By Meg Linehan
The Washington Spirit announced on Monday that the team signed forward Estefanía Banini for the rest of the 2017 National Women’s League Soccer season. Banini previously played for Washington from 2015-2016, and led the Spirit in scoring last season.
“I am very happy and grateful to be part of the Washington Spirit again. I wish to help them in the best way, and for that I will train very hard,” Banini said in the team’s official release. “While I already know the team, all experiences are different and I’m coming with great enthusiasm, wanting to add a lot to the team!”
As for Washington head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra, he’s been waiting for Panini’s return since the end of last season. In the team’s official release, he said, “We’re looking forward to having her back in our lineup and continuing her impressive development. Her impact will be a big asset as we continue to battle through the NWSL regular season toward the goal of reaching the NWSL championship match again.”
After a short stint with Spanish club Valencia, Banini will hope to return to her 2016 form in D.C. She played 13 games for the Spirit last year, starting nine and contributing five goals and an assist.
Banini had a stellar July last year, in which she won NWSL Goal of the Week for Week 13, NWSL Player of the Week for Week 13, and NWSL Player of the Month for July.
The Spirit will host Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, June 24 in Week 10 NWSL action.