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Archive for April, 2012

Why the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) League Must Live On

ImageI’ve heard daunting rumors about the WPS perhaps folding all together. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. In 2003 the WUSA folded after lack of funding and support. The exact same thing is happening here. While soccer is definitely not a main stream American sport like football or baseball, it’s slowly becoming one. But the WPS simply isn’t where it should be or needs to be. It only had 6 teams for the 2011 season, about 2,000-5,000 people came per game, and players were barely getting paid. The MLS has about quadruple the amount of people coming out, so a WPS team would need to play four games to reach the amount of supporters per MLS game. But I’m not sure the WPS maybe folding is due to the lack of funding and support ONLY. I think there is a lack of respect as well. Things like the mind set that these women need to be back in the kitchen or women athletes aren’t actually athletes. Well, to everyone that thinks that, get your head out of the 1960s. Seriously. Society is moving, and it’s moving fast. No longer should all women be looked at as people that belong in the kitchen. They are as good of athletes as men, they have as much skill as men, and it’s time for everyone to realize that. Women have fought for so long to be where they are right now, but because of those certain people who still have that negative look on women and especially women’s soccer, they are playing a part in the WPS struggling to stay afloat. What I don’t think some people realize is that if this league folds, it will have an affect on future generations of female soccer players and our national team, whether or not we want it too. We don’t just FIND these amazing women’s soccer players like Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, and Sydney Leroux. They don’t just appear one day and the coaches and scouts say, “Oh, you’re a soccer prodigy. Here, come and play for the national team.” No, that doesn’t just happen. It can take months, years, for people to get recognized and called up. Coaches and scouts go to games. They watch the players in a competitive environment, like the WPS. But if there is no league, where will the players be watched? Across the ocean? In places like Germany, Sweden, Norway, Russia? Maybe. But that’s only because the collegiate players who want to play professionally won’t have anywhere to look in the US. Players like Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, and Sydney Leroux, all on the US Women’s National Team are playing in a Division 2 soccer league right now. Does that seem fair? I didn’t think so either. They deserve to be playing in the highest, most competitive league. So why can’t they? Well, we have to admit that it’s partly our fault. We didn’t buy enough tickets, we didn’t come and support them enough. When we first heard that another professional women’s soccer league was being made after the WUSA folded, we just shook it off, ignored it. And that’s no one’s fault but ourselves. Rome wasn’t built in a day and there is no way a professional league can automatically succeed when it’s first been created. . We need to realize that we HAVE to give this league a chance. Let the future Hope Solos, Alex Morgans, Megan Rapinoes, and Abby Wambachs have the same opportunities to play in the US. So speak up, speak out, and speak loud. Tell everyone you want the WPS to survive. It’s the one thing we can do after years of doing nothing, especially when the league is on the brink of extinction, again.


From Underdogs to Head of the Pack

Well, that’s right. The UEFA Champions League final will be between Chelsea and Bayern-Munich. I’m not sure how many people predicted this as the final, I sure didn’t. But if we’ve learned anything this season, it’s that anything can happen. Manchester United and Manchester City we’re knocked out, Chelsea defeats the raining champions, and Bayern-Munich, a team that this season all of a sudden popped up and beat out Real Madrid, a soccer powerhouse, wins in penalty kicks, all I can say is, WOW. Truth be told, I’ve never seen that many penalty kick misses in one game, which is much credit to both goal keepers. Never the less, I was also one that predicted a Barcelona/Real Madrid final, but when Barca lost, I wanted Bayern to come out victorious, thus would make the final a so-to-speak “underdog” final. So, I’m sure the final will be entertaining, both teams wanting to bring back the covenanted UEFA Champions League trophy, but of course, only one can win. It’s hard to predict who will win, but I’m picking Bayern-Munich to bring it home. What are your thoughts?   

Diving, One Fault in a Nearly Faultless Sport

It’s been five minutes now. We’re watching a player rolling around on the field clenching his ankle. What happened? Was he stepped on? Was he tackled? Nope. He was running with the ball, and another player tapped his foot. He fell to the ground and started flailing around as if someone dropped a bowling ball on his foot then proceeded to pick it up and drop it on his foot again.

While soccer is a physical and challenging game, I don’t see why some players seem to think the only way to gain the advantage in the game is to fake an injury. It not only makes them look bad, it makes the sport look bad when they do it. Sometimes a player is barely touched when they’re running down the field, and they fling themselves on the ground and roll and roll and roll until they finally come to a halt and the ref blows the whistle. Now, that tumbling routine would look good in gymnastics, but not on the soccer field. If I were a ref and I saw this, I would just keep the clock running, not stop the game and wait for the person to end their Oscar worthy performance. Some refs are good at ignoring the faked injuries, others fall into the trap and stop the game.

Do you remember in the World Cup 2011, when Erika from Brazil faked an injury versus the United States and took four minutes off the clock yet provided us with just enough time to come back and score the equalizer, and eventually go on to win the whole thing?

