Sep 29, 2010

PUMA's Project Pink :: Program Updates

PUMA's Project Pink :: Program Updates

Voting is officially live at -- so many really unique, deserving groups have been nominated.! With a quick browse and a couple of clicks, you can show your support for the charitable organization of your choice. PUMA will announce the "winner" come end of October; PUMA will donate 100% of the profits of the sale of our Project Pink product to the cause!

You can shop Project Pink both on (select items) and at (full line, linked here:,en_US,sc.html). Again, 100% of profits from the sale of the line go to the charity that receives the most votes.

Tweet #projectpink through October 18, and PUMA will donate an additional $1 to the cause (one tweet per user per day, up to $25,000).

Sep 28, 2010

Virginia College Soccer Round-up

Virginia College Soccer Round-up

Virginia Tech women's soccer falls flat over weekend. They were dominated 3-0 at home by rival Virginia Thursday and then had to travel to UNC just three days later, only to lose 2-1 despite jumping out to an early one-goal lead.

Virginia Wesleyan College sophomore forward Christina Fernandes (Monmouth) was named the Old Dominion Athletic Soccer Conference Player of the Week. She scored in a 1-0 win over Salisbury University and notched one assist in a 3-1 victory over Eastern Mennonite University.

• The Southern Virginia University women's soccer team followed Saturday's win at NCAA D.II Ohio Valley University with an impressive 2-1 victory Monday afternoon over the visiting NCAA D.II Shepherd University Rams. Southern Virginia's consecutive victories mark the Knights' first winning streak of the 2010 season.

• Following a three-goal weekend, William and Mary sophomore Cortlyn Bristol was named to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week.

Julian Coy of RPI in Troy, NY was named Offensive Performer of the Week in the Liberty League. Coy is a former standout at Brentsville District High School in Bristow, VA.

James Madison junior Patrick Innes (Chester, Va./Thomas Dale) scored 3:12 into overtime to lift the Dukes' men's soccer team to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Towson Saturday afternoon.

James Madison senior Teresa Rynier (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley) scored two second-half goals to help boost the Dukes' women's soccer team to a 3-1 victory over Northeastern on a drizzly Sunday afternoon at the JMU Soccer Complex.

Sep 27, 2010

Get to know UVA Women's Head Coach: Steve Swanson

The Virginia women's soccer team is off to a 4-0-1 start and is ranked No 6 nationally by Soccer America. The Cavaliers look for their fourth consecutive Virginia Nike Soccer Classic title when they host Texas on Friday and Boston University on Sunday. discussed the early part of the season and this weekend's tournament with head coach Steve Swanson.

Steve Swanson Biography

Question: Now that you are five games into the season, what have you seen from your team at this point of the season?

Swanson: I think there have been many positives that have stood out over the last month, since we started preseason training. There is strong work ethic amongst the group, which is important to any team that wants to go far in a season and accomplish their goals. That was something we saw in the spring that has carried over into the fall. I think there is a better appreciation for everyone's role on the team, and that has something to do with having a lot of veterans, who have a lot of experience. We are certainly more verbal, which is something I thought hurt us at times last year. Our communication is much better and that is something that has been beneficial to our play this year. Our technical ability from one player to the next is very high. The entire team has a good level of skill and that allows us to do some things that we might not have been able to do in the past. There are some areas that I have seen some great growth over the past year or so, and that has been keys to our play so far this season.

Question: How much of a luxury is it for a coach to have 10 returning starters and 18 returning letterwinners on a team?

Swanson: That kind of experience certainly makes a big difference for any coach. I like to think that it has been a reason for our early season success. Those players have worked awfully hard during their time at Virginia and have put themselves in a position to be successful on the field. It doesn't always happen, but you first want to put yourself in a position to be successful and our players have done that. They have worked hard on their weaknesses and have improved every year they have been in our program. With that, I hope comes some cohesiveness as a team as everyone knows each other's strengths and how to play as a unit.
Question: Has there anything over the first few weeks of the season that has surprised you?

