Ok first post time. Sorry I didn’t plan something big for the first one but at the moment this is some relevant news in the sporting world for me.
My interest in women’s soccer piqued around the 2011 World Cup, almost exactly after the famous quarter final match when Abby Wambach of the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) scored a goal to tie the game in the 122nd minute and then the USA went on to win on PKs. I’m pretty sure that match started some interest in the women’s football game for a lot of people and it was no different for me. I became a USWNT fan from then on and my interest in the game grew.
Fast forward a little over 3 years and here we are a day after the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) championship match. I’m not gonna pretend like I know the two teams that competed in the final like the back of my hand (I’m a Washington Spirit fan) but I do know both teams worked hard all year to make it (and I do know how to look up some facts). The Seattle Reign was at the top of their game all season long and won the regular season championship. FC Kansas City finished at the second spot in the standings. Kim Little of Seattle (Scotland Women’s National Team) and Amy Rodriguez of Kansas City (US Women’s National Team) finished first and second in the league in goal scoring. The list of each team’s achievements could go on, but I’ll stop there.
If you follow the league like I do, you would have thought Seattle had it in the bag with the dominance they’ve displayed all season. Not the case. FCKC struck first in the 22nd minute with a goal by Rodriguez and took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at the half. Seattle had plenty of time to come back, but Rodriguez had other plans. She put another one away in the 56th minute giving FCKC a 2-0 lead. Both goals were assisted by fellow USWNT player, Lauren Holiday. Megan Rapinoe (USWNT) got Seattle within one in the 87th minute but the Reign couldn’t equalize. FCKC walked away with the ‘ship and the second NWSL season came to a close.
It seems like this new women’s league, which began in 2013, has been doing well enough to continue for a third season despite the expiration of the United States, Canada, and Mexico player contracts. Hopefully a new deal is reached between the league and the soccer federations of the respective countries because I think with the upcoming Women’s World Cup in 2015 there will be an opportunity for growth in the women’s game. How much growth may be dependent on how well the USWNT performs, but if the NWSL Playoffs are any indication I would say fans are in for a long ride (crossing my fingers). I can’t get ahead of myself though. Qualifiers are from October 15-26. Qualifying is the first priority for the ladies from the U.S. of A. and you can bet I’ll have something to write about when that happens.
Until then if you’re reading this right now and you don’t follow women’s soccer, I suggest you check out the USA vs. Mexico friendly on September 18th. Its on ESPN 2 at 7 PM and I promise you as a sports fan it’s worth watching. These women can do some unreal things without using their hands (I know…except the keepers) and it’s a preview for what I’m sure will be the talk of the country come next June.