Category Archives: Uncategorized

Canada beat finland

Canadas national women’s team has beat Finland in a great match finishing 3-0

Canada manged to break down the Finland team in the opening to the Cyprus cup which saw Canada beat Finland in epic style.

Sophie schmidt who scored twice in the first half and Christine Sinclair also managed a second half goal making it her 148th goal in her career.
Finland did not even threaten the Canadian side with Canada dominating through out… however it was only at the 35 minute that goals started coming in.

The Finland side played poorly and could not get momentum behind them or even the ball for that matter.

it was a good game but Finland was not good enough.

It is a good opening for the Canadian side maybe this year canada maybe getting the cyprus cup? What are your thoughts and what side are you supporting?

Soccer vs American Football

Football is the best sport known to woman. Even though I am from America and it confuses and drives my friends crazy I call it football just like the Europeans do even though its soccer in America, WHY? because that is what it is football and I have always been confused why American football is called football and seems to have nicked the name from actual football even though players in American football hardly ever use their feet, well certainly not as much as really footie goes where it is all about the skills you have with your feet and the ball.. so I stand by calling it football even if that may confuse some of you guys! As you can tell I am a far bigger football (soccer fan) than the American so called football but unfortunately here in the USA footie really is not appreciated as much as it should with very little teams (especially in womens football with only a handful of pro league and even fewer minor leagues) and matches being played it does not have the recognition it deserves as it really is one of the great sports ever! I think Americans are just simply to into action and need tackles, fights and fireworks to keep their brain occupied so they dont get bored…and when they watch a 90 minute football game with no goals being scored it is easy for their small attention span to get bored.. as football is a game of skill and precision and not the random chaos that is American football where something has to be going on all the time to keep people interested….. but that being said more often than not no real game play is going on because of that as they are always stopping and starting usually to pack in a few ad breaks as well and giving the fans watching at home a chance to get 6 more beers down them. It is really a fragmented game that is hard to know what going on. Whereas football is dynamic, seamless, skillful… and tactical we dont settle for adverts being pushed in our faces every minute.. if you live in the UK and watch a football game on the bbc you can watch a whole 90 minute game with a small break at half time which is filled with analysis talk and not see one single ad which is quite cool. With American football anyone can be a footie player but with real football it takes talent and awareness of what is happening on the pitch. I also have to be honest with you playing football is a lot lot more fun, I just wish here in America mor people start to give up on American football and put down the oddly shaped ball and actually play and pick up a “soccer” ball and start playing this great game instead.. American football is only really played in American whereas “soccer” is played all across the world from Europe to Brazil why is that? Is it maybe that real football is one of the greatest games and America is just a bit arrogant to this fact… and will only play a game that only America plays so only America can win? Maybe…

Site update: Sorry about the boat ride!

Hello, Its been heck of a journey for WomensProSoccer as we try and get the website just right and finally we have just about sorted out everything for you guys! If you regularly come here yo may have noticed the constant changes in site design and even at times WPS may have just displayed the white screen of death.
What went on
Basically we had to start over again as a system error caused by a silly mistake on a our part wiped our databases and site… that meant we had to start over and why lots of old account no longer exist, sorry about that guys but we promise this will never happen again. While we were at sorting out the errors and getting our site back running again we also decided we didn’t like the previous site design and wanted something bigger and better after all we wanted to be the best womens soccer site around so that explains why we were changing the design just about everyday but finally we have settled on the one we are using now and we hope you like it…. apologies if we made you feel seasick with the constant changing of design before.

Feel free to sign up and dont worry these problems will never happen again just a few early teething problems like all new website have which we have sorted out now.

Lauletta’s League Lowdown: 2012 WPS Draft – One Last Look Back

There may not have been any trades consummated on draft day 2012, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some wheeling and dealing going on behind the scenes.
— Dan Lauletta

Two-Time WPS Coach of the Year Paul Riely recaps the draft with WPS Draft Day broadcasters Kyndra de St. Aubin and Dean Linke.

There may not have been any trades consummated on draft day 2012, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some wheeling and dealing going on behind the scenes. WPS teams love to deal draft picks so the selection order was muddled all the way. The Beat once owned three picks inside the first round but they flipped one of them to the Flash and another to Sky Blue FC.

