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After only two short weeks from the deflating news that WPS was suspending the 2012 season, we have been offered hope. This week WPSL announced the creation of an elite league which would include WPS teams. As describe in And They Play On, the Boston Breakers and the Western New York Flash have joined in. They will be joined by the Chicago Red Stars and FC Indiana. This keeps professional level women’s soccer play and players in the U.S. for 2012.

The chat will look to explore what this means for WPS, the players, and the game of women’s professional soccer in the U.S.

Q1: Women’s Professional Soccer

  • What does this do for WPS?
  • In what way may WPS benefit from this?
  • What impact does this have on the future of WPS?
  • What complications could come about from this decision?

Q2: The Players

  • What benefits do players get from this decision?
  • What decisions are players now confronted with?
  • What are the future considerations for the players?

Q3: The U.S. Women’s Professional Game

  • How is this a win for the women’s game?
  • Does this change the landscape of the women’s game? Why?
  • What does this mean for the future of U.S. soccer?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

It feels great to be back in #WPSChat mode after a brief winter break!

Even in the off-season, exciting plays are being made. In this case, not by players but by Dan Borislow and WPS. Developments last week allow magicJack to play exhibition games this year, and avoid further legal action. Borislow was quoted as saying “It was a win-win-win here,” said Borislow via email. “I won, the league won and my team won. The fourth win is actually the fans and soccer.”  This week’s topic was suggested by longtime chat participant, unwavering advocate of women’s soccer, and Canadian through and through. Thanks to @Ingridium for the great suggestion!

Q1: Women’s Professional Soccer

  • How is this a win for WPS?
  • In what way may WPS lose with this outcome?
  • Will this confirm the detractors of the league? Why or why not?
  • What complications could come about from this decision?

Q2: Dan Borislow

  • How is this a win for Dan?
  • In what way might Dan lose with this outcome?
  • What are possibilities that Dan faces?

Q3: magicJack Team & WPS Players

  • How is this a win for the players?
  • In what way may the players lose with this outcome?
  • What does this mean for magicJack Team?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

It is hard to believe that the 2012  draft is less than a month away. Just last week, the WPS site released a list of top picks for the 2012 WPS Draft  in run up to January’s events. And this gives us an opportunity to look at how these new players can affect the league.

As the 2011 season played out, many WPS teams became aware of their deficiencies and one of the key ways to address them is in the draft. In years past, WPS draft picks have made big impacts for their teams, in the league, and in the world of soccer. 2010 WPS rookie of the year Ali Riley was the right fit for FC Gold pride, helping them win a championship. 2011 Rookie of the year Christen Press was a top 5 leader in the league for scoring. Overall #1 picks Tobin Heath and Alex Morgan have been stellar in international play, helping the USWNT to be one of the best in the world. The draft has proved that women’s college soccer programs develop quality players that are WPS ready.

The chat wants to know where you thought teams needed to improve from the 2011 season, which college players you think will stand above the rest, and who has the ability to come out strong in their WPS debut to bring balance and improve team performance.

Q1: The 2011 Season

  • The Beat: where do the need to improve most from the 2011 season?
  • The Breakers: where do the need to improve most from the 2011 season?
  • The Flash: where do the need to improve most from the 2011 season?
  • The Independence: where do the need to improve most from the 2011 season?
  • Sky Blue: where do the need to improve most from the 2011 season?

Q2: The Prospects

  • Which players have the talent to make a big impact on WPS in 2012?
  • What are your top 5 picks coming out of college?
  • Who do you think will be in the running for the 2012 WPS rookie of the year?

Q3: The Perfect Fit

  • Which college players fill the gap for your WPS team? Why?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

The topic on everyone’s mind this week is the sanctioning– or should I say the “not sanctioning”– of WPS by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).

Like any professional soccer league in the United States, WPS is up for annual review and sanctioning by the governing body USSF. A standard for sanctioning a division 1 league (highest level) requires the league to field a minimum of 8 teams. In 2011, WPS had six teams and the league was sanctioned as division 1 by receiving a waiver. With only 5 viable teams, they are once again applying for a waiver the 2012 season. The application is under review by USSF and the two parties continue to work towards an agreement.

The chat will look to get your thoughts on delayed sanctioning, the possibility of the league not being sanctioned or sanctioned as a different division, and what impact that will have for 2012.

Q1: Delayed Sanctioning News

  • What impact is this having on the WPS brand?
  • Will this build support for the league? Why or why not?
  • Will this confirm the detractors? Why or why not?

Q2: Sanctioned or Not

  • What impact will not being sanctioned have for WPS?
  • What impact will being sanctioned as a different division have for WPS?
  • What are possibilities the league faces?

Q3: The Future: 2012

  • As fans, what does the sanctioning mean to you? Why?
  • What impact does the sanctioning have for players and future players?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

A sport’s off-season wouldn’t be complete without discussions about free agency and signings. And there may be plenty of talk– 84% of the leagues players from last season are free agents (110 out of 131 rostered players, including all magicJack players).

As a fan, this is one of the best and disconcerting times as we see some of our favorite players on the team stay and others leave. We also see new additions added to the team, wonder how they will fit in, and what their impact will be on next year. It is a time when the fan may be the GM for their WPS team– hypothetically, speaking of course! We may build our dream team, letting our creative minds loose.

The chat will look for you to jump into your fantasy GM shoes and build your team.

List of free agents by team roster (click link to view team roster):

Atlanta Beat

Boston Breakers

Philadelphia Independence

Sky Blue FC

Western New York Flash

Q1: You’re the GM (choose your favorite team)

  • What players from last season would you look to re-sign? Why?
  • What free agents from other teams would you look to sign? Why?
  • What are your goals for the team this season? How do your signings reflect that goal?