Swanson: I don't think this is as much a surprise, but it has been nice to see the change in our second-year class. The evolution of them as players from first-years last season to where they are now has been great to see. I remember coming in last year and thinking how new and raw they were. It's always tough to come in as a first-year. They have done a great job of improving and using the experience they had last year and putting it to good use. I think our first years that have come in this year, it has been a surprise, not to us as coaches, but maybe to our team overall, just how quickly they have fit into the group. Their injection into the group has been really smooth and they did a good job preparing themselves this summer to be ready to contribute right away.

Question: This season, in three home games you have three wins and outscored opponents 18-0. What has been key to the strong play at Klöckner Stadium?

Swanson: Our mentality from the onset has been key. Our players are bringing an energy and a mentality to each game. We have gotten out to strong starts of games and that has a lot to do with our mentality and attitude heading into each game. For the coaching staff, it has been great to see that consistency.

Question: How important are these non-conference games in order to get ready for the difficulty of ACC play?

Swanson: They are extremely important as you try to prepare your team for what is ahead. It is like a boat. You put it in the water first and test it out and see if there is anything you need to fix before you try to take it through some storms. We try to put our team in an environment where we can see where we are and what we need to work on. These games are important in terms of building your resume come postseason, but also to test your team and get an accurate gauge of where you are.

Question: This weekend you host a challenging tournament. Texas is undefeated and Boston University, despite their record, has played some good teams well this year. The fourth team, William & Mary, is also undefeated. What will fans see when they come to Klöckner this weekend?

Swanson: It will be a good tournament. William & Mary has had a strong year thus far. Texas traditionally has always been a strong, well-coached team. We have never played BU before, but I have a lot of respect for their program and they are another team that was picked to win their conference, which we have already played a few of those teams this season. We know what we are getting with these games. These are more opportunities to test our team and that is exactly what we are looking for at this time of the year. Hopefully we will get a good crowd out for both Friday and Sunday, because I think our fans will be treated to some great soccer.

Virginia Women's Soccer Downs Virginia Tech 3-0

Sep 24, 2010

Q & A with Sinead Farrelly: UVA Women's Soccer Player

Q&A with Sinead Farrelly
Courtesy: Release: 09/15/2010

The Virginia women's soccer team concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule Sunday when it visits West Virginia. The Cavaliers (6-0-1) are looking to go through non-conference play undefeated for the first time since 2004. talked to senior midfielder Sinead Farrelly, the current ACC Player of the week, to discuss the early season success of the team and preview the upcoming game with the Mountaineers.

Question: Last weekend, you defeated Texas and Boston University to win the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic. How important is it to defend the home field and win your own tournament?

Farrelly: Whether it is our tournament or not, we always have a goal not to lose at home. It is something we take pride in. Especially this past week, against teams we have never played before, we needed to show that Klöckner is our field and we aren't going to let anyone come in and beat us. Also, these are important non-conference games that we need to win, and we got the job done.

Question: Both games were wins, but all the goals were scored in the second half. Is that something that you are doing right in the second half or is it something that needs improvement in the first half?

Farrelly: We want to come out right from the opening whistle and play like we can. We were playing well in the first half, but just weren't finishing our chances. We need to look at getting that done earlier and make it easier for ourselves. It taught us a lot about what we have to do in upcoming games.

Question: A key to that second half success has been the depth on the team. How do you think the depth is on this team compared to years past?

Farrelly: The depth is a huge factor why we have been doing so well. We always talk about seamlessness, that when we sub, there's not a difference in our level of play. Knowing that we get the same energy level and the same talent level whenever we bring in players off the bench is big for us.

Question: There is one more non-conference game left, but so far you are undefeated on the season. How important is it to have all a lot momentum going as you approach the ACC season?

Farrelly: It's huge; I don't think we have ever been undefeated heading into the ACC season since I have been here. We have played a really good out of conference schedule. It is a huge confidence booster for us. When we play with confidence, we are so much better.

Question: So far you have been having very good results on both ends of the field, outscoring opponents 27-1. What's been the key to the strength at both ends of the field?

Farrelly: It's good because our defense can count on us to score and we can count on them to not let anything in. It gives everyone confidence to perform their role on the field when you know that both ends of the field are having success.

Question: You travel to West Virginia this weekend, which is always a rivalry game. What do you anticipate in this match up?