Most of the time picks are traded on speculation, but the deal that landed Sky Blue FC the fourth overall pick was made right on top of the draft when picks are more likely to get moved with certain players in mind. Sky Blue FC moved up into the No. 4 slot to take either Camille Levin or Stephanie Ochs, ultimately focusing in on Levin.

“The last couple of days I was worried we might have to take (Levin) at two,” Sky Blue coach Jim Gabarra said of Levin. “She’s so unique. She’s an attacking wide defender who can play in midfield.” Gabarra ultimately used the second pick on Melissa Henderson, who the club had rated over no. 1 pick Sydney Leroux.

The Breakers wound up taking Ochs at no. 3. That was considered a surprising choice and had some wondering why they did not try to trade down. They pulled the trigger on Ochs with the third pick though, believing Sky Blue FC were ready to take her at no. 4.

Sky Blue FC later talked trade with the Independence, apparently concerning Lindsay Taylor. But it appears both were bluffing with Levin and Sarah Hagen going with the no. 4 and 5 picks and Taylor slipping to the Flash at no. 6.

Here is a team by team look at how Draft Day 2012 went down.

Atlanta Beat: Leroux and then some

The Beat controlled things from the top of the draft and used the coveted top pick on Sydney Leroux, who was recently named to the US team currently trying to qualify for the Olympic Games in Vancouver. The Beat also nabbed Auburn forward Katy Frierson at no. 10 and Kate Deines from Washington with the 23rd and final pick of the afternoon.

“A very good day for us,” head coach James Galanis said. “We had our three targets and we got all of them so it’s an exciting time. It’s good.”

The Beat are also the only team to have stockpiled an extra pick for the future. The deal that sent Sky Blue FC the no. 4 overall pick landed Sky Blue’s first round grab in 2013.

Sky Blue FC: We wanted Henderson

Jim Gabarra conceded he would have gladly taken Sydney Leroux had the Beat used the top pick on Melissa Henderson, but the player they wanted was the Notre Dame forward Henderson.

“I wanted Henderson,” he said. “For what we have she was the player we targeted. She can take on players one-v.-one, facilitate other players, and provide service. And she is comfortable drifting off more to the left.”

Henderson is also likely to be with Sky Blue FC for the entire season while Leroux took a step closer to making the US Olympic team by playing her way onto the qualifying roster.

Sky Blue FC later took Ingrid Wells at no. 9. The Georgetown midfielder is signed to play in Sweden, but hails from New Jersey and whether she makes it to WPS or not, has her league rights held by Sky Blue FC.

Gabarra used his final pick on Jillian Mastroianni who will be at camp as part of an open battle to win the no. 2 goalkeeper job—a much bigger role if Canada qualifies for the Olympics thus pulling Karina LeBlanc away from the club.

All in all it was a more enjoyable experience than 2011 when Sky Blue FC did not hold a pick in the top 15.

“Last year I could have just gone to sleep,” Gabarra deadpanned.

Boston Breakers: We knew it was a surprise

The Breakers knew they were going to surprise some people when they took Stephanie Ochs with the no. 3 overall pick. But they wanted her, so they made the move.

“I think Stephanie Ochs’s best soccer is still ahead of her,” said Breakers head coach Lisa Cole. “She’s going into the U-23 camp. She has great athleticism and can find a way to score goals. She is someone that has taken her team and made them better. I think that’s important. Maybe we took her a bit early, but I knew if I didn’t take her Jim was going to take her at four.”

Maybe, and maybe not, but considering the Breakers did not have another pick until no. 11 it was a wise move to take the player they wanted at no. 3.

“I really like Ochs because I know she wants this,” Cole continued. “I think Ochs kind of fits into our game plan.”

The Breakers 2012 game plan is to go young. They have parted ways with US National Team defenders Amy LePeilbet, Rachel Buehler, and Stephanie Cox and will have to recreate their backline almost entirely from scratch. Melinda Mercado, a towering central defender from Oklahoma State taken with the 16th pick, will compete for a starting position according to Cole.

The Breakers also selected forward Courtney Jones, the only North Carolina player taken on draft day, and local product Jessica Luscinski out of Boston University.

