Irish international Julie-Ann Russell talks about joining new W-League team LA Strikers

The LA Strikers will make their W-League debut this season, and Monday the team signed four international players – Alisha Foote (Brisbane Roar of Australia’s W-League), Katie Tarrant (England – Chelsea), and two Irish internationals – Cherelle Khassal (Arsenal) and Julie-Ann Russell, formerly of the Irish club Salthill Devon. Russell talked to Our Game Magazine Tuesday about coming to America to play soccer for the first time.

“I wanted to progress my soccer career, so I thought this opportunity would be great. I am thrilled to be accepted to play for the LA Strikers. I am really looking forward to getting over to America and start playing with them,” said the 2009-10 U-19 Women’s International Player of the Year. “I want to be able to give my best to LA Strikers. I play and train with a high intensity and demand very high standards from myself, so I would hope this will contribute to the team.”

A member of the Irish National Team, Russell has more than 45 caps for her country. She’s currently finishing up her studies before coming to play for the Strikers.

“Unfortunately I am missing preseason and the first game due to college exams back home. But this is making me more eager to be in top form heading over,” Russell said. “My goals are for the LA Strikers to be competing for the top spot, winning games week in week out, and for me to progress as a player.”

The LA Strikers make their debut Saturday, May 14 at Pali Blues. Russell is expected to make her debut on Wednesday, May 18 when the Strikers host the Victoria Highlanders at Pasadena City College.