Farrelly: It's going to be a huge game. Rivalries like this are always good for us because we know the level of play is going to be high. For us, it's also our last chance to get ready for ACC play. The last time we went there, we didn't play well (a 3-0 loss in 2008), so we are ready to for another chance. I'm excited; I think it will be a good game.

Arsenal announce Richmond Striker Project

Richmond Strikers Logo

Thanks to it's Nike connection, the Richmond Striker club is joining forces with Arsenal FC. Read all the details here on

Sep 23, 2010

Virginia Nationally Ranked High School and College Teams and Players

NSCAA - Nationally Ranked Virginia Colleges (soccer)
Men (NCAA 9/21/10)
D-I: #7 Virginia
*also receiving votes: William & Mary

D-III: #2 Christopher Newport

Women (NCAA 9/21/10)
DI: #11 Virginia

NSCAA - Nationally Ranked Virginia High Schools (soccer)
Boys (9/21/10)
National: #4 Episcopal (Alexandria)
Region IV: #1 Episcopal (Alexandria)

Girls (9/21/10)
None Ranked

Women’s College Players to Watch – National Top 100 (

sinead farrelly
#2 - Sinead Farrelly, Virginia MF
#63 - Lauren Alwine, Virginia F
#66 - Marika Gray, Virginia Tech. F
#75 - Meghan Lenczyk, Virginia F

Men’s College Players to Watch – National Top 100 (

cj sapong
#5 - CJ Sapong, James Madison F
#20 – Greg Monaco, Virginia D
#28 – Will Bates, Virginia F
#49 – Ryan Snyder, William & Mary F
#62 – Diego Restrepo, Virginia GK
#97 – Mike Volk, Virginia D

Sep 21, 2010

Virginia-DC Soccer Hall of Fame

soccer hall of fame

  2010 VA DC Hall of Fame Inductees


Meritorious Service

  Raul Diaz Arce

 Dave Johnson 

  Amanda Cromwell

 Karen Knott

  Ann Orrison Germain

 Ken Krieger

 Richie Williams  Chip Rohr


 M’Kean "Mac" Tredway


Bill Shellenberger

 2009 VA DC Hall of Fame Inductees


Meritorious Service

  Jeff Agoos

  Alketis Panagoulias

  Wendy Gebauer

  Dave Williams

  Mia Hamm


  Marcia McDermott



Pat McStay

2008 VA DC Hall of Fame Inductees


Meritorious Service

  Marco Etcheverry

  Gary Allen

  Cindi Harkes

  Ferdinand Paciolla


  Kevin Payne

2007 VA DC Hall of Fame Inductees


Meritorious Service

  Kathy Kelly Erickson

  Lauren Gregg

  Gary Etherington

  Jay Hoffman


  Rael Vodicka


John Ellis

2006 VA DC Hall of Fame Inductees


Meritorious Service

  Suzy Cobb Germain

  Jac Cicala

  John Harkes

  April Heinrichs

  Rob Olson

  Pete Johnson


Nelson Kobren
Dick White

2005 VA DC Hall of Fame Inductees


Meritorious Service

  Mike Brady

  Al Albert

  John Kerr Jr.

  Dave Amsler

  Gayle Smith Wilson

  Bob Sokolinsky

2004 VA DC Hall of Fame Inductees


Meritorious Service

 Gordon Bradley

 John Kerr Sr.

2003 VA DC Hall of Fame Inductees


Meritorious Service

  Kip Germain

  Hank Leung

  Megan McCarthy

  Mike Berticelli


  Don Hood

2002 VA DC Hall of Fame Inductees


Meritorious Service

  Lincoln Phillips

  Bruce Arena

  John Stollmeyer

  John Koskinen

  Helmut Werner

  Wally Watson

2001 VA DC Hall of Fame Inductees


Meritorious Service

  Pam Baughman-Cornell

  Mavis Derflinger

  Walter Durkan

  Adele Dolansky

  Len Oliver

  Ed Fath

  Al Smith

  Everett Germain

  Roberto Zito

  Lawrence A. Monaco Jr.


  George Towner


Sep 20, 2010

Hotspur, Impact Unveiled - FASA Adds PDL, W-League Franchises

USL News Release -
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

TAMPA, Fla. – United Soccer Leagues is proud to announce that the Fredericksburg Area Soccer Association will be fielding teams in both the Premier Development League and W-League beginning with the 2011 season.
The Fredericksburg Hotspur will play in the PDL, while the Fredericksburg Impact will compete in the W-League. Both teams will begin play in their respective leagues in May, 2011. Division alignment and schedules for both teams will be released at a later date.