Philadelphia Independence: Taking a Chance

Paul Riley could have taken the Hermann Trophy Award winner or another member of the national championship Stanford team, but he wanted Sarah Hagen. He had breakfast with Hagen’s agent the morning of the draft and it sent him to the room with enough confidence that Hagen will join the Independence after her stint with Bayern Munich.

“I really think she’s going to be on the full (National) Team by the next World Cup,” the two-time Coach of the Year said of his first round pick.

Later in the draft the Independence were able to nab several players Riley thought would be off the board.

“I didn’t expect to get CoCo (Goodson, no. 12) and Tori (Pressley, no. 13),” he said. “I thought we would get one of them, but to get both is fantastic. I didn’t think we’d get (Bianca) Henninger, I thought she’d be gone before we got to those three picks.”

Henninger, the first goalkeeper taken, went no. 14 at the end of the Independence’s string of three straight picks. The Independence also grabbed Danielle Foxhaven (no. 17, Portland) and Jasmyne Spencer (no. 21, Maryland)

On the draft in general Riley said: “We got size, we got speed, we got athleticism, but I’m sure everyone said the same thing. “

Flash: No snowjob getting Hermann winner

Aaran Lines’s gamble to fly from Buffalo to Kansas City the morning of the draft backfired when snow held him up, forcing him to conference in from his house. As it was the Flash were the last of the five teams to get a pick and they swooped in with picks no. 6, 7, and 8.

With the first two picks the league champions went to the NCAA champions to grab Lindsay Taylor and Teresa Noyola. The pair made the College Cup every year, finally cashing in last December, and their senior class did not lose a home match over four years. Noyola is currently in Canada where she was on the field for all five of Mexico’s goals in a 5-0 win over Guatemala in Olympic Qualifying. A titanic match against the US looms January 24.

The Flash opened the second round by taking Tori Huster at no. 8. Lines has been, “impressed with her vision and composure on the ball.” Huster will be reunited with Florida State teammate Becky Edwards, a situation Lines hopes will ease her transition to professional soccer.

The Flash also selected Tahnai Annis (no. 18, Florida) and Erica Henderson (no. 22, West Virginia).

WPS Suspends Play for 2012 Season

Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) announced today that its Board of Governors has voted to suspend the 2012 season to permit the League to focus on the resolution of certain pending legal issues and the challenges that now face the League as a result of its ongoing dispute with a former owner.

“We are proud of what the League has accomplished in the first three seasons, but we do recognize the necessity to resolve our existing legal and operational issues so that we can continue to support and grow WPS the right way,” said Sky Blue FC Owner Thomas Hofstetter. “This was a very difficult decision, but one we as owners feel is the best business decision for the League at this time.”

The Board voted on Monday morning to suspend the 2012 season. Over the last year the league has faced significant challenges, including a lengthy and expensive legal battle with a former owner. The litigation has diverted resources from investment in the league and has forced the Board to take action, suspending the 2012 season in order to address the legal issues head-on before moving forward with competition.

“We firmly believe there is a place in the global sports landscape for Women’s Professional Soccer,” said WPS CEO Jennifer O’Sullivan. “Making the decision to suspend the 2012 season was a difficult and painful one, but it is necessary to take the time to address current issues and solidify our business in order to provide appropriate support needed to achieve the League’s long-term goals. Those that take part in our League – players, partners and fans – deserve the best, and that is what we are taking the time to ensure we deliver when we resume play in 2013 and beyond.”

WPS has established its plans to return to play in 2013, and all five owners of the League’s existing teams – Atlanta Beat, Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence, Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash – will remain active with the CEO, Jennifer O’Sullivan, in the governance of WPS throughout the current year.

“We are deeply grateful to our fans and partners for the tremendous support they have shown for WPS, our players and the sport,” added O’Sullivan. “With our supporters and athletes in mind, we are committed to complete the hard work necessary to resume play in 2013 and reestablish WPS as the premiere women’s professional soccer league in the world.”

Lauletta’s League Lowdown: Beat Eyed Leroux All Along

It was just a no-brainer at the end. There was nobody else that we were even considering. It was Sydney all the way.
— Atlanta beat head coach James Galanis

To talk to Sydney Leroux is to know she is a player worthy of having on your team. Born in British Columbia to dual US-Canadian citizenship, Leroux decided at age 4 that she wanted to be a professional soccer player (the WUSA did not sprout up until she was almost 11.) Later, when given a choice of representing either the United States or Canada at the height of international soccer, she definitively chose the more difficult path.

