Notables for February 9, 2012

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):

Group A

February 29

10:00 AM Germany, Iceland

11:00 AM Sweden, China

 

March 2

9:30 AM Iceland, Sweden

11:00 AM Germany, China

 

March 5

11:00 AM Sweden, Germany

11:00 AM China, Iceland

 

Group B

Feb 29

8:40 AM Japan, Norway

1:00 PM USA, Denmark

 

March 2

8:10 AM Denmark, Japan

11:00 AM USA, Noway

 

March 5

10:10 AM Japan, USA

10:10 AM Norway, Denmark

 

Group C

Feb 29

11:00 AM Ireland, Hungary

11:45 AM Portugal, Wales

 

March 2

11:15 AM Portugal, Hungary

2:00 PM Wales, Ireland

 

March 5

1:15 PM Hungary, Wales

1:15 PM Portugal, Ireland

 

March 7

Final

 

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

5 thoughts on “Notables for February 9, 2012

  1. mmbop

    Based on what you have heard about the new Elite Division of the WPSL, would it be a league that current top collegiate players could be a part of, or would the pro element place it outside the requirements to retain NCAA eligibility?

    Reply
  2. Jenna Pel Post author

    This is from the Breakers’ official release:
    “The new Elite League would have no restrictions on the types of players each team could roster; a team could be all professional players or could have a mix of professional and amateur players.”

    And this line is from Beau’s espnW report:
    “Players seeking to retain college eligibility, though, are subject to some NCAA restrictions.”

    I guess it depends on the club, its professional/semi-pro/amateur status, and whether that falls in the NCAA’s guidelines for eligibility.

    Reply
    1. mmbop

      Jen,

      Thanks. My understanding has always been that the NCAA views it by league, not by individual team. A big part is in respect to associated costs like travel, meals and equipment. Obviously someone will need to get a solid opinion from the NCAA as players cannot risk any possible eligibility issues. Personally I think that for that WPSL Elite Division to work and allow the WPS teams to be positioned for a 2013 return to D1 status, it needs to avoid the inclusion of college players. Those players won’t be around for a true pro league and there are more than enough college graduates to fill those teams. Make it as D1 and pro like as possible. That will help going forward.

      Reply
      1. StarCityFan

        NCAA rules are clear that it’s by team: you can play a professional team, but you can’t play on a professional team:

        12.1.2 Amateur Status. An individual loses amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the individual:
        (e) Competes on any professional athletics team per Bylaw 12.02.4, even if no pay or remuneration for expenses was received

        12.2.3.1 Competition against Professionals. An individual may participate singly or as a member of an amateur team against professional athletes or professional teams.

        There have been professional teams in the WPSL and W-League in the past without jeopardizing the eligibility of players on other teams.

        Reply
  3. goaleemama

    Too bad we have to go to the Swiss website to find any mention of the U20 win – http://www.football.ch/nm/it/U-20-Frauen.aspx?cid=79781
    My kids are really interested in the U20 team – they’d really like to follow some of the local college stars. However, the US soccer site is pathetic and can’t even post a score from a 10-0 win. Argh! Some nice pics are on the Swiss site, though – even of the US team!

    Reply

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