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The road for women’s professional soccer in the United States has been– simply put– bumpy. There was the first rendition in WUSA, then the second go-around with WPS, and now the NWSL. The one team to have weathered every storm is the Boston Breakers. Boston has hosted a professional women’s soccer team in every league. During the year between the collapse of WPS and the start of the NWSL, the Breakers even kept it going by forming a team to play in the semi-pro WPSL Elite.

Even with all this change, one thing remains constant for the Breakers—every player is excited for another chance to showcase their talent and love of the sport in front of the best fans. Since the announcement of the new league in November, more exciting news has been announced. Just last week, all teams in the league announced their allocations of the National Team players from USA, Canada, and Mexico. Lisa Cole returns as head coach for the Breakers, and the organization started the Breakers Academy, a youth development program.

I was able to catch up with some of your favorite Breakers; Katie Schoepfer and Heather O’Reilly to get their thoughts on the recent and exciting news.

Katie Schoepfer:

On Lisa Cole continuing as Head Coach:

“I’m really looking forward to Lisa being the head coach again. I think she is a great coach. Last year she really believed in me, and brought our team along. […] She can break down video like crazy and she very good at those kinds of “x’s and o’s” things in the locker room which I think helps us out tremendously. […] I think overall she is very much a player’s coach. She looks for a lot of input from her leaders and her team, which gives us some ownership. We’re able keep open lines of communication with Lisa and she is very receptive to it which is great for our team.”

On the new Breakers Academy:

“I really hope that girls around Massachusetts take advantage of the fact that they will be able to play and be coached by professional players and professional coaches. […] It is an honor for us to wear the Breakers jersey, so it is pretty cool for a 10-year-old girl to be able to put on that jersey too.”

“I love coaching, and I love being able to work with different teams and different age groups. Besides playing, it is one of my passions. I hope to get involved with the Academy as much as possible.”

On Heather O’Reilly:

“My rookie season I played with her in New Jersey with Sky Blue. There is really nobody like her. No one can match her work ethic. She loves to play and she loves the game. That’s really contagious on a team. You can tell the difference when she is at practice, and when she is in games. For me personally, it just gives me so much more energy because I try to match everything that she is doing. I’m looking forward to playing with her again. ”

Heather O’Reilly:

On the growth of soccer in the U.S.:

“I think as a U.S. player and a fan of soccer in our country, it’s exciting to see soccer take hold in our country. It’s amazing to be a part of this growth and another step for U.S. Soccer to advance the game in our country. I think in the last two years, with the 2011 World cup and the (2012) Olympics, we are proud of the stronghold we’ve had in terms of the attention (soccer has received).”

On teammate Sydney Leroux:

“Syd, although coming off the bench (for the U.S.), she pumped in 12 goals. That was all off the bench! I’m really proud of Syd as a player. She’s handled herself very well on and off the field. And, she’s entertaining.”

On teammate Heather Mitts:

“Heather Mitts is somebody who is just the perfect teammate. She’s always going to be fit. She’s always going to be ready to go. She provides so much to the team environment.”

Her opinion on players for Mexico and Canada in the NWSL:

“It’s an interesting dynamic. I can’t even guess how many games I’ve played against (Rhian) Wilkinson (one of Boston’s players from Canada) on the National Team. I’m excited to have her on my side this time.”

Women’s soccer is cranking up this week. WPSL Elite and USL W-League open their seasons and the U-17 CONCACAF Women’s Championship is being played. The WSPL season opener will feature the Boston Breakers visiting ASA Chesapeake Charge on Thursday, May 10th. This Friday, the USL W-League will kick off as VSI Tampa Flames take on the Charlotte Lady Eagles in Charlotte, N.C. Then on May 7th the national teams in the U-17 CONCACAF tournament will play their final group games and on May 12th a champion will be crowned.

