SMITH SET FOR WELLINGTON DEBUT
BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, October 12, 2011
After parting ways with Gold Coast United in the preseason, American forward Alex Smith has signed with Wellington Phoenix of Australia's A-league.

Smith, 26, was born in England but moved to the United States when he was just a year old.

After playing in the lower leagues in Australia, Smith signed a professional contract with Gold Coast United but the club bought out his contract in the preseason because Smith was dealing with an injury and Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg decided to use a foreign roster spot on Maceo Rigters instead.

Smith quickly earned a trial with New Zealand-based club Wellington Phoenix who are also a member of Australia's top league. On the trial Smith impressed and he was signed to a short-term injury replacement contract

Smith missed Wellington's 1-1 season opening draw against his former club, Gold Coast United, because he had visa issues had yet to be resolved. This past week, however, Smith received clearance from the A-League and he will now be able to suit up for Wellington.

"Alex Smith has been cleared to play and his contract runs through December 5th," Wellington Phoenix press officer Russell Gray told YA.

Wellington Phoenix host the Newcastle Jets this Saturday in the second game of the A-League season.