Only from Osborne

Posted: Saturday, September 3, 2011

Final WPS Blog

I can't believe it's over...I feel like this season flew by. Maybe because it did.
The season was cut a month shorter than last season and we took a 3 week break for the 2011 WWC.

Let's look at some interesting facts of 2011 WPS Season:

1) MAGIC JACK- a new owner stepped up and created the 6th team that we needed in order for the league to continue. The team was based in West Palm, Florida and the owner was Dan Borislow, a millionaire inventor of a phone device (MagicJack) for which he named the team. The team had some highs and lows, especially lots of drama off the field. The owner was fined for failing to comply with operational standards, a lawsuit preventing from terminating his ownership and a player's grievance. However, the team did quite well. They had 7 USWNT star players which helped them but also hurt their lack of chemistry and time when the US players were at WWC.

2) WWC- Germany did a fantastic job and showed that women's soccer has a strong market. ESPN did an awesome job covering every single WWC game during the tournament, so fan's could watch everything. They followed around the USWNT and did a lot of features, commercials and social media. The dramatic win that the US had over Brazil turned millions of heads in our country-now we have a lot of new fans and have hopefully opened the floodgates for women' soccer.
The attendance across the WPS skyrocketed after the WWC. Hopefully all this momentum and attention can help keep the WPS strong and alive for 2012.

3) NEW STARS - There were new stars that shined at the WWC and in the WPS this year. Lauren Cheney, a great friend and current teammate of mine on the Boston Breakers, had an awesome WWC. She has always been a fantastic player but didn't have the amount of playing time until the Cup. She was voted an All-Star and helped team USA reach the final. Alex Morgan who currently plays for the WNY Flash, was just a rookie and came off the bench for the US and helped contribute a lot. She has so much raw talent and looks like a mainstay for the USWNT going forward. She currently just won a WPS Championship last weekend with the Flash. Lastly, Megan Rapionoe who was playing for the Philadelphia Independence and then traded to MagicJack before the WWC, had an outstanding performance coming off the bench for the US.

4) UNDER DOG'S- Philadelphia Independence again had a great season. I really like talking about this team. It's sort of weird talking how much I like this team, since we are huge rivals. But for the last two seasons, Philly has continued to impress me. With a lower budget salary team- and with only 2 or 3 big names, the team comes together under their coach Paul Riley to succeed. The team impresses me-they come together as a team and they never stop. They were an expansion team last year and have lost in the finals two years in a row. Cheers to them.

Leslie Osborne

CONCLUSION: There are lots of exciting things from this 2011 season. The WNY Flash- who was a large majority of the FC Gold Pride-just won the WPS Championship last weekend. The team was consistent all season and had some of the best goal scorers in the league. Props to Sahlen in Buffalo for putting together an awesome expansion team and ownership group.

Let's make the WPS stronger in 2012. We value the support we have out there and let's continue to make it bigger.



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