US recruit Stephanie Ochs has linked with Canberra United. Photo: Graham Tidy
Canberra United can thank a bit of clever European scouting by former coach Jitka Klimkova for delivering its latest star recruit.
Striker Stephanie Ochs is the latest American to travel halfway around the globe to join United for the coming W-League season.
Ochs arrived in Canberra on Monday after completing her commitments in the US with professional club Washington Spirit.
The under-23 international appeared on United's radar when she was named the most valuable player at a tournament in Spain this year.
In the crowd was Klimkova, who pointed Ochs in the direction of new United coach Liesbeth Migchelsen.
''I was actually scouted at a tournament in Spain, which is really random,'' Ochs said.
''I've had a few teammates who have played in Australia before so I was able to get a bit more in-depth about the experience.
''It's my off-season in America and I think Canberra is a great place for me to go because it seems like a high level of play.''
Ochs learnt her craft at the University of San Diego and has had stints with the San Diego Toreros, Western New York Flash and the Spirit.
She follows in the footsteps of United's previous American imports Taryn Hemmings and Nikki Washington, and will be joined this summer by Spirit teammate Lori Lindsey.
Migchelsen will use the next six weeks of pre-season training to assess how Ochs will be used in an attacking line-up also featuring Matildas striker Michelle Heyman.
''Ochs brings a lot because she is physical, strong and understands the game,'' Migchelsen said.
''She will be teaching the younger players a lot, so my expectations are high for her.''
The addition of Ochs adds further hope United can win its second title in three years after missing the finals last season.
Ochs admitted there would be pressure on the squad, but she believed it could meet the challenge. ''I think there is a bit of an expectation, but hopefully we will be able to meet that.''
Klimkova guided United to its maiden national championship in 2011-12. She now coaches the New Zealand under-17 women's team.
Her input into securing the services of Ochs may prove a master stroke.
United has trimmed its squad to 21 players and will finalise its 20-player squad next week.
The majority of the squad is in Canberra, with the exception of midfielder Jennifer Bisset and goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who are completing commitments in Europe.
Both players will be back in time for United's season-opening game away to the Brisbane Roar on November 9.