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The WPS season is only two short weeks away and the anticipation for opening weekend is about to burst. Rosters are slimming, teams are preparing through practices, and the players are getting in-game shape with scrimmages. We’ve heard from the experts, but Pitch Side View and the #WPSchat want to know your thoughts.

Q1: The Beat.

  • What are your thoughts on the team’s roster?
  • Who will be this season’s impact player for them?
  • What player will have a breakout season?
  • How did the team look during pre-season scrimmages?

For more information on the Beat, check out their website.

Q2: The Breakers.

  • What are your thoughts on the team’s roster?
  • Who will be this season’s impact player for them?
  • What player will have a breakout season?
  • How did the team look during pre-season scrimmages?

For more information on the Breakers, check out their website.

Q3: The Flash.

  • What are your thoughts on the team’s roster?
  • Who will be this season’s impact player for them?
  • What player will have a breakout season?
  • How did the team look during pre-season scrimmages?

For more information on the Flash, check out their website.

Q4: The Freedom/MagicJack.

  • What are your thoughts on the team’s roster?
  • Who will be this season’s impact player for them?
  • What player will have a breakout season?
  • How did the team look during pre-season scrimmages?

Q5: The Independence.

  • What are your thoughts on the team’s roster?
  • Who will be this season’s impact player for them?
  • What player will have a breakout season?
  • How did the team look during pre-season scrimmages?

For more information on the Independence, check out their website.

Q6: Sky Blue FC.

  • What are your thoughts on the team’s roster?
  • Who will be this season’s impact player for them?
  • What player will have a breakout season?
  • How did the team look during pre-season scrimmages?

For more information on Sky Blue FC, check out their website.

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

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In honor of the diversity of #WPSchat Tweeps all over the world and two big women’s soccer tournaments commencing, this week’s chat will broaden its view to cover the world of women’s soccer. The discussion will be on the Algarve Cup, the Cyprus Cup, and the WPS preseason.

Q1: The Algarve Cup.

  • What teams have surprised you or exceeded your expectations?
  • Has the play of any WPS player in the tournament peeked your interest?
  • Who are the biggest winners and losers of the tournament thus far?
  • Who do you see winning the tournament?

For coverage of the cup, check out US Soccer and Our Game Magazine.

Q2: The Cyprus Cup.

  • What teams have surprised you or exceeded your expectations?
  • Has the play of any WPS player in the tournament peeked your interest?
  • Who are the biggest winners and losers of the tournament thus far?
  • Who do you see winning the tournament?

For coverage of the cup, check out All White Kit and Our Game Magazine.

Q3: The WPS Preseason.

  • On paper who is the team to beat (check out preseason rosters)?
  • Which team on paper has the best backfield?
  • Which team on paper has the best midfield?
  • Which team on paper has the best frontline?

For more coverage of the WPS preseason, check out  The Equalizer and the WPS.

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

The big news this week in the WPS was the release of the 2011 regular season schedule. As it is President’s Day, we think it’s necessary to give the schedule the good old #WPSchat presidential treatment. Of course, with this being pre-season and without a game being played yet, these are only predictions.

Q1: The match-ups.

  • Which match-ups are you looking forward to seeing?
  • What late season scheduled games could have playoff implications?
  • Who do you see as the pre-season favorite to be league champion?

Q2: The TV schedule.

  • What are your thoughts on the balance of TV appearances for the teams?
  • Were any of the teams not given due TV time?
  • What are your thoughts about an expansion team getting the most TV time for the league?

Q3: The Break.

  • How do you see the break in the schedule hurting or helping teams?
  • How will the break and absence of national team players impact game attendance and the TV audience?
  • What are your thoughts on the break having the potential to disrupt a team’s momentum and/or chemistry?

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

This weekend, I went my first WPS draft.  It was everything I thought it would be- and more. This isn’t about who got pick when and who will play where- if you followed the draft, you’ll already know that. This is post is my first-hand account of what it was like to be there, on the ground, in the trenches.

Now the title of this post is a little misleading, my daft* draft day truly started the night before. I arrived in B’more (thanks to @ljbarks for this abbreviation, it is hot!) at about 10pm after a short flight from Beantown. The first daft moment of this trip: due to flight delays, I had to wait longer at the gate than to take the flight itself.

When planning the trip from BWI to the Hotel, I thought the most difficult part would be finding the MTA Light Rail stop. I was wrong. Purchasing the fare to board became the endless game of me putting money in and the machine spitting tickets out – each ticket I couldn’t use because of date or time restrictions. It felt like I was in Vegas playing the slots, and just like Vegas the house won! Eventually, I got it sorted and got on board, though was puzzled when no one came to collect my ticket. Apparently, riders on the MTA Light Rail can take a gamble on whether or not their tickets will be checked- just like Vegas.