“We’re very excited to have an organization of the caliber of FASA joining the PDL and W-League,” Senior Director of PDL Operations Jeff McRaney said. “With the level of aspiration they have shown with their Super Y and Super-20 programs this year, we feel they will be a valuable addition to both the PDL and W-League for many years to come.”

A community of soccer players, families and coaches, FASA is dedicated to maintaining a positive atmosphere for athletes to compete through the sport of soccer – and to promote and encourage camaraderie among club members through team participation in athletic events.

“We are thrilled to be bringing elite-level soccer to the Fredericksburg community and have no doubt they will enthusiastically support our teams,” FASA General Manager Pete Cinalli said. “The area has a history of producing quality soccer players and to have the opportunity to have a ‘hometown’ team to compete on a national level will create a lot of excitement.”

FASA, which has been a fixture in the Central Virginia soccer scene for more than 30 years, began its involvement with USL this year with 10 teams participating in the Super Y-League and Super-20 League. Cinalli believes adding the PDL and W-League to the organization will allow for even greater player development in the coming years, and a goal for the organization’s younger players to aim for as they progress through the club.

“Our explosive growth and focus on elite player development was certainly a key motivator for pursuing PDL and W-League franchises, as was the success former FASA players are having at the college level,” Cinalli said. “Our club will now have the ability to have players start with us as young as 4 years old in our Classic Program, move to Travel and Super Y, then return from college to play on our PDL or W-League teams. It allows us to take our focus on player development to the highest level possible.”

The top U23 men’s league in North America, the USL Premier Development League (PDL) featured 67 teams within four conferences across the United States and Canada in 2010. The PDL season consists of 16 regular season matches for each team, eight home and eight away, and provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions. The USL Premier Development League has proven to be an important stepping stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world. This year’s PDL champions were the Portland Timbers U23s, which defeated the Thunder Bay Chill, 4-1, in the final.

The first and longest-standing women’s league in North America, the W-League is USL’s highest level of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada. The 2010 USL W-League campaign featured 29 teams in three regional conferences playing 10 or 12 regular season matches. In addition to featuring international and professional stars, elite amateur players have the opportunity to compete on amateur teams in the league while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The league is recognized throughout the world for providing superior competition for female players, while offering affordable family entertainment for fans across North America. This season’s championship was won by the Buffalo Flash, who defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps, 3-1, in Santa Clarita, Calif. on July 31.

United Soccer Leagues

Founded in 1986, United Soccer Leagues has become the largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America by building on the vision, commitment, and passion of players, fans and investors. Now in its third decade of operation, USL continues to be a driving force in the growth of soccer in the United States, Canada and Caribbean. USL provides a clearly defined path for the progression of male and female soccer players beginning at the youth level (USL Super Y-League/USL Super-20 League), continuing through the amateur level (USL Premier Development League/USL W-League) and up to the professional level, both outdoor and indoor (USL PRO, I-League). A platform for countless players to reach for their dreams each year, USL is devoted to developing the sport at the grassroots level in every community across the region.

USL Public Relations - Jay Preble / Nicholas Murray / David Wagner - Tampa, FL - 813.963.3909 - Twitter: USLsoccer

Washington Freedom 2010 Season Recap, Top 10 Stories in Pictures

The 2010 WPS season was full of highs and lows for the Washington Freedom. The season included player retirements, winless streaks, unbeaten streaks, coaching changes, controversy, awards, suspense, and excitement.

These ten pictures are an attempt to capture all of the many emotions of the 2010 season.

