WPSL DC-Area June Recap

June isn’t quite over yet, but I’m only going to make it to one more match, so here’s what’s happened so far this month.

All photographs courtesy of Larry J. Clark.

Virginia Beach City FC 4, Braddock Road Stars Elite 2

Braddock Road's Alex Myers attempts a shot against Virginia Beach.

Braddock Road’s Alex Myers attempts a shot against Virginia Beach.


On Wednesday, June 7, at Robinson High School in Fairfax, VA, a well-oiled Virginia Beach attack overpowered a normally solid Braddock Road defense and even though the Stars Elite scored twice – a good performance by them – it wasn’t enough.
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The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #23 – Tony DiCicco & NWSL Returns

In episode #23 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) begin by discussing the passing of legendary coach Tony DiCicco and the lasting influence he had on so many within the world of women’s soccer (0:36). Afterward, they discuss the week that was in the NWSL, including takes on Carli Lloyd’s comments and a surprising road win for Sky Blue FC (7:45).

The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #22 – NWSL 1/3rd of The Season Complete Jamboree

In episode #22 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) return for their NWSL 1/3rd of The Season Review Jamboree! First, they discuss the NWSL’s revised procedures dealing with heat prompted by the scary incident in Houston involving Rachel Daly (2:14). Afterward, they spend the rest of the podcast discussing the first third of the NWSL season for each of the ten clubs and their prospects for the rest of the season (7:52).

WPSL DC-Area Week One Recap

Meaghan McElligott

Australian Meaghan McElligott scored three consecutive goals in two matches for the Washington Spirit Reserves.

One week in (roughly), and we have three matches from the local teams in the books, two for each. (The math works out because they played each other.) The Washington Spirit Reserves are, unsurprisingly, 2-0-0, while the Braddock Road Stars Elite, also unsurprisingly, are 1-1-0.
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WPSL DC-area preview 2017

Washington Spirit Reserves players at a preseason practice.

Washington Spirit Reserves players at a preseason practice.

The regional elite women’s amateur scene has altered once again with the folding of the ASA Chesapeake Charge. For most of seven seasons, they were the local WPSL team to be reckoned with, but as time went by they found it harder and harder to recruit enough players to be competitive. When for some games last year they were starting the 13-year-old daughter of their operations manager, the writing was on the wall. So from two years ago when there were four local teams in two leagues, we’re down to two local teams in one league, the Women’s Premier Soccer League. Let’s look at those teams now.
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The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #21 – Pugh & NWSL Players Association

In episode #21 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) try to squeeze in their commentary on a very busy week of WoSo. They discuss the signing of Mallory Pugh with the Washington Spirit (1:35) and what it means for all stakeholders. Afterward, they discuss the formation of the NWSL Players Association, and Jon steps up on his soapbox about the spate of recent unexcused absences (11:56). Then Chris rants about the non-news with a potential Barcelona NWSL team [hint: don’t hold your breath] (19:55). And they take a few minutes to ruminate on streaming and attendance issues (29:38).

Then they close out with a review of Week Five in the NWSL including the numerous defensive pratfalls from clubs (33:50) before a brief preview of Week Six (1:10:05).

Reminder! We’re off until early June before returning with a handful of new episodes!

The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #20 – 2017 NWSL Week Three/Four Review – Injuries and Rants

We’re back! After a one week hiatus, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) return to the air for episode #20 of the WoSo Independent Podcast. They briefly talk about the official announcement of a four-team international tournament with the U.S., Japan, Brazil, and Australia (0:36). They follow that up with a discussion about the injury crisis that has plagued the NWSL early in 2017. Why is it happening, and, more importantly, is their a solution (3:58)? They then give a brief(ish) overview of Week Three including a rant about the NWSL Team of the Month (14:05). Then they review week four, including rants about whether Washington-Sky Blue FC was good soccer and the continual agony of trying to watch streams from Boston (29:52). They then close it out with a short preview of week five in the NWSL (1:14:34).

Spirit get first win of season, 4-3 over Sky Blue

Franny Ordega had a career match to lead the Spirit to their first win of 2017.

Franny Ordega had a career match to lead the Spirit to their first win of 2017.

Driving to the Soccerplex on Saturday, I was already composing this article in expectation of another lackluster performance. “Should the Spirit change their name? Spirit is the one thing that they’ve seemed to lack this season.” I was also going to note that Francisca Ordega seemed too fragile for this league, too often being bumped off the ball.

Shows what I know.

An almost unrecognizable team showed up Saturday evening, especially in the first half: completing passes, making runs off the ball, and showing an intensity that had been lacking in their previous three matches. And far from being a fragile flower, Ordega was muscling defenders off the ball in what some were calling the best NWSL performance of 2017 as she played a role in all four Washington goals: scoring two, assisting on one, and contributing to an own goal with a shot across the goalmouth.
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The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #19 – 2017 NWSL Week Two Review – Attendance Watch & Strong Statements

In episode #19 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) discuss Marta-mania, as the Brazilian superstar arrived in Orlando and in the NWSL (1:25). Then they discuss NWSL attendance through the first two weeks of the season (4:00). Should fans and clubs be concerned with sagging attendance in some markets? Then they break down week two of the NWSL season (12:15), including discussion of Marta’s home debut, a much improved display for Chicago, North Carolina’s home debut, Houston’s self-destruction, and Boston’s impressive win. Finally, they give a brief preview of week three’s matchups (1:00:20).

The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #18 – 2017 NWSL Week One Review + Mallory Pugh Chat

On episode eighteen of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) break down the big news of Mallory Pugh leaving UCLA and turning pro (0:32). Will she end up in the NWSL or in Europe? Can U.S. Soccer broker a deal between the Spirit and Thorns without things getting messy? Then, they briefly discuss the Cami Levin to Houston trade (15:20). Afterward, Chris and Jon discuss the ups and downs of Lifetime and Go90 on opening weekend (18:45). Next, they tackle some of the big takeaways from week one of the 2017 NWSL season (33:03). Finally, there’s a short discussion of what to look for in week two (1:07:05).