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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.

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We in the WPS community got a glimpse behind the curtain in week 3. The magicJack play their first game and come out with a win versus the Breakers, something they failed to do in two seasons as the Freedom. And the Flash meet last week’s WPS POTW Alli Lipsher and the Beat for their second game of the season.

Q1: The Breakers vs. magicJack.

  • What are your thoughts on the Breakers’ defense after being out shot for the 3rd straight game?
  • What type of effort is needed from the Breakers if they are to win their next match?
  • What interested you most about the magicJack’s debut?
  • Was the win indicative that the move to FL was right for the team?
  • Who is your player of the match?

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

Q2: The Flash vs. The Beat.

  • After seeing game two for the Flash, are they the real deal?
  • What do you think about Marta’s debut with the Flash?
  • What are your thoughts on the Beat’s performance?
  • Are the Beat the best team in the WPS? Why or why not?
  • Who is your player of the match?

For more information on the match, check out the box score and recap.

Q3: The WPS POTW.

  • Let’s discuss the performance of last week’s winner, Alli Lipsher.
For more information on the POTW, check out the article.
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.

There was big news this past week in the WPS: the signing of the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year and two-time WPS MVP Marta by the Flash. Is this worthy news to be a feature chat? We think so. This week we will look at Marta, her new team, and what it all means for the WPS.

Q1: Marta, Marta, Marta.

  • Is she the world’s best player? Why or why not?
  • Does she bring more to a team than talent?
  • Is she the world’s most recognizable player?

Q2: The Flash.

  • Are they the team to beat?
  • Will egos be a concern in the locker room and on the field?
  • Is this LA Sol III or FC Gold Pride II?
  • How do you see Morgan and Marta playing together?

Q3: The WPS.

  • What value does Marta bring to the WPS?
  • How could the league promote Marta?
  • Should Marta be the face of the league?

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 is the fourth installment in the ‘Who Dat’ series. The beginning of the 2010 season is fastly approaching and to be sure each team gets its ‘Who Dat’ treatment there will be two series posted at a time. The FC Gold Pride are this post’s team to go through the ‘Who Dat’ treatment.

The Front Line: This group had its ups and downs last season for the FC Gold Pride who as a team had the worst GPG in the league. This is one of the key areas in which the team look to improve during the off-season. They started by keeping the foundation of this group with the retention of Christine Sinclair and Tiffeny Milbrett who were one and two respectively in goals scored for the team. With the foundation set they looked to the draft as a way to build on it. They selected Kelley O’Hara the 2009 MAC Herman award winner (POY) from Stanford University who were the runner-up in the NCAA tournament and Kaley Fountain a top prospect out of Wake Forest. Then with the unexpected folding of the Los Angeles Sol the Pride had the opportunity to bolster this group even further through the dispersal draft. With the selection of Marta (the 2009 Golden Boot award winner, the 2009 WPS Michelle Akers award winner (MVP), and WPS leading goal scorer), goals should be a plenty from this group.

The Midfield: At the end of the 2009 season this group didn’t require improvement until the departure of Leslie Osborne and Tiffany Weimer to the Boston Breakers. To prevent further disruption in this group, they traded for Camille Abily before the folding of the Sol and the dispersal draft, and selected Solveig Gulbrandsen in the international draft. These two additions will bring the midfield back up to the level it was at prior to the departures.

The Defense and Goal Tending: The defense and goal tending for the FC Gold Pride was the second area that needed improvement at the end of the 2009 season. They held onto the cornerstone of the defense in Rachel Buehler and Carrie Drew. And then added Candace Chapman who was with the Boston Breakers last season and a Canadian women’s national team player. The Pride then used their second round pick to select Becky Edwards, a top defender from Florida State. The net minder from last season Nicole Barnhart will still work between the sticks for the Pride but should not see as many shots.

The FC Gold Pride will not be short of goals this season and will have a better defense than a year ago. They are a team which will attract crowds at whatever venue they play.

The next team to be put on the table for the ‘Who Dat’ treatment will be the Philadelphia Independence, so stay tuned.

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.

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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