“I guess I enjoy how hard it is to break through. There are millions of little girls that would want to be in my position,” Leroux said from the US National Team camp a few hours after the Atlanta Beat made her the first overall pick in the WPS draft. “I wouldn’t change it. I like to fight. I like the path that it takes to get here because it’s a long, hard one. I’m happy that I’m kind of on the path to getting my name up there.”

The path for Leroux has been as decorated as any female player in the youth National Team system. No one has more caps or more goals at the U-20 level than Leroux. And she made them count, hitting for five goals, including one in the final to help capture the U-20 World Cup in 2008. Two years later she nailed the tournament-winner in the CONCACAF U-20 Championships.

“I would never change the opportunities that I’ve had with the US,” she said. “Everything that I’ve accomplished with the U-20s and kind of putting myself in position to be with the National Team on a consistent basis.”

(It is duly noted by the writer, that the pioneers of US women’s soccer did not have U-20 teams to play for, and many of them were on the full team as teenagers anyway.)

Leroux was also a goal-scoring machine at UCLA, and her exploits there and in a US kit put her squarely in range of the Beat. Asked when he made the decision to draft Leroux with the top pick, Beat coach James Galanis quipped, “About a year ago.”

Leroux found out the day before the draft when a jersey arrived at her room and she later recorded a message thanking the Beat which was aired in the draft room immediately after the selection was announced.

“I know a lot of girls in the National Team setup and I always asked the question of the girls in there, ‘How is Sydney doing?’ and they would say she’s doing great,” Galanis said. “I always kept tabs on her. From the last two years of just asking questions about her she just continues to progress. She’s getting closer and closer to cracking the full team.

“It was just a no-brainer at the end. There was nobody else that we were even considering. It was Sydney all the way.”

Leroux is just a small part of a major philosophical change at the Beat. After a season when the roster was reduced to the worst in WPS, the club has brought in several top players this winter. Many of them were with Leroux at National Team camp. Abby Wambach, who does not currently have a club affiliation, squirted Leroux with water upon hearing she had gone No. 1.

National Team camps are legendary for their competitiveness, and Leroux’s attitude about playing for the US instead of Canada seems to fit right in. She also addressed her feelings on being taken with the top pick, an honor that most experts had as a toss-up between Leroux and Melissa Henderson (who went No. 2 to Sky Blue FC.)

“I think for any competitive person who has gone through the process, I think everyone wants to go No. 1. I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t have been disappointed.”

Have a question, a suggestion, or a story idea? Did you see something we didn’t? Let me know by commenting below .

Dan Lauletta is a freelance writer and can be reached at thirtymtp@aol.com . The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s, and not necessarily those of Women’s Professional Soccer or womensprosoccer.com.

Lauletta’s League Lowdown: Forward Thinking at 2012 Draft

I’ve heard that it’s a family atmosphere. I’m very excited to join that family.
— CoCo Goodson on joining the Philadelphia Independence

Twelfth overall pick CoCo Goodson with her new head coach Paul Riley after she was selected by the Philadelphia Independence at the 2012 WPS Draft.

For the first time in four years of WPS drafts, the doors opened with a huge cloud of speculation hanging over who would be the first player selected. The Beat though were steadfast in their thinking, deciding long ago to use the first overall pick on UCLA forward Sydney Leroux. The 21-year-old former U-20 star beat out Melissa Henderson for top honors. Sky Blue FC grabbed Henderson, from Notre Dame, with the second pick.

“We believe Sydney will fit right into the world class group of players we have assembled,” said Beat owner and general manager, T. Fitz Johnson, who has brought in a solid group of top players in an effort to put two disappointing seasons behind them.

Leroux is in Los Angeles with the US National Team and recorded a message thanking the Beat for selecting her and holding up a jersey with the # 1 and her name.

The first mild surprise came at No. 3 when the Breakers took Stephanie Ochs out of San Diego, leaving Lindsay Taylor on the board. Taylor slipped to No. 6 after Sky Blue went with a defender (Camille Levin) with the fourth overall pick and the Independence took a leap by grabbing Sarah Hagen at No. 5.