Tonight’s chat is a smorgasbord; try a little bit of this and a little bit of that. From the U-17 CONCACAF tournament to the start of the WPSL and USL W-League seasons, there is plenty here to satisfy even the hungriest women’s soccer fan.

Q1: U-17 CONCACAF Women’s Championship

  • The US has dominated play in their group thus far, is there a team that could knock them off?
  • Canada has dominated play in their group, should we expect a Canada vs. US final?
  •  Who could be the underdog in the playoff? Why?

Q2: WPSL Elite Opening Week & Season

  • Will you be following the opening week and season?
  • How will you be joining the action (going to games, following online, etc)?
  • Have you chosen a team to cheer for? What team? Why them?

Q3: USL W-League Opening Week & Season

  • Will you be following the opening week and season?
  • How will you be joining the action (going to games, following online, etc)?
  • Have you chosen a team to cheer for? What team? Why them?

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.

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.

If you were at the Breakers vs. magicJack game last week, you wouldn’t have known that the Breakers were playing at home. The second best attendance ever for a Breakers home game, and the crowd was full of energy. But rather than cheering for the home team, the majority of hoots and hollers were for the visitors and more pointedly for one player – Abby Wambach. This may only be described as “Abby Mania” and it’s taken the country by storm. Remember the “Marta Affect” from the first season? You haven’t seen anything yet.

This week’s chat will look at this phenomenon and its impact on the WPS.

Q1: What are the benefits or disadvantages of having the attention on a player versus a team or the league?

Q2: How has “Abby Mania” caught on?

Q3: What are the additional pressures put on her because of the sudden explosion of “Abby Mania”?

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

The latest issue of Our Game chronicles the story of Sydney Leroux, a young player who finally finds her way to the top. Not only is she currently playing at UCLA, Leroux is likely to be a top pick in this year’s WPS draft.

During the WWC, we saw younger talent like Alex Morgan and Lauren Cheney step up and make critical contributions to the USWNT run for the cup. Younger players can bring a lot to their teams with speed and skill. But they might not have the same levels of maturity that more experienced players bring to the game. In this week’s chat, we’ll explore this dynamic and how it affects the WPS.

Q1: What assets do younger players bring to their teams?

Q2: How can coaches integrate their younger players with seasoned veterans?

Q3: Which young players in the WPS do you see making critical contributions to their teams?

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 WPS is officially on its 11 day hiatus while the premiere players in the league are in Germany testing their skills and fortitude against the world’s best. The league wrapped up its mid-season play with two games, the Beat vs. Sky Blue and magicJack vs. the Independence.

The chat wants your thoughts on the teams’ first half performance prior to the start of the second half. And as a bonus round, we’ll take a look at the opening day of the 2011 WWC in Germany.

Q1: The Flash.

  • How have the Flash performed thus far?
  • What areas have the Flash excelled in?
  • What are the areas in which they could improve?
  • Your team MVP?

The Flash currently sit on top on the standings with 20 pts, lead the league in GPG, top three in GAA, has three players in the top 7 in the categories of goals and assists, and enter the mid-season with a loss at home.

Q2: The Independence.

  • How have the Independence performed thus far?
  • What areas have the Independence excelled in?
  • What are the areas in which they could improve?
  • Your team MVP?

The Independence is holding on to the second spot in the standings with 18 pts, 2nd in the league for GPG, lead the league in GAA, has two players in the top 7 in the categories of goals and assists, and enter the mid-season on a four game unbeaten streak.

Q3: magicJack.

  • How have magicJack performed thus far?
  • What areas have magicJack excelled in?
  • What are the areas in which they could improve?
  • Your team MVP?

magicJack occupy the 3rd spot in the standings with 14 pts, 3rd in the league for GPG, 6th in the league in GAA, has two players in the top 7 in the category of goals, and enter the mid-season dropping 4 of their last 6 games.

Q4: Sky Blue FC.

