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In the aftermath of the dispersal draft I have become sober. The buzz of the dispersal draft has worn off and reality is setting in. What is that reality? The reality is the best brand in the WPS last season is no longer a franchise, the Los Angeles Sol players are now members of their opponents from last year, and the WPS is stronger.

The Los Angeles Sol built the most noticable brand last season. The building of the brand started with AEG willing to absorb the payroll and overall net loss for the season. With the acquisitions of Marta and Shannon Boxx, arguably two of the best players in the world; the Sol brand was born. The brand continued to grow throughout the season as the Sol became one of the most offensively explosive teams and dominant defensive teams. The Sol had the highest average attendance at home and brought the crowds out to whatever stadium they were playing in. The brand was successful but as a franchise the Sol could not survive. At the right time there may once again be a professional women’s soccer team in Los Angeles because there is market demand for one.

A great part of that brand were the Sol players who were then with out a team to play for. The WPS set-up the dispersal draft to retain the talented players of the Sol including Marta, Shannon Boxx, Karina LeBanc, Stephanie Cox, Aya Miyama, and Brittany Bock in the league; But also to find a home for the recently drafted players Casey Nogueira, Nikki Washington, and Kiersten Dallstream. The dispersal draft was three rounds in which teams selected players from the Sol roster to become members of their team. Saint Louis selected Shannon Boxx with the first pick which bolstered their midfield. Philadelphia selected Karina LeBlanc second to give them a sure net minder behind defensive backs Heather Mitts, Sue Weber, and Allison Falk. The Bay Area selected Marta who will now be playing along-side former teammate Camille Abily and offensive standout Christine Sinclair. Chicago selected Casey Nogueira who will give them a future star on the front line. Boston selected Stephanie Cox who will bolster their defensive line after losing Heather Mitts to free agency. New Jersey selected Nikki Washington who will be playing along-side former UNC Tar Heel Yael Averbuch in the midfield. Washington selected Brittany Bock to help with their defense which had the highest GAA in the league last season. Saint Louis with the last pick of the first round selected Aya Miyama which along with Shannon Boxx will be quite the midfield. The dispersal draft wrapped up in just over an hour and the Sol players once again were part of a team.

The WPS with the Sol franchise being discontinued and the Sol players being kept in the league through the dispersal draft became stronger. The players that were once a part of the Los Angeles Sol are now spread across the league bolstering the new teams they are members of. The talent in the league is more condensed and will create a highly competitive league in which any team may become the champion. With great competition comes notice and being noticed will bring more fans and supporters to the league.

With the buzz of the off-season wearing off I am looking for my next buzz and that will only come with the beginning of the season. In a little over two months I will be able to say ‘Let the season begin!’ Until then I will look to write a team outlook for each team for the next season. So keep an eye out for the series of posts starting later this week.

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When an agreement with a potential buyer of the Sol franchise and the WPS fell through this past week the Sol franchise was discontinued. This left the players of Sol with out a team. The WPS has set the dispersal draft of the Sol players for Thursday, February 4th. The draft will have the eight franchises selecting players from the Sol roster over three rounds. The order of the three rounds will be as follows.

First Round:

  1. Saint Louis Athletica
  2. Philadelphia Independence
  3. FC Gold Pride
  4. Chicago Red Stars
  5. Boston Breakers
  6. Sky Blue FC
  7. Washington Freedom
  8. Saint Louis Athletica

Second Round:

  1. Atlanta Beat
  2. Washington Freedom
  3. Sky Blue FC
  4. Boston Breakers
  5. Chicago Red Stars
  6. FC Gold Pride
  7. Philadelphia Independence
  8. Atlanta Beat

Third Round:

  1. Atlanta Beat
  2. Philadelphia Independence
  3. FC Gold Pride
  4. Chicago Red Stars
  5. Boston Breakers
  6. Sky Blue FC
  7. Washington Freedom
  8. Saint Louis Athletica

For the eight teams in the league this presents itself as a great opportunity to solidify their rosters for the 2010 season. The 2009 regular season champions Los Angeles Sol featured one of the top talented rosters in the league. The Sol as a team were number two in the league for goals scored and GPG, had the best GAA, and the most shutouts. The team roster had the top two goal scorers in the league, the co-assist leader, the best goalie, and added three first round draft picks, wow! Knowing all this I immediately thought of Tobin Heath in the midfield setting Marta up at the forward spot and the beauty this held. Although this would be an incredible and exciting offensive pairing it more than likely will not come to fruition. Keeping the talent pool that is available in mind I got excited thinking who on the Sol roster would be wearing the Breakers blue this coming season. And with the 5th selection overall in the dispersal draft the Breakers would be sure to get a top talented player. Barring any last minute trades the following are my predictions for the first round of the dispersal draft.

Dispersal Draft First Round Predictions:

  1. Saint Louis Athletica–Marta
  2. Philadelphia Independence–Aya Miyama
  3. FC Gold Pride–Karina LeBlanc
  4. Chicago Red Stars–Shannon Boxx
  5. Boston Breakers–Brittany Bock
  6. Sky Blue FC–Nikki Washington
  7. Washington Freedom–Stephanie Cox
  8. Saint Louis Athletica–Casey Nogueira

If you want to read more on the Los Angeles Sol being discontinued and the dispersal draft click here.

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