“I know it was a surprise for people but I kind of went with my gut,” Breakers head coach Lisa Cole said. “I think Stephanie Ochs’s best soccer is still ahead of her. She’s going into the U-23 camp this week. A lot of people are excited about her and her potential.”

Hagen, a prolific goal scorer at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is signed to play in Germany. Independence head coach Paul Riley is hoping to get Hagen into his team once the German season ends in May.

“I spoke to Hagen. I had breakfast with her agent this morning.” Riley said. “We talked about a June arrival. If everything goes well in Munich it will be a June arrival.”

WPS champion Western New York Flash grabbed Taylor, followed by Stanford teammate and Hermann Trophy Award winner Teresa Noyola to complete the opening round.

“Teresa is a creative footballer who can play either as forward or as an offensive midfielder,” Flash coach Aaran Lines said. “She’s had a standout collegiate career and I hope to bring the best out of her here.”

The most talked about players to land outside the first round were Ingrid Wells and CoCo Goodson. Wells, a defensive type, went to Sky Blue at No. 9 and in the process became the first Georgetown Hoya ever drafted into WPS. Goodson, a tall defender from UC-Irvine, went No. 12 to Philadelphia.

“This was an amazing opportunity and I’m glad that I was able to enjoy it,” said Goodson, who was one of two drafted players present in the room (Melinda Mercado was the other.) “I know that (Riley) is amazing. He’s one of the best coaches that there is in WPS. I’ve heard that it’s a family atmosphere. I’m very excited to join that family.”

“I was surprised to get both Goodson and (Toni) Pressley,” Riley said of the 12th and 13th picks.

Riley also had the 14th pick and opened the third round by using that pick on Bianca Henninger, the first goalkeeper to be taken. Sky Blue, who lost their top two goalkeepers this offseason, followed by taking Jillian Mastroianni from Boston College.

“To be honest with you I had Mastroianni even or maybe ahead of Henninger. At that point we didn’t have to take a keeper. We knew Philly would. We were happy with either one of them.”

On the current roster, Gabarra added: “I’m really happy with the group.” That includes up to three signings that have yet to be announced.

FREE KICKS

Noyola had to wait longer than any Hermann Trophy Award winner to be picked. However none has ever been selected first. The highest was Kelley O’Hara who went 3rd to FC Gold Pride in 2010. The others were Kerri Hanks (6th to Saint Louis Athletica in 2009) and Christen Press (4th to magicJack in 2011).
North Carolina had a player taken in the top four in the prior three drafts. This year’s top Tar Heel, Courtney Jones, went to the Breakers at No. 11.
Jones’s father Brent once caught passes from Joe Montana as a tight end for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.
Snow in Buffalo prevented Flash coach Aaran Lines from making his flight to Kansas City. He was conferenced in with owner Joe Sahlen.
CoCo Goodson was a San Diego Spirit fan from 2001 to 2003 and worked with Jen Nielsen (ne Lalor), who played for the Spirit in ’03.
Sky Blue and Philadelphia talked about a pick swap, but ultimately the day went off with no trades. Looking ahead the only future draft pick that has been traded is Sky Blue FC’s first rounder next year to Atlanta.
Cole spoke to Ochs shortly after the draft. Ochs was following the draft on her phone during class when her name was called.
The injury updates on Jordan Angeli and Allison Falk are not particularly encouraging. Angeli will not be ready in time for opening day, although the Breakers hope to sign her when she is ready. Falk is training but Riley said she is not ready to play at WPS level. She too is out of contract.

Have a question, a suggestion, or a story idea? Did you see something we didn’t? Let me know at thirtymtp@aol.com .

Dan Lauletta is a freelance writer and can be reached at thirtymtp@aol.com . The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s, and not necessarily those of Women’s Professional Soccer or womensprosoccer.com.

Leroux Goes First in 2012 WPS Draft

KANSAS CITY, MO (January 13, 2012) – Women’s Professional Soccer held the league’s annual draft on Friday in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in Kansas City, Mo.

With the first overall pick of the 2012 Draft, Atlanta Beat selected U.S. Soccer rising star Sydney Leroux out of UCLA. The Vancouver, British Columbia native missed out on attending the WPS Draft while training with the U.S. Women’s National Team in Los Angeles in preparation for the upcoming CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament.

