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).
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).
This year’s Washington Spirit seems defined more by who isn’t here than who is. If you tried to name the team’s defining players, it would probably go something like: Ali Krieger, Tori Huster, Diana Matheson, Crystal Dunn, and maybe a nod to Megan Oyster, Estefania Banini, and Christine Nairn.
Well, except for Huster all those players are gone now. Krieger was pretty much given away to the Orlando Pride. Matheson and Nairn were traded to the Seattle Reign. Oyster was traded to the Boston Breakers. Dunn and Banini are across the pond, playing for Chelsea and Valencia, respectively.
The remaining players include two from the Canadian WNT (Stephanie Labbé and Shelina Zadorsky) and two internationals (Line Sigvardsen Jensen of Denmark and Francisca Ordega of Nigeria), but no allocated players from the US WNT.
On the other hand, Washington has never been a team of stars, relying more on teamwork and a blue-collar attitude. Last year they had some of the prettiest team goals you could ask for, pinging the ball all over the field until someone found an opening and sent it in. They’ll need to do more of the same this year. As Huster says, “We’ve got a blue-collar mentality. No one’s going to outwork us.”
Here’s our projected final table:
- FC Kansas City
- North Carolina
- Sky Blue FC
And our major award winners:
- MVP – Tobin Heath (Chris’ pick), Christen Press (Jon’s pick)
- Golden Boot – Christen Press
- Defender of The Year – Becky Sauerbrunn
- GK of The Year – Alyssa Naeher
- Rookie of The Year – Christina Gibbons
- Coach of The Year – Vlatko Andonovski
In episode #17 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) are gearing up for the beginning of the NWSL season with their pre-season wrap-up episode. First, however, they engage in a robust discussion about the U.S.’ new U17/U20 team managers (1:45). Then, they grind some axes discussing the increasingly fraught situation with the streaming of non-televised NWSL matches (23:10). Finally, they give their projected league table for the 2017 NWSL season (35:40), along with major award winner projections (1:03:30), and a last word about television schedule imbalances (1:11:50).
On the final (!) edition of our 2017 NWSL team previews, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) discuss their thoughts on the Orlando Pride, now having signed Brazilian superstar Marta. Will a Marta + Morgan partnership equal playoffs in the team’s second season? Is the defense the best in the league? And is the midfield a major concern?
In part nine of their 2017 NWSL season preview, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) break down the prospects for Sky Blue FC, one of last year’s overachievers. With heavy investment in the defense through the draft, will the Jersey side challenge for the playoffs? Can Sam Kerr make the leap to superstar status? And will this club ever succeed at the box office?
In episode #14 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) preview FC Kansas City for the 2017 NWSL season. Can the former two-time league champs bounce back after missing last year’s playoffs with the addition of Sydney Leroux and the return of Amy Rodriguez? And just how many tactical options does a very versatile side on paper have?
In episode #13 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) continue on with their preview of the 2017 NWSL season with an analysis of the Chicago Red Stars. Will mostly standing pat with last year’s playoff roster be enough to get them over the hump and challenging for the championship? And can the Christen Press led offense match the form of one of the league’s top defenses?
In episode #12 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) continue their preview of the 2017 NWSL Season by taking a look at the Washington Spirit. After the Offseason From Hell, can a vastly changed Spirit stay in the playoff race? And what does the roster shakeup say about the franchise in the short and long-term?