NWSL Draft: The spectacle and the reality

The first NWSL Draft was held in a private room in the Indianapolis Convention Center, with U.S. Soccer staff ferrying info to a neighboring room where a handful of reporters had gathered. The next two NWSL Drafts had many more people, all crammed into a small couple of rooms in Philadelphia. This year, it looks like this: Which is great. It’ll be a terrific experience for fans. Reporters won’t be dizzy from claustrophobia and heat exhaustion by the third round. But like the MLS Draft, held yesterday in the same room, there’s a bit of cold water to splash on … Continue reading NWSL Draft: The spectacle and the reality

Alex Morgan and the Bedbugs That Ate the NWSL

As with many other Internet shoutfests, it all started with an innocuous tweet: WARNING to @NWSL teams and anyone staying at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Kansas City, MO #bedbugs #notok — Christine Sinclair (@sincy12) August 15, 2015 Can’t blame Sinclair for venting there. Bedbugs are every traveler’s nightmare. The big hype about bedbug resurgence came about a couple of years ago, and I’m still putting my bags up on hard surfaces to minimize the risk of anything hitching a ride back to my place. (I draw the line at the “pry the headboard off the wall, put your bags … Continue reading Alex Morgan and the Bedbugs That Ate the NWSL

Big heart makes women’s soccer special

Yes, women’s soccer can be frustrating. Two U.S. leagues have disappeared in the past 12 years, and the third is redefining “low profile.” Fans (and sometimes players) argue on social media about the strangest stuff. (This 18-month-old Alex Morgan dis was favorited tonight.) The U.S. national team sometimes looks like it was selected five years ago — the tactics sometimes look as if they were drawn up 15 years ago. Let’s forget all that for a minute and back up.   One bias I’ve always had is for the players who fought their way through the Dark Ages of the mid-2000s. … Continue reading Big heart makes women’s soccer special

Two NWSL reserve teams in WPSL Final Four, we think

Never easy, but here’s what I’ve figured out so far from the WPSL site schedule: Home teams listed first, where applicable. West Region Champions of Northwest (Issaquah), Pac North (Spurs), Pac South (SoCal); plus Pac South runner-up (San Diego)  Playoffs (July 18) SoCal FC 5-0 Tottenham Hotspur Eastbay Ladies Issaquah Soccer Club 3-1 San Diego SeaLions Final (July 19) SoCal FC vs. Issaquah Soccer Club East Region Champions of Northeast (Boston), Power 5 (New England), Mid Atlantic (Yankee); plus Mid Atlantic runner-up (Hershey) … news report said Seacoast United Phantoms would be in. Playoffs (July 18) New England Mutiny 2-0 … Continue reading Two NWSL reserve teams in WPSL Final Four, we think

NWSL: A worthwhile investment, not a charity

Women’s soccer players are giving up a lot to play professionally. That was the point of my recent post at SoccerWire and Jeff Kassouf’s piece on players retiring in their 20s. Deciding to play or retire isn’t easy, as Colleen Williams eloquently describes in her piece about stepping away after a couple of knee injuries. Some people are still chasing a spot on the national team. Some just want to keep playing as long as they can. The thin silver lining here is that players’ opportunities are improving. Imagine how these pieces would’ve been written in 2007, when players who … Continue reading NWSL: A worthwhile investment, not a charity

Women’s soccer at the NSCAA Convention (parts of it)

My current focus on youth soccer forced me to miss a lot of the women’s soccer events at the NSCAA Convention. During the NWSL Draft, I was in a pair of interesting presentations. I was in a TOPSoccer presentation during the women’s soccer breakfast. (That said, the sausage, egg and cheese-filled pretzel I picked up at Reading Terminal Market that morning was a delicious, filling dose of protein.) I did catch a couple of things here and there — the NWSL coaches’ panel (surprisingly lightly attended), a couple of sessions that touched on men’s and women’s soccer, and the “Live Your Goals” … Continue reading Women’s soccer at the NSCAA Convention (parts of it)

Tom Sermanni and women’s soccer evolution

The U.S. women’s national soccer team changes like the continents — very slowly, with sudden earthquakes. We had one of those earthquakes last night, when coach Tom Sermanni was fired just a couple of hours after leading the USA to an uninspired 2-0 win over a China team that is a pale shadow of its glory days. The overriding narrative so far, fed by a lot of anonymous comments, is “player revolt.” But what does that mean? Let’s back up to the days of the beloved Pia Sundhage. After the 2007 World Cup debacle left wounds that haven’t healed to … Continue reading Tom Sermanni and women’s soccer evolution