Author Topic: WPS In Year Two  (Read 3086 times)

Offline David

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WPS In Year Two
« on: April 20, 2010, 04:54:36 PM »
With the second season of Women's Professional Soccer starting on Saturday, here are five things I'm looking for over the course of season two. We covered the impact of the Sol exiting the league in our preview, so I'm not focusing on that. Not necessarily in order of importance:

Quality Of Play: If you made it to a WPS game in 2009, chances were good that you saw competitive soccer played out over the full ninety minutes. I saw every team but the LA Sol in person last year, and I don't remember feeling that any of them were time poorly spent. Can the same be said of MLS in '09? Nope. Maintaining that level might be easier for the '09 teams this time around. At least one of the two expansion teams should be right there with them. Speaking of which:

Expansion: Atlanta has everything going for it: top players, a new WPS-specific stadium, and attainable first year goals. Philadelphia is a different story. They're not a strong WPS club in a season where most of the first-year teams significantly strengthened their squads. Instead of joining the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park when it's finished in June, they're playing their entire 2010 season 14 miles northwest at West Chester University. If this turns out to be a below average squad, their one marquee player might not be enough to keep the attendance up. It also sets up the potential for next year being a restart with the new stadium and a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in this league.
Activation: So much has been made about the massive number of people following @womensprosoccer on twitter. As of this morning, it's 247,257. Yet this remains a league with low television ratings and in-person attendance. Averaging 5k per game across all eight teams this season would be seen as a major success. With an eight team league, that means 20k showing up when they play a full schedule. Add in the television numbers, and it's not going to come close to 247,257. Do people just really like adding @womensprosoccer and then forget about it? Fair enough to play up that number, but if it's not translating into attendance and television ratings, what does it really mean?

Midfield: This is simply a question of production for a league with several clubs that have world-class midfields. More often than not, those midfields are about creating chances for their forwards. With some of those forward pairings a little suspect, there will be more than a couple of clubs needing goals from their midfielders. At best, this could create a new alternative for the WPS style of play and the need for other clubs to respond. At worst, it could turn clubs conservative, playing for the 1-0 or 2-1 win with defenses that simply won't hold up. Bringing us to...

Defense: This is where the league currently suffers. There aren't enough quality keepers or defenders, and that gets exposed time and again. Several teams are rolling the dice this season by starting unproven keepers or players that were backups at other teams. The defensive pool is shallow, and very few teams are quality all the way across their back line. In fairness, this might not be a problem for entertaining soccer. It's just the one area where things aren't working. MLS fans know what happens when keepers are treated as disposable, but WPS simply doesn't have enough options with that position. The players aren't there to be signed. And since we're talking about player acquisition, here's one more item.

Arsenal: For those of you unaware, Arsenal Ladies are the best team in English Women's club soccer. They're also dominant in a circuit that isn't fully professional. If you would like a look at what Arsenal had to offer in their glory years, that's the Chicago Red Stars. Arsenal's top assistant coach and a couple of their best position players play at Toyota Park, and it's an open question on what that will mean in season two. The focus will be on Katie Chapman who arrived from Arsenal in the off season after winning the 2009 FA Cup. With Chicago revamping their attack, her defensive presence might end up being a significant contributor to their win/loss record.

http://www.ussoccerplayers.com/ussoccerplayers/2010/04/wps-in-year-two.html

Sylvain

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England players in WPS
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2010, 10:34:08 PM »
Just a recap as there has been some changes for some the England girls recently :

Atlanta Beat : Eni Aluko
Boston Breakers : Alex Scott & Kelly Smith
Chicago Red Stars : Anita Asante, Karen Carney, Katie Chapman
FC Gold Pride : -
Philadelphia Independence : Lianne Sanderson
Sky Blue FC : Karen Bardsley
Washington Freedom : -

Offline EliteImp

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Re: WPS In Year Two
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2010, 01:18:06 AM »
http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/usa/story/Pride-beats-Philadelphia-to-win-WPS-title

5,228 at the Championship game? Very, very poor turnout  :(

Sylvain

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Re: WPS In Year Two
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2010, 12:37:24 PM »
Stadium at 97% capacity is not bad.

Offline EliteImp

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Re: WPS In Year Two
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2010, 01:09:20 PM »
Even we get 20-25 thousand at Cup finals, though.

With such low attendances and teams folding right, left and centre it doesn't look too good for the WPS.

Sylvain

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Re: WPS In Year Two
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2010, 02:16:22 PM »
It is one of their best result in term of bums on seat.
I think they have a low spectator target now after the spectacular failure of WUSA.

Offline charlie

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Re: WPS In Year Two
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2010, 02:14:31 PM »
 ???  So evrything isnt bigger and better then!  I am not sure about the future of the League long term.  It seems clubs go in and then pull out through sponsorship.  It asks questions of the Superleague here too.  Although I think the funding is more stable.  From what I have seen on video etc the WPS isnt all that brilliant Hopefully the league here will be improved to challenge the draw on our players.

Sylvain

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Re: WPS In Year Two
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2010, 03:06:10 PM »
It is well documented that only one team makes some profit. All the others are loosing money, to be fair I don't think there is any self sufficient clun in England that makes any money.