With my re-found [made up word] love of the autumn in northwest Missouri upon us, I realized yesterday that I was sunburned and sweating from the heat outside. Today, I woke up, walked outside, and felt a nice, large, beautiful, damp leaf slap me in the face.
Welcome back autumn…
Naturally, I’m enjoying my time of harvest, grain silos, and tractors taking up both lanes of the road along the towns that I reside in on a day-to-day basis. However, the other ‘unique’ thing about being up here during fall is the increase amount of sports within the communities. For the high schools it’s volleyball, softball, and *shudders* football. For the larger schools, boys soccer picks up [note…LARGER schools]. However, once you dip below the teenage angst and parents playing through their pubescent pupils [that was AWESOME alliteration], you start diving into the fall recreation leagues of kids soccer. Frankly though, that’s our limitations, that an occasional MLS game down in Kansas City, and even that has passed.
What does a grown man do to rekindle the fire of women’s soccer when WPS is over, USWNT have had their time, and the Olympics are next year?
Enter the W-League:
Saying that I enjoy the W-League in Australia is an understatement. Behind the WPS, USWNT, and my ‘Peeps’, W-League is close to my heart. Primarily because the situation with women’s soccer in the land down under is eerily similar to that inside the United States.
So, you can imagine how excited I became in my little Subway shop when across my Twitter I started to see thoughts about the W-League.
I’ll give them this much; they know how to start the season off with a bang:
I’ll be the first to admit that I nearly dropped my phone into a container of meatballs, slightly screamed, and nearly tripped into the backroom.
How can the captain, THE CAPTAIN of the Australian Women’s National Team be cut from her club team? Isn’t that illegal [I’m an American, legalities are our thing]?
It was quickly noted following that borderline insanity that Barbieri was picked up by the Newcastle Jets; that’s when it got entertaining. Following her signing, the Jets started to eyeball retired German defender [retired after July of this year…] Ariane Hingst. Suddenly Newcastle was coming out with a stronger looking defense after coming off a 3-6-1 2010 season stirred the pot one last time in September by sharing that they also had signed current national, and former magicJack player Lisa De Vanna, easily one of the more feared players out there.
I’m just going to throw this one out there…
That is already one very scary team.
Why else should you be excited about this league?
Obviously if you’re living in the United States, sunshine and happy thoughts of the tropics can ease your winter depression [I’m already researching plane tickets]. However, the other key is the fact that this league is growing. While it’s unique in the fact that it is in a round-about way controlled by the Westfield A-League [men’s league], similar to a MLS sponsored WPS [not even going there today], it was already shared that three new venues would be traveled to for play [including a place called Sunshine Coast, seriously…moving there will be an option for me at this rate]. Also, this is the first season that [it’s a three year old program] international coaches, not just players, are in the league. National broadcasting giant ABC [Australia Broadcasting Company], who is more accessible then Fox Soccer, will be broadcasting eleven games throughout the season as well.
Because WPS runs in the summer in the US, the W-League becomes the perfect buffer between all the events.
Finally; one of the best reasons you should tune in…
You cannot turn down that accent, mate.
First game will be played October 22nd between Adelade United and Canberra United, the rest of the fixtures can be found here.
Breaking: Brisbane Roar have announced their new assistant coach, Alicia Ferguson, former Roar and Matilada player, and ’11 World Cup commentator through ESPN.
Atmosphere of Change in WPS
While the season has concluded upon Women’s Professional Soccer in the United States; the stories keep cooking. After a successful World Cup sponsorship [just call it for what it is], several adjustments have been made:
After Western New York clinched the WPS Championship this year, and after Dan Borislow went…well, nuts. It was announced that “CEO” Anne-Marie Eileraas would be stepping down from her position as the WPS commissioner. AWK did well to cover this event. Furthermore, Jennifer Pogorelec O’Sullivan was announced to be next on the list to take over the reigns of the WPS. O’Sullivan was in charge of Legal & Labor Affairs with the Arena Football League [yes, it does exist].
Equalizer Soccer deserves all the credit for this outline of what holds within time for the WPS. Definitely not fair for me to pick apart what was already said, but a few highlights that stuck out:
- ’12 will focus on stability along the east coast with possibly a new team out of Connecticut [where Tony DiCicco is heavily influential with his club programs]
- ’13 will look at expansion along the west coast [LA, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver]
- Per usual no one speaks of Midwest expansion, though it makes you wonder a bit more after the 16k popped up for the USA vs Canada match in Kansas City
- Puma did not resign a deal as the major sponsor of WPS, while they are an option, several others are being looked at
The rest should be checked out over at Equalizer.
What is important to note is that the WPS isn’t going to disappear this year…we think. More and more of the paperwork over the past season will become evident over the upcoming months [paperwork and snow are similar in one thing; they both tend to fall during the winter around here].
We’re all guaranteed change, that’s just the fact of life. Nothing stays constant. W-USA can attest to that. However, understand that with new followers, added hype, and the increase of media resources brought to you free [like this insanity that you’re digesting]; the game is growing. The leaves may fall, the trees may disappear, and it may get cooler around here; but we’re just warming up.
91st Minute: For the fan of the young guns, WPS announced that six players have been called up for the USA U-23 program.
92nd Minute: Because Portland and Kansas City couldn’t be the only cities; the USA will be playing Sweden over in Phoenix, Arizona November 19th.
93rd Minute: It may look a tad different, but Our Game Magazine is out for the month of October! It’s a hot read!
94th Minute: As a person who is madly in love with international assistance, I strongly suggest you get check out Soccer Without Borders. Definitely worth the read!
95th Minute: Need a reminder of what it’s like to entertain the notion of coaching U-8? Follow those adventures through the titles here labeled ‘Beautiful Game‘!
P.S. A WHOLE ARTICLE WITHOUT MENTIONING HOPE SOLO WITH DANCING WITH THE STARS!!! I’M A GENIUS!
P.S.S.Are you in the Midwest and feel alone also? The soccer world has turned its back to you? No worries, hit me up over at Twitter: @CoachDaugherty!