Tag Archives: toni pressley

WPSL Elite Review: Some Teams Just Dreaming Of Having A Full Squad

The WPSL Elite deserves to be cut some slack this season. It was hastily thrown together, yet was able to give us eight teams and a 14-game schedule on very, very short notice. And so, I can understand when everything was thrown into the blender that  four teams that basically came out as “professional”: Western New York, Chicago, Boston, and New York; and the other four: New England, Chesapeake, Philadelphia, and Indiana as basically “amateur” sides.

It’s obviously better than having no league at all, which was the very real alternative. In a way, it set up those “other” four teams in the underdog role.You knew right off the bat, it was going to be tough when I went to New England’s opener and they were hammered by New York, 5-1. But that was alright, there were reinforcements on the way for the Mutiny that at the very least would make things exciting in the coming months.

While Shek Borkowski’s Haitian experiment in Indiana was interesting and noble, there were three players on the “amateur” squads that I had a particular interest in seeing this spring and summer: Kristie Mewis and Morgan Andrews – both of New England – and Christine Nairn of Chesapeake. None of them is older than 21, and while there are many obstacles (and players) in their way, it’s at least possible that could be your trio in the midfield when the United States plays in the 2019 World Cup (In Japan?). Nairn and Mewis certainly have a shot you’d think to be on the 2015 Canada roster as well. So the chance to see them against “professional” competition was a fortunate consequence out of the unfortunate WPS collapse.

Regrettably, as we approach the midpoint of the WPSL Elite campaign that trio has combined to play a total of two matches: Nairn played her team’s opener against Boston and Andrews played last week against Philadelphia.

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WPSL News: Toni Pressley Suddenly A Member of Western New York

Courtesy U.S. soccer

After making her first appearance of the season with the New England Mutiny Sunday night against Philadelphia, former Florida St. defender Toni Pressley was abruptly – and somewhat surprisingly – let out of her contract Thursday so she could sign with WPSL Elite rival Western New York.

“There is no argument that Toni Pressley is a very good player but we felt that her needs would be best served with WNY,” New England owner Joe Ferrara said in a statement.  “As a first year WPSL Elite franchise at this level, we are still analyzing the metrics of what makes sense when it comes to viability and sustainability.”

Pressley was drafted in the second round of the WPS draft in January by Philadelphia and finished her Florida St. career third all-time in school history with 96 appearances, and scored 11 goals (with 11 assists), impressive numbers for a defender. She has been a member of several youth national teams, most recently with the U-23s, which delayed her start to the WPSL Elite season until last Sunday night.

Pressley joins former college teammate Tori Huster in upstate New York, and could be a key piece in the Flash going after a WPSL Elite title after winning the WPS title a year ago.

The move, however, does illustrate the gap in resources (as Ferrara alluded to) between the “professional” teams of WPSL Elite – Boston, WNY, New York, and Chicago – and the “amateurs” – New England, Chesapeake, Philadelphia, and FC Indiana. The Flash are at Boston Saturday night before traveling to New York on June 3. The Flash and Mutiny meet twice in the month of June (9th and 24th).