  1. Brianna Scurry Retires

  2. Emma Hayes hired as consultant

  3. Freedom lose to Independance in first round of Playoffs

  4. Start the season with a Loss to Boston Breakers

  5. Freedom win final game of regular season to make playoffs

  6. Mia Hamm welcomes Jennifer Grubb into Ring of Freedom

  7. Lisa De Vanna Facebook Photo Flap

  8. Freedom Select Nikki Marshall #7 in first round of WPS 2010 Draft

  9. Freedom Goalkeeper Erin McLeod Injury ends Season

  10. Abby Wambach finishes Freedom season as leader in Goals and Assists with 13and 8.

Sep 17, 2010

Sundhage selects Two Washington Freedom Players for Prelim Roster

us women's soccer team photo
U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage selected two Washington Freedom players as part of her 30 player preliminary roster for two matches against China. Forward Abby Wambach and Midfielder Sarah Huffman were chosen along with 25 other WPS players as part of the peliminary roster. The matches against China are taking place on Oct. 2 at the Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. (6 p.m. ET), and on Oct. 6 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2).

Sundhage will open a training camp in Kennesaw, outside of Atlanta, on Sept. 20.  For each game versus China, 18 players will suit up. The US Women's National Team and coach Sundhage are preparing forthe  2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament, taking place from Oct. 28-Nov. 9 in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Sep 14, 2010

Ten Virginia Players invited to ODP U-14 and U-15 National Team Camps

Virginia Players Selected

U-14 Girls: U.S. National Team Identification Camp – 2010

Payton Cook, Glen Allen, VA - Richmond Kickers

Katherine Cousins, Forest, VA - Central Virginia United

U-15 Girls: U.S. National Team Camp - Summer 2010

Andi Sullivan, Lorton, VA - Bethesda SC

Vanessa Kovar, Manassas, VA - VSA Heat

U-14 Boys: U.S. National Team Identification Camp - 2010

Josh Cox, Woodbridge, VA - PWSI
Coy Craft, Glade Spring, VA - Fusion FC
Gary Foley, Fredericksburg, VA - PWSI
William McCreary, Arlington, VA - Arlington Impact

U-14 Boys: U.S. National Team Camp - Summer 2010

Jorge Calix, Alexandria, VA – Team America
James Ellis Jr., Chesapeake, VA - United Junkyard Dogs

Virginia College Soccer Players to Watch

Women’s College Players to Watch - ACC (

1 Sinead Farrelly, Virginia MF
11 Lauren Alwine, Virginia F
12 Marika Gray, Virginia Tech. F
17 Meghan Lenczyk, Virginia F

Women’s College Players to Watch - CAA (

2 Diana Weigel, William & Mary MF
5 Omolyn Davis, George Mason MF
6 Teresa Rynier, James Madison MF
12 Lisa Bernardini, Old Dominion D
16 Ashlee Coutu, Old Dominion MF
17 Tiana Kellenberger, George Mason F
19 Ashley Kukura, Old Dominion MF
20 Kaitlen O’Connor, William & Mary D

Men’s College Players to Watch - CAA (

1 CJ Sapong, James Madison F
3 Victor Freeman, George Mason F
5 Nathaniel Baako, William & Mary MF
15 Thomas Webb, Old Dominion D
17 Alan Koger, William & Mary F
18 Evan Newton, Old Dominion GK
19 Yannick Smith, Old Dominion F
20 Paul Wyatt, James Madison F

Sep 13, 2010

Style over Structure: A comparison of Brazil and US Soccer Philosophy

brazil soccerVSussoccer logo

The future success of US Soccer must start at the bottom. American players are missing the intangibles: creativity, desire, and confidence. All of these are set in motion at an early age and not instilled via coaching at the top level.

The Brazilian National team is always considered one of the top teams in international soccer competitions and have been for quite some time. The Brazilians have won 5 World Cup competitions in 19 appearances (the only team to play in every World Cup). The Brazilian team has produced numerous international stars including the best to ever play futbol, Pele. From current national team members Robinho and Kaka to up and coming superstar Neymar, there is never a lack of talent being produced by Brazil.

In Brazil the focus is not on coaching but rather playing the “beautiful game”. Style, skill, and passion are encouraged and expressed by the national players from Brazil with much less emphasis on structure and power. In comparison the US Soccer program has continued to fail in its goal to produce a competitive international soccer squad due to its dependence on the model American athlete. Most sports that youth in America participate in require size, strength, and power the desired attributes of an “athlete”. However, as Brazil continues to demonstrate, this may not be the correct area of focus when it comes to building a winning soccer team and successful coaching philosophy.