As expected, the reigning NCAA National Champions Stanford University saw three of their top seniors – Defender Camille Levin, Forward Lindsay Taylor and 2011 MAC Hermann Trophy and Honda Award Winner Midfielder Teresa Noyola – all going in the first round as the fourth, sixth, and seventh overall respectively.

Philadelphia’s second round picks, CoCo Goodson (University of California, Irvine) and Boston’s third round Melinda Mercado (Oklahoma State University) were in the draft room and were welcomed to the League by WPS CEO Jennifer O’Sullivan and each of their new head coaches.

Draftees will get their first taste of WPS in March when preseason camps open. The league will open its fourth season of competition in April.

2012 WPS Draft
Kansas City, Missouri
January 13, 2012

Round 1
1. Atlanta Beat – Sydney Leroux, F, UCLA
2. Sky Blue FC – Melissa Henderson, F, Notre Dame
3. Boston Breakers – Stephanie Ochs, F, University of San Diego
4. Sky Blue FC – Camille Levin, D, Stanford University
5. Philadelphia Independence – Sarah Hagen, F, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
6. Western New York Flash – Lindsay Taylor, F, Stanford University
7. Western New York Flash – Teresa Noyola, M, Stanford University

Round 2
8. Western New York Flash – Tori Huster, M, Florida State University
9. Sky Blue FC – Ingrid Wells, M,Georgetown
10. Atlanta Beat – Katy Frierson, M, Auburn University
11. Boston Breakers – Courtney Jones, F, University of North Carolina
12. Philadelphia Independence – Courtney Goodson, D, University of California, Irvine
13. Philadelphia Independence – Toni Pressley, D, Florida State University

Round 3
14. Philadelphia Independence – Bianca Henninger, GK, Santa Clara University
15. Sky Blue FC- Jillian Mastroianni,GK, Boston College
16. Boston Breakers – Melinda Mercado, D, Oklahoma State Univesrity
17. Philadelphia Independence – Danielle Foxhoven, F, University of Portland
18. Western New York Flash- Tahnai Annis, M/F University of Florida

Round 4
19. Sky Blue FC – Laura Heyboer, F, Michigan State University
20. Boston Breakers – Jessica Luscinski, F, Boston University
21. Philadelphia Independence, Jasmyne Spencer, F, University of Maryland
22. Western New York Flash- Erica Henderson, D, West Virginia
23. Atlanta Beat – Kate Deines, M, University of Washington

Breakdown by College
Auburn- 1
Boston College – 1
Boston University – 1
Florida State University- 2
Georgetown -1
Michigan State University – 1
Notre Dame – 1
Oklahoma State University – 1
Santa Clara – 1
Stanford – 3
UC Irvine- 1
UCLA – 1
University of Florida – 1
University of Maryland – 1
University of North Carolina- 1
University of Portland – 1
University of San Diego- 1
University of Washington – 1
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee- 1
West Virginia – 1

Flynn’s Draft Preview: Forwards

With just one day remaining until the 2012 WPS Draft in Kansas City on Friday, teams are putting the final touches on their draft lists and depth charts. There are hundreds of eligible players to choose from. While the 5 WPS teams have been tirelessly gathering intel on the players with their insider knowledge and scouting networks, the common fan isn’t going to put in that much work. That’s where I come in. This is the last in a four part series leading up to Draft Day 2012 detailing some of the likely players to get drafted, their backgrounds, and their accolades.

FORWARD

Easily the deepest area of the 2012 draft, teams can’t really go wrong when selecting forwards (assuming they use them in their systems correctly!). One WPS coach, when asked about the deepest areas of the draft, observed, “I think there’s a good amount of offensive players coming out of this draft, whether that be forwards or midfielders.” Just like the midfielders, tactics and formations used by a team greatly impacts the skill sets required so where one forward may succeed others may struggle. When asked to compare some of the top prospects in the draft, another WPS coach put it simply, and bluntly, “They’re all different.” They all have a few common denominators—they’re very skilled and they know how to put the ball in the back of the net.

