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Published on 03/04/2009 11:38 am   (Last Updated 03/04/2009 11:44 am)
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Thunder Acquire Midfielder Lawrence Olum From Portland and Sign Defender Andrew Peterson
Minnesota Thunder News Release
Saint Paul, Minn. (March 04, 2009) -- The Minnesota Thunder announced today that midfielder Lawrence Olum has been acquired from the Portland Timbers. Terms of the transfer were not disclosed. The Thunder has also signed defender Andrew Peterson from the Columbus Crew pending USSF approval.

Olum joined the Timbers in 2007 after a successful stint with the St. Louis Lions of the PDL where he guided to team to a 7-3-6 record in its inaugural season in 2006. During that season, Olum led the Lions with a team-leading nine goals.

Over the past two seasons Olum has played in 44 games for the Timbers, logging over 2,300 minutes. With Portland, he scored six goals and tallied one assist.

Olum first arrived in the United States from Kenya to attend college at Missouri Baptist University. The three-time All-American honorable mention led the Spartans to the conference championship his senior season.

“Lawrence is an excellent addition to our roster and a player I highly respected in the league last year,” said Thunder head coach Donny Gramenz. “We have another great player with versatility, athleticism, size and a tireless work ethic going forward in the final third and getting back for his defensive responsibilities. I know the Portland fans admired Lawrence on the field and in the community and I am sure he will gain the same admiration in Minnesota.”

Peterson, a Plymouth, Minnesota native, joins the Thunder after playing two seasons as a developmental player with the Columbus Crew, where he was a part of the 2008 MLS CUP Championship side. Prior to joining the Crew, Peterson spent the first part of the 2007 season with the Cleveland City Stars of the USL Second Division.

“Andrew is coming home to play in Minnesota,” said Gramenz. “He is very excited and so are we as an organization. On the field, Andrew is an attacking minded outside left defender. Andrew has been training with the team since December and I am impressed with his tenacious 1v1 defending, quickness, services and his ability and instinct to go to goal. I believe his experience of winning an MLS championship with the Columbus Crew adds to our team’s mentality on and off the field.”

Peterson spent his collegiate career at Creighton University where he played in 74 of 85 career matches and tallied one goal and seven assists. He guided the Bluejays to 33 shutouts during his four seasons. After his senior season, he was drafted by the Minnesota Thunder in 2007 but chose to sign with Cleveland.

The Thunder opens the home season on May 2 against the defending USL First Division Champions, the Vancouver Whitecaps. For tickets, please visit or call 651.919.5151.

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