  • How have Sky Blue FC performed thus far?
  • What areas have Sky Blue FC excelled in?
  • What are the areas in which they could improve?
  • Your team MVP?

Sky Blue FC is tied with the Breakers for the final playoff spot with 12 pts, 4th in the league for GPG, 2nd in the league in GAA, has one player in the top 7 in the category of assists, and enter the mid-season the hottest team with a 5 game unbeaten streak.

Q5: The Breakers.

  • How have the Breakers performed thus far?
  • What areas have the Breakers excelled in?
  • What are the areas in which they could improve?
  • Your team MVP?

The Breakers are currently tied at the 4th spot with Sky Blue FC with 12 pts, 5th in the league for GPG, 4th in the league in GAA, has one player in the top 7 in the category of assists, and enter the mid-season unbeaten in 4 of their last 5 games.

Q6: The Beat.

  • How have the Beat performed thus far?
  • What areas have the Beat excelled in?
  • What are the areas in which they could improve?
  • Your team MVP?

The Beat sit at the bottom of the standings with 6 pts and enters the mid-season losing 3 of their last 4 games.

Q7: 2011 WWC.

  • Open forum: What do you think about the opening matches?
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.

It was a light weekend in the WPS, with just two games on tap. The Independence put the hurt on magicJack, gaining ground on the Flash. The Breakers and the Beat played to a draw. Looking forward, Sky Blue will travel to Atlanta this Wednesday, as we all get ready for the start of the WWC.

Get ready to talk about how these teams are shaping up mid season, and join in an open forum on the 2011 WWC in Germany.

Q1: magicJack vs. The Independence.

  • magicJack get bombarded this week in Philly losing 0 – 6. What impact did the depleted roster have on the team’s play and success or lack there of?
  • The Independence shocked the WPS world by beating the unbeatable Flash and then crush magicJack. Should we expect a repeat performance this coming Saturday? Why or why not?

For more information on the match, check out the box score and the re-cap.

Q2: The Breakers vs. The Beat.

  • What did you think of the Breakers’ performance?
  • What did you think of the Beat’s performance?
  • Who is your player of the match?

For more information on the match, check out the box score and the re-cap.

Q3: 2011 WWC.

  • Open forum, let your opinions reign!
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.

First things first, congrats to our friends at Our Game Magazine on their successful and meaningful first year. It is with great honor that us here at PSV are once again teaming up with OGM to deliver a special #WPSchat. This week we will take a look at and discuss soccer at the highest level as seen in the June issue: the creative art of soccer, music in soccer, and a coaches view on the Brazilian National Team and the 2011 WWC.

Q1: Creative Soccer. Freestyle and street play have made their way into the highest levels of US sports and changed the game.

  • How do you see freestyle/street play changing the entertainment of soccer in the WPS?
  • Who is your favorite creative player in the WPS and why?
  • What are the technical skills gained from freestyle/street soccer?
  • What are some of your favorite freestyle moves?
  • What countries are the best at freestyle/street soccer?

For more information see the article and videos Soccer is Art (pages 40-41) by Indi Cowie.

Q2: Music and Soccer. Music and professional sports go hand in hand these days, from the athletes getting pumped for the game to in-game entertainment for the fans and sometimes even the culture of the sport.

  • What role does music play in US professional soccer today?
  • How does music shape your in-game or televised soccer experience?
  • What is your favorite in-game song and why?

For more information see the article Game Day Beats (pages 54-59) by Manya Makoski.

Q3: Coaches View. Kleiton Lima has had many successes in his career, will he add a WWC championship to it.

  • What impact will FIFA’s five-time player of the year winner, two-time WPS player of the year winner, WPS WNY star, and Brazilian National Marta have on the 2011 WWC in Germany?
  • What are your expectations for the Brazilians in the tournament?
  • What other national team would you like to see the Brazilians play?

For more information see the article 1 on 1 with Kleiton Lima (pages 46-49) by Beto Alfaya.

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.

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.

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