NAMES TO KNOW

Sydney Leroux – UCLA
5’7”
USWNT
3-Time NSCAA All-American

Analysis: The female doppelganger of Teal Bunbury (sorry, Canada), Leroux has blossomed from arguably the most impressive U-20 career ever to full-fledged US International. Incredibly athletic and technically gifted, Leroux is more than capable of adding a bit of va-voom into a stagnant offense. A lock for one of the absolute top picks in the draft.

Melissa Henderson – Notre Dame
5’8”
USWNT U-23 (& U-20, U-18, etc) experience
2-Time NSCAA All-American

Analysis: Henderson is arguably the most professional-ready player in the draft. A very creative player with the ball, one WPS coach mentioned to me, “I’ve liked her for years.” Henderson’s skill coupled with her frame will make her a force to be reckoned with in WPS just as she’s starting to crack the full USWNT.

Lindsay Taylor – Stanford
5-7”
USWNT U-17 experience
2-Time NSCAA All-American

Analysis: A swiss army knife, Taylor is as versatile as they come. A pure finisher, Taylor can play either at forward or midfield, from treqartista to target forward. She has the skill and the ability to adapt to what her team may need, which will be an asset.

Stephanie Ochs – San Diego
5’9”
USWNT U-23 experience
NSCAA All-American

Analysis: Ochs is a player who, unless you’re familiar with the West Coast Conference, has kept mostly off the radar when compared to some of the other forwards getting the limelight. However Ochs’ play speaks for itself and the impressive physical dimension she brings makes her an intriguing draft day option.

Kayla Grimsley – South Carolina
5’4”
USWNT U-20 experience
2-Time NSCAA All-American

Analysis: Listed as a forward in college, Grimsley consistently put the ball in the back of the net all 4 years with the Gamecocks. While the skill is there, she likely projects to be an attacking midfielder at the next level due to bigger, more physical opponents.

Danielle Foxhoven – Portland
5’6”
USWNT U-17 experience
NSCAA All-American

Analysis: Most notable statistics surrounding Foxhoven was seemingly that she was shot out of a cannon her freshman and sophomore year with the Pilots, but production decreased raising questions if she can produce at the next level. Skill over first two years no fluke, but neither are stats over last two. Will the real Danielle Foxhoven please stand up?

WILD CARD: Sarah Hagen – Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but now professionally in Germany. Hagen could potentially be in the same situation as Ingrid Wells, which I reviewed yesterday. I caught up with Melanie Fitzgerald, Manager of League Operations for the WPS, in regards to her draft eligibility. The league policy is as such:

A Team that has drafted or otherwise acquired a player (the “Rights-Holding Team”), shall have the exclusive right to negotiate with that player for the longer of:

a. a period of one year, provided the team is able to evaluate the player* and has offered the player a full-time contract; or

b. if the player is under a non-WPS playing contract that prevents the Rights-Holding Team from immediately negotiating with the player, the period from the time the rights are acquired through the close of the first transfer window during which that player can be transferred without a fee, even if that is in a second year.

Basically meaning if a team wanted to draft her to get “dibs” if/when she decides to come back to the United States, they’re more than able.

SUMMARY

It’s WPS Draft Day 2012. We’re going to be in store for twists and turns. There will be surprises – what draft is there not? However let’s review the numbers.

5 Goalkeepers reviewed on Monday
6 Defenders reviewed on Tuesday
5 (plus Ingrid Wells!) Midfielders reviewed on Wednesday
6 (plus Sarah Hagen!) Forwards reviewed today

There will only be 23 names called at the end of the day.

There are going to be a lot of hearts broken. There will be a lot of determination to take preseason trainings by storm by those not selected. I’m not Nostradamus by any means so I’m sure the draft won’t play out exactly as planned nor will I predict every player correctly.

However I can tell you that for 23 players chosen, which is the smallest draft class in history, they are getting a chance of a lifetime to see out their dreams. But without the support of fans like you purchasing tickets to see the 2012 Draft Class in action at a city (relatively) close to you, that miniscule number 23 looks a whole lot better than if it were 0.

Love me? Hate me? Tell me! Stalk me on Twitter (@FlynnChrisJ) or email.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s, and not necessarily those of Women’s Professional Soccer or womensprosoccer.com.