In their youth Brazilian children can be seen with a ball at their feet no matter what the field conditions are, constantly playing the ‘beautiful game’. This open play is the key to developing creativity and skill without any coaching whatsoever. Compare this scenario to that of a suburban soccer complex in America: turf fields, top of the line equipment, and multiple coaches (and unfortunately parents) dissecting and interjecting at the first sight of a players’ “mistake”. We focus our coaching on technical, tactical, psychological and of course physical skills. Not mentioned is creativity, passion, or individuality.

If US Soccer where to study successful international teams from around the globe and attempt to blend their winning formulas for developing talented players and competitive teams they may have a better chance at success.

The true measure of success for a national soccer team is measured in wins and not corporate sponsorship money or T.V. coverage/revenue. For the game of soccer to finally take hold of the American audience the team must first WIN. Face it, Americans love WINNERS. Remember back not long ago to the 2010 World Cup and the attention our country paid to the results of the US Soccer team and captain Landon Donovan when they were playing well and advancing in the tournament.

Then remember how quickly that attention faded once the team was eliminated.

In Brazil where the love of futbol is introduced along with a bottle at birth the success of the national team unites an entire country. In the US the sport of soccer is an afterthought to many. With an open mind and willingness to change philosophy, the US Soccer program would have the opportunity to embrace the youth of America with a sport that is not only the most popular sport in the world but is also accessible to any race, religion, color, gender, and class.

Americans are innately independent soles. This is why democracy and capitalism are encouraged and defended in our country. Start with our youth and encourage them to develop their independent spirit through the beautiful game and we may soon see the results on display during the most widely viewed sporting event in the world. And who knows, with a little help from FIFA that might even be on US soil as soon as 2018 or 2022.

Sep 12, 2010

VYSA Upcomming Coaching Education Course

VYSA to Host National Youth License Course in November

Date: November 12,13, 14, and November 20, 21, 2010

Location: RAVE Soccer Complex, Virginia Beach, VA

Fee: $580

For more information and an application form, contact Jackie at

Sep 10, 2010

What to watch for in Virginia Soccer this Weekend (9/10 - 9/12)

NSCAA / Fox Soccer Channel Game of the Week
Men’s College Soccer –
#16 USF vs. Virginia Tech 9/10 @ 8p.m. Live on FSC

#2 Virginia vs. #7 Duke 9/11 @ 7p.m.

Women’s College Soccer –
35TH Annual Stihl Soccer Classic
William & Mary vs. West Virginia 9/10 @ 4:30p.m.
ODU vs. Rhode Island 9/10 @ 7p.m.
William & Mary vs. Rhode Island 9/12 @ Noon
ODU vs. West Virginia 9/12 @ 2:30p.m.

Women’s College Soccer –
2010 Virginia Nike Soccer Classic at Klöckner Stadium
#22 William & Mary vs. Boston University 9/10 @4:30p.m.
# 12 Virginia vs. Texas 9/10 @ 7p.m.
#22 William & Mary vs. Texas 9/12 @ Noon
#12 Virginia vs. Boston University 9/12 @ 2p.m.

WPS Playoff Race
Washington Freedom vs. Atlanta Beat 9/11 @ 7p.m.
2011 WPS All-Star team captain, Abby Wambach and the Freedom, in a must win game to make the playoffs in this regular season finale versus Hope Solo and the Atlanta Beat. The game will be played at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Live on CSN

Sep 8, 2010

Nationally Ranked Virginia Colleges and High Schools (soccer)

NSCAA - Nationally Ranked Virginia Colleges (soccer)

Men (NCAA 9/07/10)

D-I: #2 Virginia
*also receiving votes: George Mason, Old Dominion

D-III: #3 Christopher Newport
*also receiving votes: Lynchburg

Women (NCAA 9/07/10)

DI: #12 Virginia, #22 William & Mary
*also receiving votes: James Madison, Virginia Tech

DIII: #24 Washington & Lee
*also receiving votes: Lynchburg

NSCAA - Nationally Ranked Virginia High Schools (soccer)

Boys (9/07/10)

National: #4 Episcopal (Alexandria)

Region IV: #1 Episcopal (Alexandria), #9 Collegiate School (Richmond)

Girls (9/07/10)

Region IV: #6 Bishop O’Connell (Arlington)