Q2: The International Players

  • What internationals currently not playing in WPS would you like to see sign with a team? Was there a player you were impressed with from the 2011 WWC?
  • What are some of the obstacles for internationals playing for WPS?
  • What are some of the benefits of having an international player on your team?

Q3: Free Agents

  • Who are the top free agents available?
  • Is there a free agent player that the league needs to keep? Why?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

Events over the past few weeks have got us thinking. Sports have the opportunity to transform, to unify people as a team and as a community. At the same time, these programs can cause real harm when leaders, players, and coaches fail to keep perspective.

With last season squarely in our rear view mirrors, we now have the time to reflect. We cheered on our favorite WPS teams and players, we celebrated a dramatic Women’s World Cup. But at moments in the past season, some may have found themselves asking what was taking precedence– the desire to win/save face or the desire to act with integrity. The chat will look at the impact of these moments on a sport, league, team, and player, if it differs depending on the allegation and what role the offender holds, and if the handling of the allegation is the most important part.

The chat will look to get your thoughts on WPS year three’s turmoil, leaving no stone unturned.

Q1: Dan Borislow’s Antics

  • What is the impact of this on WPS, magicJack team, and players?
  • Did WPS handle the antics properly? Why?
  • What are preventive measures that could be put in place?
  • How did Dan being an owner impact the handling of the antics?

Q2: The Treatment of magicJack Players

  • What was the impact to the players and the team?
  • What measures could have prevented this?
  • Did WPS handle this properly? Why?

Q3: Player Missteps

  • What is the impact of a player stepping out of line?
  • Does the impact differ depending on the player’s stature or role? Why?
  • Should WPS or the teams have punitive measures put in place? Why?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

The “future” of WPS has been the talk of the media since the inception of the league. The talk mostly surrounds the growth of the league, the financial health of the league, addition of teams, and the closing of franchises. But what about the real “future” — the up and coming talent that will become the league’s next stars? That talent will be on display over the next month or so in the NCAA Women’s College Cup.

The chat will look for your evaluation of the players, the teams, and the programs that are looking to win the ultimate prize of the season, a championship.

Q1: The Players

  • What players are you most looking forward to displaying their talents in the tournament?
  • Which players will have the most impact for their teams during the college cup?
  • Which current college players do you want to see play in WPS in the future?

Q2: The Teams

  • What teams are you looking forward to see in the tournament?
  • What teams have the best chances of advancing deep into the college cup?
  • Is there a sleeper team who will make a good run? What teams do you see as the sleepers?

Q3: The Programs

  • Which women’s soccer programs are making an unexpected splash this season?
  • What program is an up and coming program for the future?
  • Do the traditional power programs need to take it to the next level if they are to continue to be power programs?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

This week WPS  terminated the magicJack franchise, leaving the league with a total of five teams.  The team roster wasn’t short on high-profile names; including USWNT members Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, Christie Rampone, and Megan Rapinoe and WPS rookie of the year Christen Press. After leaving the D.C. area, the fans and community of this team are once again without someone to cheer for. The league again goes through turmoil in the off-season. With magicJack gone, where does that leave the players, the fans, and ultimately the league?

The chat  will look for your thoughts on the impact to the players, the fans, and the league with the closing of magicJack.

Q1: The Players

  • What happens to the high-profile players?
  • What options do the players have outside of WPS to play?
  • Does this make other professional leagues more appealing to players?

Q2: The Fans and Community

  • Where does this leave the fans of the team?
  • What impact did the team have on the community of southern Florida?
  • How does this impact the soccer community?

Q3: The League

  • What impact does the closure have on the league’s brand?
  • What does the league need to do in order to bounce back?
  • What message is the league sending by the closure of magicJack?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

WPS received a boost in popularity and attendance from the coverage of FIFA’s 2011 Women’s World Cup. But even before all that media, WPS was being covered by bloggers, and to a lesser extent major publications and the TV networks. Though not at the level that hardcore fans would like, finding news about the league is a far cry better than it was in the inaugural season.

The chat this week will look to find what works with these outlets, what could be improved, and where you get your WPS news.

Q1: The Bloggers

  • What is the impact made by this outlet to the promotion and success of the league? How could the league promote this channel?
  • What is it that you look for most from this outlet and why?
  • What type of content would you like to see from bloggers?

Q2: The Major Publications

  • What is the impact made by this outlet to the promotion and success of the league?
  • What is it that you look for most from this outlet and why?
  • What type of content would you like to see from major publications? Does that change whether the publication is online or print?

Q3: The Major Networks

  • What is the impact made by this outlet to the promotion and success of the league?
  • What is it that you look for most from this outlet and why?
  • What type of content would you like to see from major networks?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

The human body, admired from the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The athlete has been at the forefront of that admiration from the beginning with sculptures of the first Olympians. In more recent times, the physical excellence of the athlete has been spectacularly captured by ESPN magazine in the Body Issue. This year’s issue was released on October 7th, and featured Hope Solo on one of the covers. Past issues have had other WPS stars on the cover and in the issue from the likes of Heather Mitts and Natasha Kai.

Get ready to “bare all” in this week’s chat about ESPN’s Body Issue and what it means for the athletes covered.

Q1: The Athletes

  • What is the message sent to the fans or public by the athletes who pose? Does that message vary depending of sex?
  • What is your opinion of the athletes who pose?
  • How does the timing of the release of this issue with Hope Solo impact her media attention with her role in dancing with the Stars?

Q2: The Sport

  • What impact does an athlete posing have on the brand for the sport/league?
  • What type of attention is given to the sport? Is that attention the right fit for the sport?

Q3: The Future

  • What athletes would you like to see in coming issues?
  • Should ESPN keep publishing this issueand every year?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

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