Author Topic: England's best women take the David Beckham route...  (Read 3182 times)

Offline John

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England's best women take the David Beckham route...
« on: March 30, 2009, 02:30:17 PM »
...as US league tries a second coming

Some of Britain's finest players are taking a gamble on football taking off in the US

The Women's Professional Soccer League kicks off tonight with the Los Angeles Sol hosting the Washington Freedom at David Beckham's occasional place of employment, the Home Depot Center. Five English players are among the host of foreign talent that the WPS hopes can build on America's gold medal success in Beijing and carve out a niche in a crowded marketplace feeling the strain of being spurned by sponsors.

A professional women's football league launched Stateside in the wake of international success? We have been here before. The Women's United Soccer Association (Wusa) was born out of America's victorious hosting of the 1999 World Cup and having incurred losses of $100m, folded in 2003 after only three seasons. The WPS is a smaller, less ambitious, seven-team league that believes it can establish itself as a major showcase for one of the country's most popular participatory sports.

The WPS may not be too popular in north London, seeing as Arsenal Ladies have been shorn of three of their best players, including the England striker Kelly Smith. The 30-year-old will be lining up at the Stanford University stadium for the Boston Breakers alongside Alex Scott, also formerly of Arsenal, while their erstwhile team-mate Karen Carney has joined the Chicago Red Stars. Two Chelsea players have also crossed the Atlantic — Eniola Aluko signing for the peculiarly named St Louis Athletica and Anita Asante for Sky Blue FC of New York and New Jersey.

Smith, having played college football for Seton Hall, was the only English player involved in the doomed Wusa, drafted by the Philadelphia Charge on the league's inception she stayed with the franchise until the overly-ambitious project, that hoped to replicate regularly the 90,000 crowd that saw the US defeat China in the 1999 World Cup final at the Rose Bowl, went belly up. Smith admits she sought more information on the WPS before signing the four-year contract with Boston that makes her one of the league's highest earners.

"I was wary before signing because I thought things were going well when I was at Philadelphia, but then the league went under," she said. "So before signing, I got assurances from people at the WPS that were working previously with Wusa, and they said that they had learned from their mistakes and they were holding the reins and they were going out smaller, not trying to be too big too soon." Brazil star Marta, a three-time world player of the year, is just one of the superstars of the game to be enticed to join the WPS. Most of her national team-mates from the Olympics are also involved, with only the German players conspicuous by their absence — due mainly to their strong domestic game and hosting of the World Cup in 2011.

Smith already thinks the quality of players involved in the new competition is much better than the Wusa. "The game has been developing without a league in the last four years and I think that has resulted in a better product on the field," said Smith.

That business plan is the work of the league's commissioner, Tonya Antonucci, and the former Yahoo! executive has no intention of repeating the blind optimism of the Wusa. She thinks it more prudent to target those who already count themselves as football fans and drawing them in with player evenings and the use of the micro-blogging phenomenon, Twitter.

"We learned a lot by evaluating Wusa. They did a lot of things right and had a great product on the field," said Antonucci. "We know that we need local investors for each franchise that can nurture their markets and reach the grass-roots soccer communities with an entrepreneurial spirit. We believe these lessons will translate to fan and sponsor support."

The average seven-month contract is worth $32,000 (£24,000) as the league budgets to attract crowds of between 4,000 and 6,000. Scott says the Breakers have already sold 2,000 season tickets — all very different from training twice a week and playing in front of a few hundred at Boreham Wood. Not that the 24-year-old defender has been entirely indoctrinated: "I'm not calling it soccer yet, no," she said.

"The other day we were playing a warm-up match and I was shouting encouragement, saying, 'We're playing good football girls,' and the referee turned around and started laughing at me."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/mar/29/women-football-league-america
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shlj

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British players in the USA
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 04:59:26 PM »
Here is a non-exhaustive list of Brits player playing in the USA, I know I missed a few so feel free to add those I missed. ;)

Aluko E St Louis Athletica
Asante A Sky Blue FC
Baker Ashley Tampa Bay Hellenic
Bardsley Karen Sky Blue FC
Vaila Barsley Long Island Rough Riders
Bray Carly Millburn Magic
Carney Karen Chicago Red Stars
Davison Gemma Chicago Red Eleven
Dawson Holly Connecticut Passion
Fell Rachel Tampa Bay Hellenic
Howells Fran Middle Tennessee State University
Scott Alex Boston Breakers
Sims Kelly Millburn Magic
Smith Kelly Boston Breakers
Suominen Hope Middle Tennessee State University
Taylor Jodie Pali Blues
Wicks Liz Columbia University

shlj

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updated list
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2009, 03:31:47 PM »
Players with a star refer to former Arsenal and Arsenal Academy players  ;)