Being thoroughly baffled by the purchase and collection of the fares on the light rail, I decide to ask a local to explain. The clerk at the front desk of my hotel didn’t offer any explanation worth repeating, so I asked how to get up to my room. Daft moment #2: The big marble staircase in the lobby doesn’t go anywhere- I was told I may get stuck half way up. Hmmm, I decided it was better not to ask and to take the elevator.

At that this point I couldn’t imagine what was in store for me now. I took my first cab ride for under $20. (Coming from Boston, a $6 cab ride is unheard of.) I pulled up in front of a bar, and I was then transported back to my clubbing days – waiting in lines to get in, walking through a sardine can of people with the music pumping, and getting stopped at and then pulled into the VIP section. I then moved onto a more casual locale and hung with the crew from @OurGameMagazine! I bumped into Lisa Cole (Boston Breakers assistant coach) and was told later that I was in the same area as Bruce Arena. The evening ended with a shared cab ride that (supposedly) cost over three times what I paid for the ride there- Daft moment #3. The cab didn’t look any different, no hot tub or bar?!

Given my transportation problems of the night before, I decided to rely on my sturdy and reliable legs to get me to my destination. My day was packed, with a blogger brunch/new media mixer, and then to the 2011 WPS Draft.

The blogger brunch/new media mixer at Pratt Street Ale House, sponsored by Demosphere, was a gathering of the online community built to support the WPS. It was great to finally meet @Vandey01 – got to give special props to the queen. If you don’t know her, you’ve got to. And if you need something done in your org, get her on the payroll. (Yes I’m a big fan!) It was fantastic to meet fellow WPS bloggers/media – @writerwood, @jenna_awk, @ljbarks, @jeffkassouf, @fakesigi, and @duresport. Honestly, you can’t beat great food and good conversation.

After filling my belly and expanding my mind, it was on to the big event of the day. The room was a buzz with media setting up, the webcast crew getting started, league officials preparing, and the team officials putting on their games faces.

The pre-draft atmosphere can only be compared to a locker room prior to the start of a game. The camera and video cases being opened and closed like lockers. The opening of laptop cases and bags like the unzipping of equipment bags. The shuffling and placement of laptops, cameras, and video recorders like the shuffle for athletic gear. And then it was time for the game to start.

Kristina Hentschel started with the opening remarks announcing the two new sponsorships for the WPS- Playtex and Sahlen’s Hotdogs. Then CEO Anne-Marie Eileraas announced the league’s possible expansion, building the anticipation for the draft like the playing of our national anthem at a game.

It was time for Kick-off- Rob Penner, the WPS Director of Communications, opened the draft, and the Western New York Flash were on the clock. It was the first build up, pass after pass until an opportunity on goal was available and the Flash selected (you guessed it) Alex Morgan. (Now you can decide for yourself if that was a goal or not!) The draft went on like this- pick after pick, just like a close game with each team looking for opportunities to score. And the Boston Breakers were standing at the end when the final whistle was blown. Just like post-game coverage, the media was up and ready to interview.

Then all the excitement and anticipation was melted away as everyone left the room. Lights turned off, and all was peaceful again just like the stadium after a game.

*A disclosure on the journey you undertook – the definition of daft used throughout is meant in a positive light with humor and merriment. I would go back to B’more in a heartbeat!

I would like to thank Amanda Vandervort (@Vandey01), Ryan Knapp, and Rob Penner (@rdpenner) for making my daftly 2011 WPS Draft day possible.

This week’s chat is about the 2011 WPS Draft. We will take a look at the results, your draft day experience, and the coverage. In this chat you are the GM, the coach, the sports analyst, and fan. So get your shovels out, because we are going to dig into this.

Q1: Your Draft Day Experience.

  • How did you follow the results?
  • How did this year’s experience compare to prior years?
  • What did you like most about this draft?
  • What was missing from this year?

Q2: The Results.

  • Were there any surprise selections?
  • What teams came out on top?
  • Did any players slide down further than expected?

Q3: The Coverage.

  • What did you like/dislike about the webcast?
  • What did you think about the pre-draft coverage?
  • What did you think about the in-draft coverage?
  • What do you think about the post-draft coverage?

Q4: What would you like to discuss in the upcoming weeks?

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

The 2011 WPS Draft is less than a week away and with it is the promise of the season ahead. When looking ahead, it is always good to reflect on where you came from and how you got there. This week’s chat will do just that looking at the past, the present, and the future.

