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WPS Kicks Off In Style

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The biggest footballing story of the weekend wasn’t Scotland’s defeat against Holland, it wasn’t Northern Ireland’s win against Poland, it wasn’t Spain and Holland getting close to World Cup qualification, it wasn’t even Beckham’s 109th cap or the new England kit.

The biggest footballing story, by far, was the launch of the Women’s Professional Soccer league in the United States.

The WPS kicked off in considerable style on Sunday with Los Angeles Sol taking on Washington Freedom in a quality game that ended 2-0 to the Sol, with the second goal of a quality you’d hardly expect from US football.

And that’s been the key theme after the inaugral game – that the WPS has the potential to take football in the US to the next level, beyond what the MLS could manage on it’s own.

For starters, it is by far the best women’s football league on the planet. Think of how good the English Premier League would be if you had, apart from the players already in England, Kaka, Messi, Xavi, Henry, Ibrahimovic, Villa, Sneijder, Benzema, Ribery, Lahm, Ramos, Buffon, and a handful of other big names playing in it as well.

The difference between the WPS and other women’s football leagues is that insane, it’s that sharp, and because of that difference, you’re going to see quality football coming out of the WPS week in week out, something the MLS hasn’t managed in over a decade.

With due respect – the MLS has done a lot to further football’s cause in the US. But they were fighting a losing battle competing with European leagues for quality players, something the WPS hasn’t had to do.

It’s only one game. There’s a whole season to go, and it will be several seasons before the future of the WPS is certain in terms of finances and popular demand. So far though, the commissioner has done what she’s promised, and everyone in the WPS from the players to the owners have just one goal in mind, to help the WPS succeed in the long run.

It’s a far cry from the ‘Premier League’ that we’re used to. It’s also a great start for a brand new league.

Highlights from the Sol-Freedom game:



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Also See: WPS Opener a Big Hit (Kartik Krishnaiyer)

Comments (6)

  1. You sure know how to provoke a discussion.. I forgot that this even took place, and I live here in the United States. I wish the WPS a lot of success, although I’m wondering what lessons will be learned from the collapse of the WUSA back in 2003. I realize that the world’s best women players will congregate to the United States to play in this league, but the one problem with women’s professional sports in this country is the competition with other major sports. I think of how even the WNBA struggles to make it a relevant part of the sports picture in the US and that’s basketball. In fairness to the WPS, in a weekend filled with the NCAA basketball tournament in the “Elite Eight” stage, FIFA World Cup qualifying, it was easy to lose sight of the WPS opening match.

  2. I am not sure that WPS is the best on the planet? There are still several good players in Europe. But I am sure it has the potential. The strange thing is that this happens in a country with alot of money but no soccer culture. The problem is that womans soccer is so bad. You can take a fourth division mens team and they would crush Germanys or USA:s womans team. I enjoy watching good soccer, but womans soccer is not good. Compare this to womans playing tennis, golf or even alpine skiing. Thats good quality, womans soccer is not.

  3. No soccer culture for men’s football. But women’s football is a different story with the number of females playing up to the college level. The problem in America has always been translating the popularity of football as a sport played by youngsters to a sport that has a popular culture among fans. I’m sure there are great female players in Europe and even the Ladies Premiership (not sure of its official name) is on the rise.

  4. Dan,

    I’d suggest checking out this Tonya Antonucci’s interview, discusses the lessons learned from WUSA in more detail.

  5. watched it, it was a lot of fun. Exciting to see Marta run as she did, everywhere

  6. What a CRAP first goal. But they totally made everyone forget about it with the second AMAZING goal. It reminds me of a Carlos Vela goal vs Wigan I think in the FA or Carling Cup.