's WUSA semifinals.

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