My point is, don’t dive. It’s 2 words, easy enough to remember, right? In order to gain the advantage, be the smarter team, the ones who work harder, practice harder, and leave it all on the field. I’ve seen some good dives while watching soccer. Some I would definitely vote for to win and Emmy or and Oscar, but let’s be real here. Diving is one fault to a nearly faultless sport. So don’t do it. It’s going to make you look bad, but one thing you will have is the confidence to know that an acting career is in your future.

Chelsea vs. Barcelona Champions League

Well, another great game in the Champions League as Chelsea defeated Lionel Messi and Barcelona 1-0. It was another game where the dominant team just couldn’t find the back of the net after strong possession and numerous chances. Didier Drogba in the 45+ minute got the goal. You can’t help but give Chelsea a lot of credit for not only scoring and beating possibly the best soccer team in the world right now, but keeping a clean sheet against them as well. And while I’m sure there is plenty of frustration on Barcelona’s side, this isn’t the end for them. They are still alive in the race for the championship, but they will have to step up their game. There is not question Barcelona is a heavy favorite to make it to the championship game, but don’t underestimate the firing power of Bayern-Munich, who have played so well. And of course Real Madrid and Chelsea should not be forgotten, but keep an eye on Bayern-Munich, they may sneak away with it all. El Clasico is on Sunday, and if either team wants a chance to win the whole thing, they need to bring it and more this game. The Barcelona-Real Madrid game is always a thriller, but this one is going to be even more exciting with so much on the line. This is the beauty of the Champions League. We can always look forward to great, entertaining soccer and the next week of soccer will no less than amaze.

New US Soccer Jerseys.

Yes, to some of you they may look like the Where Is Waldo shirts…..But they are the new US Soccer Jersey’s for both the men and women. For the first time ever, the USMNT and USWNT will be sporting the same jerseys on the field. Red and white stripes for the stripes on the flag, and a blue collar for the blue on the flag. Essentially, they are wearing the American flag…..only in….jersey form….. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what they look like on the players when they’re running on the field. But I can guarantee you one thing, they will be easy to spot. And while I have already seen criticism given to Nike about these jerseys, Carli Lloyd seems pretty psyched to be wearing them. I liked the jerseys they wore in the 2011 World Cup, but these will do as well. After all, it’s not how you look, it’s how you play. Comment on what you think of them!                                         

It Takes Guts….So Don’t Tell Them to Get in the Kitchen.

Too many times I watch a USWNT video and scroll down to read the comments and see that one (or two) person say, “Wow, that’s a big looking kitchen.” Well, to that person, be quiet. Seriously, I don’t want to hear it. If all you are doing is being here to insult this team, then you’re just wasting your time. You took however many minutes out of your day to watch the video, then insult them….that’s time well spent…. And this team doesn’t deserve it. They are representing our country, playing their hearts out every game, doing something they love. It isn’t easy to play top athletes around the world, come back to the States, play in a professional league, make appearances around the country, go to training camps, and repeat. Not to mention the physical and mental stamina it requires. They are tough, they aren’t afraid to throw themselves in front of the ball or a player, to take a hit. Unlike some players (won’t name names or teams), who act like they just got shot in the foot, when they are barely touched, and roll around the field for 5 minutes until the ref finally blows the whistle. The USWNT plays honest, beautiful soccer; and even if it isn’t their best game, they’ll gut it out until the end and will never hang their heads accepting defeat. They’re extremely crafty, Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath are two of the craftiest women’s soccer players in the world, we all know Abby Wambach is the best header in the world. 40% of her goals are from headers. Hope Solo is the best women’s goal keeper in the world and has a Golden Glove to back it up. At 36, Christie Rampone can still outrun any opposition, and as we found out recently, Shannon Boxx has been playing with Lupus for over a decade. The list goes on and on, this team deserves a whole lot more respect than some people give them. Throughout the whole Women’s World Cup tournament, Abby played with a sore Achilles, Christie played with Lyme Disease, and Hope played with 12 anchors in her shoulder. Once again, I repeat, these women are as tough as it comes. So next time you see someone write, “Get back to the kitchen”, or “Wow, that’s a big kitchen”, tell them, look at what you’re doing, look at what they’re doing. They’re playing the sport they love, representing their country, traveling the world, and playing world class athletes. You’re sitting on the computer, watching them. I don’t think you’re in any position to be insulting them. So you go to the kitchen and make them a damn sandwich (well actually don’t say the last part I just wrote.)

R.I.P Piermario Morosini

This blog post has a very somber mood as a young and talented soccer player was taken too soon today. In a game versus Pescara, Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini collapsed on the field, attempted to get up, but fell back down in cardiac arrest. This is eerily similar to the circumstances with Fabrice Muamba weeks ago. However, this story didn’t end the same way. Piermario Morosini died at only 25 years old. Players were in tears, the match was cancelled, and the world hears another horrifying incident about a soccer player going into cardiac arrest. It really makes you think; how we take life for granted sometimes. Live life to the fullest, enjoy every day, laugh, love. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. An incident like this shows how fast the world and life can change. I am sending my condolences to his family, teammates, teams, and friends. Piermario Morosini- July 5, 1986-April 14, 2012.

“Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.”