Today’s developments (yay, more good news than bad!):
WPS may not be around this summer, but the Boston Breakers and Western New York Flash are sticking around. The two former WPS clubs will take part in the WPSL (Women’s Premier Soccer League) Elite Division along with FC Indiana, the Chicago Red Stars, the ASA Chesapeake Charge, and an eighth team still to be announced. Jeff Kassouf just caught up with Jerry Zanelli and unearthed a few more details so go on, check that out.
Sky Blue FC’s summer plans are still unknown, but the club will take part in a 10-day training camp in Japan. According to the release, the trip “will continue the growth of Women’s Professional Soccer” and “define the commitment of Sky Blue FC and the league to spreading its brand, all while continuing preparations to return to a full season in 2013.” The L-League side has considerable prestige as it is home to seven World Cup winners including Homare Sawa, Ayumi Kaihori, Yukari Kinga, and Nahomi Kawasumi.
And some of us may have disengaged from WPS’s endless toils with Dan Borislow, but the drama lives on. Beau Dure brings us up to speed with the deal that supposedly spelled out magicJack’s semi-return to WPS.
Things you probably already know
Frisco is set to give the USWNT a Texas-sized welcome on Saturday. As of tonight, more than 19,000 tickets have been sold for the team’s friendly against New Zealand. In fact, only standing and limited reserved seats remain.
A local television station was with the team during training this week and aired this video segment on Tuesday.
The USWNT is playing friendlies before sellout crowds, attracting coverage from local media, and streaming said friendlies thanks in part to demand from fans. It really is a new day. (And not that you’re asking, but it looks like I’ll be staying in Houston on Saturday. Don’t ask; been grumpy about it all day.)
As an aside, that international tournament between the U.S., Brazil, and Japan that’s set to take place in Japan this April? Confirmed.
Happening/happened in other corners of the WoSo world:
The story’s headline says it all. After barely a week with the club, U.S. goalkeeper Brett Maron’s contract with Turbine Potsdam has been dissolved by mutual consent. Alyssa Naeher’s sudden (re-)availability looks to be the prime culprit, as the former Boston Breakers goalkeeper is now set to assume the starting job. According to Maron, “I want to and must play. The risk of getting little playing time at Turbine was too great.”
Birgit Prinz’s career will come full circle on March 27. Prinz’s testimonial match will be staged at FSV Frankfurt’s stadium, where her career began 20 years earlier. Additional former German national team players Maren Meinert, Bettina Wiegmann, Louise Hansen and Renate Lingor will also be on hand.
Marta’s time in the U.S. looks to be over and done with. As Andy Crossley’s recent retrospective of the L.A. Sol confirms, it was nothing if not eventful. According to this FIFA.com article, Marta is mulling over offers from Russian and Swedish suitors. Hints at the two Swedish clubs here.
A sizeable amount of new sides qualified for the 2012 CAF African Cup of Nations tournament currently in progress (nice one, Zambia!). The trend has been observed in women’s soccer as well, as the traditional continental powers made way for the upstarts in CAF Olympic Qualifying last fall. Cameroon knocked out perennial participants Nigeria. South Africa also qualified for this summer’s tournament after narrowly missing out on World Cup qualification in 2010. The South African Football Association has pledged full support for Banyana Banyana. The team will take part in a three-week training camp in Brazil before jetting off to the Cyprus Cup.
And lest we forget
The U.S. U-20’s got off to a rip-roaring start in La Manga, Spain. The team defeated Switzerland 10-0. Germany earned a 1-1 draw with Norway.
Japan’s reception of the hosting rights to the 2012 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup? Confirmed.
The full schedule for the 2012 Algarve Cup (all times Eastern):
10:00 AM Germany, Iceland
11:00 AM Sweden, China
9:30 AM Iceland, Sweden
11:00 AM Germany, China
11:00 AM Sweden, Germany
11:00 AM China, Iceland
8:40 AM Japan, Norway
1:00 PM USA, Denmark
8:10 AM Denmark, Japan
11:00 AM USA, Noway
10:10 AM Japan, USA
10:10 AM Norway, Denmark
11:00 AM Ireland, Hungary
11:45 AM Portugal, Wales
11:15 AM Portugal, Hungary
2:00 PM Wales, Ireland
1:15 PM Hungary, Wales
1:15 PM Portugal, Ireland
And last but definitely not least, the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy’s (JFSLA) Choose to Matter contest is underway. Participants in the JFSLA – along with girls in its partner organization, Girl Talk – have undertaken various community service projects. By voting for a favorite project, you can help send a girl to the Olympics. The winning project from each category will win an all-expenses trip to London this summer as a Youth Ambassador in the McDonald’s Champions of Play program. The five easy steps, as shared by Julie Foudy:
1) Go to website.
2) Read through projects.
3) Find yourself smiling.
4) Vote for your favorite one in each category.
5) Find yourself not being able to stop smiling.
And yes, I’ll then tell you I told you so.
Voting is open from Feb. 1st- Feb. 21st. And, there are 2nd and 3rd place prizes too – a PUMA shopping spree on Eurosports website, soccer.com