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USWNT goalkeeper Barnhart signs with Independence

The Philadelphia Independence announced on Wednesday the signing of USWNT goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.

Born in Pottstown and growing up on Gilbertsville, Pa., Barnhart is a two-time WPS champion. Over 16 starts with 2009 champions FC Gold Pride, Barnhart recorded 74 saves, a 1.44 goals against average and two shutouts. In 2010, she led goalkeepers in the league with 21 starts, recording a goals against average of 0.77, and eight shutouts.

Barnhart was the backup keeper for the USWNT at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2008 Beijing Olympics. With the USWNT since 2004, Barnhart has 13 starts in 20 appearances, including ten shutouts. Her first cap was actually earned as a forward when the team ran out of substitutes in a 2004 match against Mexico in Kansas City, playing along side of Amy Wambach for the last four minutes plus stoppage time in the 1–0 win.

At Stanford University, Barnhart was named an all-Pacific-10 Conference player in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Her 0.41 career goals-against average is the lowest in the Stanford women’s team’s history.

At Boyerstown High School, Barnhart played on the boys soccer team for four years. She won several state championships with FC Delco and was named to the club’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

Barnhart says, “I am excited to be returning to the area that influenced my soccer career at a young age. I look forward to playing for Coach Paul Riley and being an asset to such a talented and competitive squad.”

Barnhart is currently with the USWNT in Portugal ahead of the 2011 Algarve Cup, along with fellow Independence teammates Lori Lindsey, Megan Rapinoe and Amy Rodriguez.

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