Sep 7, 2010

Virginia College Soccer Update - September 7

University of Virginia soccer
University of Virginia:

Women (No. 7) - 8-0  vs Richmond (5-0-2 overall)
Men (No. 2) -  5-0 vs No. 17 St. John (5-0 overall)

GMU logo
George Mason University:

Men - D.C. College Cup Champions with wins over George Washington 3-1 and American 1-0 (4-1 overall)
Women - D.C. Invitational at Georgetown Results: L 4-0 vs. Georgetown, W 2-1 vs American (3-3 overall)

william & mary logo
William and Mary:

Women (No. 16) - 5-0 vs Loyala, 1-0 vs Richmond (4-0-1 overall)
Men - Today @ Loyola (2-0 overall)

Virginia Tech LogoVirginia Tech:

Women (No. 23) - Loss 1-2 vs Kentucky, Win 1-0 vs LSU (3-3 overall)
Men - Loss 0-2 vs No. 17 St. John's, Loss 1-3 vs UAB (0-2 overall)

Christopher Newport:

Women - Win 2-1 vs Montclair State (1-1 overall)
Men (No. 5)- Win 1-0 vs Stockton College (3-0 overall)

Sep 1, 2010

Top 3 Obstacles for WPS Success?

Top 3 Obstacles for WPS Success

On September 26, 2010 FC Gold Pride will host the WPS Championship game and the second WPS Champion will be crowned. For the second year in a row the best women’s soccer player in the world will be playing in the leagues championship game which will be shown live on Fox Sports Net.
WPS trophy
For the WPS to have the sports best player and championship game broadcast live on television should indicate the Women’s league is on stable ground and poised to remain in existence. However following the 2009 season making the WPS championship game, being in the country’s second largest media market, and having Marta on their roster was not enough to keep the Los Angeles Sol from ceasing operations. Ending in nearly identical fashion for its second season, WPS will again showcase Marta on television battling for the championship on a team based in California.

With average per game attendance figures continuing to fall from 2009 to 2010 and having one of its teams (St. Louis Atletica) cease operations mid-season the focus is on how or if the league will survive.

The predecessor to the WPS, WUSA, completed just three full seasons before closing down shop. Even with the star power of the still popular Mia Hamm and her 1999 World Cup teammates the WUSA was unable to find the resources needed to be a profitable sports league in America.

Compare some of the issues that plagued the WUSA to those of the current incarnation of professional women’s soccer and you will see they are identical with one exception. The WUSA had much better attendance figures. In 2001, its inaugural season, the WUSA had an average of 8,116 per game which dropped to 6,667 per game in 2003 its final season. Currently the WPS is averaging 3,611 per game for the 2010 season, down 23% from the 4,684 in 2009.

Along with having much lower ticket sales than the WUSA, the WPS is facing three of the same demons that eventually forced the previous league out of the business of professional soccer in America. Other than PUMA the WPS faces a lack of major corporate sponsorships along with a lack of much needed television and media coverage. Combine the lack of much needed revenue from lowering ticket sales and sponsors and you can see how as a business the WPS may be in dire straits.

Already on the outside looking in, soccer in America is simply not as popular among professional sports as the ‘top three’ Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Although the participation numbers in youth soccer are near the top of any sport it has yet to translate to the numbers necessary to maintain a professional sports league. Major League Soccer has battled for recognition and respect as a league both in America and within the international soccer world. Even after 14 years in existence MLS struggles for its share of the professional sports market behind not just the three major sports but the NHL as well.

The obstacles are easily recognizable by all those involved in the WPS from the management level (GM’s) to the players on the field. I recently asked players, GM’s, and WPS employees past and present for the top 3 obstacles the WPS will need to overcome to become a financially profitable business and successful profession sports league. Not surprisingly most of them pointed out the following three areas the league will need to focus on immediately:
  1. Increased ticket sales
  2. The need for major sponsorship deals
  3. Increased TV/Media coverage
If you are a fan of the WPS and professional women’s sports in general, do you think the WPS will be able to continue on for a third season and/or even surpass the 3 year mark of the WUSA? Do you believe our daughters or sisters in college, high school, and in the youth levels of soccer have a realistic dream of one day playing professional soccer in America whether in the WPS or some future version of the league?

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