Aluko E St Louis Athletica
Asante A Sky Blue FC*
Baker Ashley Tampa Bay Hellenic
Bardsley Karen Sky Blue FC
Vaila Barsley Long Island Rough Riders*
Bray Carly Millburn Magic*
Carney Karen Chicago Red Stars*
Davison Gemma Chicago Red Eleven*
Dawson Holly Connecticut Passion*
Earnshaw Eleri* New York Athletic Club*
Fell Rachel Tampa Bay Hellenic
Hawke Kay Ventura County Fusion
Howells Fran Middle Tennessee State University*
Lawrence Kelly Indiana University*
Lloyd Beth Soccerplus Connecticut*
Scott Alex Boston Breakers*
Sims Kelly Millburn Magic*
Smith Kelly Boston Breakers*
Suominen Hope Middle Tennessee State University*
Taylor Jodie Pali Blues
Tregear Clio Soccerplus Connecticut*
Wicks Liz Columbia University*
Wooliscroft Sarah Claremont Stars*

Offline cardy

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Re: England's best women take the David Beckham route...
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2009, 04:11:12 PM »
Apart from the four from arsenal 1st squad, I didnt realise so many were playing out there.  Liz Wicks went out there to Uni last year I know.How many are at Uni and how many will return for the 2009 Season I wonder!

Offline redrobin

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Re: England's best women take the David Beckham route...
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2009, 04:16:55 PM »
Already posted this on Egg's thread but just to add to shlj's list

Michelle Evans (Everton) - Ottawa Fury (W-League)

The Fury roster also lists Jayne Eadie (Blackburn/Donny/Man City) although she hadn't had any playing time when I last looked.

Amber Hearn (New Zealand) is playing for the Fury too - she played for the Gunners about four years ago, including several outings for the first team.
Just thought the Boreham Wood faithful might like to know.  :) 



« Last Edit: June 09, 2009, 04:24:19 PM by redrobin »

Offline charlie

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Re: England's best women take the David Beckham route...
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2009, 06:56:07 AM »
As theres not much footie here at the moment, I had a look at Wleague and the stats.. Looks like Evans and Davison are doing well with goals and assists.  Evans was player of the week a couple of weeks ago and Indiana are playing the red eleven this week.  Which sounds like a big game.

Does anyone know if Chicago red eleven are linked to The Chicago pro team? 


shlj

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Re: England's best women take the David Beckham route...
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2009, 11:51:58 AM »
Already posted this on Egg's thread but just to add to shlj's list

Michelle Evans (Everton) - Ottawa Fury (W-League)

The Fury roster also lists Jayne Eadie (Blackburn/Donny/Man City) although she hadn't had any playing time when I last looked.

Amber Hearn (New Zealand) is playing for the Fury too - she played for the Gunners about four years ago, including several outings for the first team.
Just thought the Boreham Wood faithful might like to know.  :)  
Amber used to have squad number 19 (?) back in 2004/05 a big center forward, she was not used a  lot at the time. I remember an away game at Leeds where we finished the game with Amber and a very young Gemma up front.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 12:22:25 PM by shlj »

shlj

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Re: England's best women take the David Beckham route...
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2009, 11:56:38 AM »
Does anyone know if Chicago red eleven are linked to The Chicago pro team? 
Yes, they are :

The Chicago Red Stars of Women’s Professional Soccer and the Chicago Red Eleven, playing its inaugural season as a member of the W-League, have announced an affiliation agreement between the two organizations. With the agreement, the Red Eleven becomes the exclusive amateur affiliate of the Red Stars, as well as the team’s exclusive W-League affiliate in the state of Illinois.

The affiliation agreement will not only involve player personnel development, but also strives to build a strong tie that fosters the growth of women’s soccer in the Chicagoland area and the entire state of Illinois. Among the two organizations’ synergies will be cross promotions involving signage at both teams’ home games, merchandise sales, player appearances, web site links and participation in youth camps and clinics.

 http://www.chicagoredeleven.com/home/318202.html