Flynn’s Draft Preview: Midfielders

With just two days remaining until the 2012 WPS Draft in Kansas City on Friday, teams are putting the final touches on their draft lists and depth charts. There are hundreds of eligible players to choose from. While the 5 WPS teams have been tirelessly gathering intel on the players with their insider knowledge and scouting networks, the common fan isn’t going to put in that much work. That’s where I come in. This is the third in a four part series leading up to Draft Day 2012 detailing some of the likely players to get drafted, their backgrounds, and their accolades.

MIDFIELDER

A very finicky position, the midfielders available in the 2012 WPS Draft will be subjected much more to WPS coaches’ tendencies and styles of play. Midfielders come in a wide variety, from holding/defensive types to quick wingers with a knack for goal, box to box hustlers to creative visionary playmakers, so their draft position could swing wildly depending on what the teams’ needs are. A deeper position relative to others, but beware. With the amount of free agents lurking around, many 2012 hopefuls may have to go the route of preseason training camps to latch on to teams.

NAMES TO KNOW

Teresa Noyola – Stanford
5’3”
Mexican WNT (extensive USWNT youth experience)
2011 Hermann Trophy winner, 3-Time NSCAA All-American

Analysis: A well-travelled international, Noyola spent seemingly her whole childhood in the United States youth national team age brackets (exaggeration, but not really), before an allegiance switch to being a full-fledged international representing Mexico. An incredibly gifted, creative/attacking midfielder, she’s a lock for the first midfielder chosen in the 2012 draft with the departure of Ingrid Wells overseas.

Katy Frierson – Auburn
5’5”
2-Time NSCAA All-American
USWNT U-23 (& U-20, U-17, etc.) experience

Analysis: Extremely hard worker who is seemingly tireless on the field, Frierson was First Team All-SEC for all 4 years she was with the Tigers. Good leadership abilities and a good heart will mix well chemistry-wise with whichever team selects her. Lack of speed and small frame project negatively, but other characteristics put her over the top.

Courtney Barg – Notre Dame
5’5”
USWNT U-17 experience
NSCAA All-American

Analysis: Unlucky with injuries for her junior and senior seasons at Notre Dame, Barg should hear her name selected with previously detailed defender (and childhood friend) Jessica Schuveiller as well as soon-to-be detailed player (and also childhood friend … protip for soccer parents: move into this neighborhood!) Melissa Henderson. Durability a question mark, but poise under pressure should make it easy for any team to find the link from defense to forward through her creative play.

Tori Huster – Florida State
5’5”
USWNT U-23 experience
NSCAA All-American

Analysis: An attacking midfielder who is more than capable of scoring goals when needed, Huster should be another player multiple teams will look at closely on Draft Day. Smartness on the field must have rubbed off from book-smarts, as she’s received numerous academic awards while at Florida State.

Jessica Luscinski – Boston
5’4”
NSCAA All-American
2-Time America East Striker of the Year

Analysis: Okay, I guess technically a “forward” on the field, Luscinski is listed as a midfielder and has the versatility to play there as well. Small stature would most likely see her transition into midfield at the professional level against bigger, stronger opponents. However, her skills and penchant for putting the ball in the back of the net will garner attention on Draft Day.

WILD CARD: Ingrid Wells – Georgetown, but now professionally in Sweden. She would have battled Noyola for top-midfielder billing, but elected to ply her trade overseas. However, this may not stop forward-thinking teams from drafting her. I caught up with Melanie Fitzgerald, Manager of League Operations for the WPS, in regards to her draft eligibility. The league policy is as such:

A Team that has drafted or otherwise acquired a player (the “Rights-Holding Team”), shall have the exclusive right to negotiate with that player for the longer of:

a. a period of one year, provided the team is able to evaluate the player* and has offered the player a full-time contract; or

b. if the player is under a non-WPS playing contract that prevents the Rights-Holding Team from immediately negotiating with the player, the period from the time the rights are acquired through the close of the first transfer window during which that player can be transferred without a fee, even if that is in a second year.

Meaning that with a large free-agent market, a team could theoretically take a flier on Wells (even though she’ll be initially unavailable) while filling their needs in the mean time with free agents. Once Wells becomes available, in layman terms, “dibs”.

Just something to discuss until Draft Day 2012.

1 2 3 4 5