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Wednesday, July 8, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Local Notes -- German Soccer Pact Thrills Melinda Torre

Times Snohomish County Bureau

The day Germany's World Cup title hopes died, Melinda Torre's dream thrived.

When Croatia upset the Germans 3-0 Saturday to earn its first World Cup semifinal appearance, Torre was making her own historic strides - in Germany.

Torre, a 1992 Snohomish graduate who played soccer four seasons at the University of Washington, recently signed her first professional soccer contract, with Saarbrucken of Germany in the Frauen Bundesliga.

Since graduating from Washington in 1996, Torre put her post-graduate studies on hold to chase down a professional soccer career before turning her sights on earning a teaching credential. Playing for Saarbrucken, Torre said, will rank among her highest achievements.

"When I was little, I told my mom that I wanted to be the first woman president of the United States," Torre said in a phone interview from her parents' Snohomish home last week before hopping on a plane to Germany on Saturday. "My only other dream was to play soccer and get paid to do it."

Expects to play midfielder

Torre, who had a weeklong tryout in Germany in April, said Saarbrucken, in the southwestern corner of Germany about seven miles from the French border, plays a two-part season, competing from August through December and from February through June. Torre, who played defender, midfielder and forward at Washington, expects to play midfielder for Saarbrucken.

Unlike some Japanese and Swedish women's professional soccer leagues, the Frauen Bundesliga has no limit for non-European players on its rosters, Torre said. Among Torre's teammates will be goalkeeper Michelle Voiland, a Bellevue High School and University of Portland graduate.

Torre's base salary, which includes a furnished townhouse she'll share with Voiland, consists of $100 per game, with a $200 bonus for victories and an $80 bonus for draws. In addition to her soccer responsibilities, Torre, who says she doesn't know "a lick" of German (she studied Spanish at UW), also will help teach German businessmen better English.

NOTES

Some important prep dates to keep in mind until fall practice begins in 47 days:

-- Saturday - East-West All-Star girls basketball games at Moses Lake Community College; Class 2A/1A/B tipoff at 5 p.m. followed by 4A/3A game at 7 p.m.

-- July 16 - East-West all-state volleyball matches, series No. 1 at North Central High School (Spokane); Class 2A/1A/B match at 4 p.m., 3A match at 6 and 4A match at 8.

-- July 17 - East-West all-state boys basketball games (at Yakima SunDome); Class B game at noon, followed by the 1A game at 2, 2A game at 4, 3A game at 6 and 4A game at 8.

-- July 18 - East-West all-state volleyball matches, series No. 2 at Fife High School; Class 2A/1A/B game at 4 p.m., 3A game at 6 and 4A game at 8.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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