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.