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Saturday, November 25, 2000, updated at 17:07(GMT+8)

US League Makes Last Bids for Chinese Women Soccer Stars

After signing two Chinese women soccer stars, the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) is trying to finalize the transfers of the remaining four players.

The WUSA, the new eight-team league that is set to kick off in April, have sent invitations to six Chinese players, including Beijing's Liu Ailing and Wen Lirong, Shanghai's Sun Wen, Guangdong's Gao Hong and Zhao Lihong, and Fan Yunjie who plays for a Henan club.

Both Liu and Wen have inked the agreements with the WUSA late last night and it is just a matter of time for them to sign with Fan and Sun.

Lauren Gregg, vice president of WUSA Player Personnel, arrived in Shanghai on Saturday, November 25, to settle the transfer of Sun, the national captain who Gregg hailed as "unique player in the world".

Fan is also expected to sign up during the weekend after her team has become the first Chinese club to sign with WUSA. The transfer is not down yet until both the club and player have signed.

Sun, who captained China to the runners-up at the 1996 Olympics and 1999 World Cup, have said that she was delighted to the prospect of plying her trade abroad.

The only uncertainty comes from Guangdong club which has showed reluctance to release Gao and Zhao for the US league.

"Guangdong will play host to next year's national games, so it is a touch decision for them to make," Gregg told Xinhua on Friday night.

"It is possible for us to find solutions to the challenge, but I have to look forward to working with them to find the solutions.

"We are still working on it, it has not been finalized, but we are optimistic that there is still possibility," said Gregg.

"Hopefully, we will have the opportunity to work together to make this happen," she added.

"So far we have four player for sure, and up to six if all goes well,"said Gregg.

WUSA had contacted with the Chinese Football Association before the Sydney Olympics, hoping to gain the services of those "among the most gifted players in the world".

"The Chinese players are athletic, skillful and complete, we love to play the Chinese, for they always brings out the best in us." said Gregg.

WUSA is taking advantage of a boom in women's football fueled by the 1996 Olympics and 1999 World Cup, both of which were staged in the United States, and have tried to sign the elite players in the world.

"Our philosophy is to help develop the game everywhere. We want to expose enough players to this level of competition, to make this league the best in the world, and give those players something to bring back to their country,"said Gregg.

Three Players Join WUSA

Three Chinese women soccer players completed their move from respective Chinese clubs to the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) on November 24.

Wen Lirong and Liu Ailing of Beijing and Henan's Fan Yunjie have signed formal contract with WUSA vice president of player personnel Lauren Gregg.

Green Light

Six Chinese women soccer players have been given green light to join the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), the Chinese Football Association (CFA) spokesman Feng Jianming said November 24.

It is reported that officials from WUSA are in Beijing this week to discuss the details of the transfers and the six players targeted are Chinese national captain Sun Wen who plays for Shanghai, Wen Lirong and Liu Ailing from Beijing and Guangdong's Gao Hong and Zhao Lihong and Fan Yunjie of Henan.

In This Section

After signing two Chinese women soccer stars, the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) is trying to finalize the transfers of the remaining four players.

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