Q1: #KL13– Kristine Lilly.

  • What was her greatest impact on the game of soccer?
  • What void has been left with her retirement?
  • Your favorite KL moment?

Q2: Player Movement.

  • What was the biggest move so far this off-season?
  • What teams have made the biggest impact on their rosters (good or bad)?
  • What are some of the big names that have switched cities?

Q3: 2011 Opening Weekends.

  • What matches are you looking forward to?
  • Were the right games selected for the WPS Sunday on FSC?

Q4: What would you like to discuss in the upcoming weeks?

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

With winter and the holiday season approaching and being about half way through the WPS off-season, the #WPSChat over the next three weeks will take the fans barometer of the league. This week we will discuss year 2 of the league, the successes and the improvements. The following week we will look at the off-season and week three will look to the up-coming season. So get out your wish lists and measuring sticks because the fun is about to begin!

Q1: The Teams.

  • What did it mean for the league to have expansion in Philadelphia and Atlanta?
  • What did it mean to lose the L.A. Sol?
  • What did it mean to St. Louis?
  • How would you best describe the successes on the field for the teams?
  • How would you describe the off-field success for the teams?

Q2: The Season.

  • What are your thoughts on the ‘Defend your Turf’ campaign?
  • What was the success of the campaign?
  • Why did it stop in the middle of the season?
  • What are your thoughts on the TV schedule?

Q3: Fan Engagement.

  • What did you think of the fantasy league?
  • What do you think about the online fan communities (fan corner, twitter, facebook, etc…)?
  • What are your thoughts on the game webcasts?
  • What are your thoughts on the draft coverage?

Q4: What would you like to discuss in the upcoming weeks?

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

After beating Stanford 1 – 0, Notre Dame sits atop of the College women’s soccer world. With the college cup champion being crowned and the 2011 WPS Draft approaching this week’s chat will look at those seniors hoping to move on to the next level.

Q1: The College Cup.

  • Were you able to watch any of the tournament games or attend them live?
  • Who played well and who didn’t?
  • Did the best team win?

Q2: The #1 Pick.

  • Who will be the overall #1 pick?
  • Why do you think they will be #1?

Q3: The Top Seniors for the 2011 WPS Draft (2010SeniorRankings).

  • Who on the list of potential draftees will make an impact in the WPS?
  • Who would be in your top 10?
  • Who would you like to see be added to your favorite WPS team’s roster?

Q4: What would you like to discuss in the upcoming weeks?

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

This week marks the official kick off of the 2010 WPS playoffs.  The match between the Independence and the Freedom is now officially one for the books, so let’s discuss what went down and how that will affect the rest of the championship.

Q1: A re-cap of the WPS First Round playoff game: the Independence vs. the Freedom.

  • What are your thoughts with the outcome?
  • What players were dominant in the game?
  • Overall how was the officiating of the game (were the teams allowed to play)?

Q2: A Preview of the WPS Super Semifinal: the Breakers vs. the Independence?

  • Which team has the best chance of winning the match and why?
  • What do you see as the key match-ups for each team in the game?
  • Do you see rookies having a major impact on the outcome of this game?
  • Does the winner of this match have what it takes to win it all?

Q3: Has the intensity of play of the teams in WPS Playoffs increased?

  • Are the teams more physical?
  • Have the teams stayed to with has worked for them in the season or have/will they switch it up?

Q4: What is your favorite play of the week?

Q5: What would you like to discuss in the upcoming weeks?

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

To mark the first playoff edition of the chat this week’s questions are going to be all WPS playoff related and nothing else. We will be discussing the potential winners and losers of each match-up, how the teams in the playoffs match-up against one another, and ultimately who will win it all.

Q1: The WPS First Round playoff game will feature the Independence vs. the Freedom.

  • Which team has the best chance of winning the match and why?
  • What do you see as the key match-ups for each team in the game?
  • Does the winner of this match have what it takes to win it all?

Q2: The WPS Super Semifinal will feature the Breakers vs. the winner of the WPS First Round?

  • Which team has the best chance of winning the match and why?
  • What do you see as the key match-ups for each team in the game?
  • Do you see rookies having a major impact on the outcome of this game?
  • Does the winner of this match have what it takes to win it all?

Q3: The WPS Championship will feature the Pride vs. the winner of the WPS Super Semifinal?

  • Which team has the best chance of winning the match?
  • What do you see as the key match-ups for each team in the game?
  • Do you see rookies having a major impact on the outcome of this game?

Q4: What is your favorite play of the week?

Q5: What would you like to discuss in the upcoming weeks?

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

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