@UNCwomensSoccer: “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, i’m telling you it is going to be worth it.”
I love this pic so much! The beautiful game. Hard work pays off! :)
Mexican captain Monica Gonzalez pictured above shaking hands with USWNT captain Kristine Lilly at an October 2005 international at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, in issue one of XI Quarterly she talks to Jeff Kassouf about her experiences as an American-born star for the Mexican national women’s soccer team.
“I can tell you right now, I never would have gotten 89 caps [with the U.S.].” Gonzalez says. “Never.”
Photo Credit: Scott Bales/YCJ
On a slightly brighter note: Leslie Osborne helped keep Boston women’s soccer alive
It was Osborne who spent her offseason recruiting investors and players, attempting to ensure that the team would have enough money and talent to continue to play in the WPS and, after that folded, the WPSL Elite League. She helped make it happen, something she said she felt duty-bound to do.
But will others follow? As women’s soccer works on building a future from uncertainty, its players grapple with how involved they have to be to make it succeed. They are, after all, their sport’s greatest ambassadors. Do they need to be activists, too?
“We felt like we could be utilized a lot more,” said Kia McNeill, who played at Boston College and was slated to play for the Philadelphia Independence. “I think it’s great what Leslie Osborne did, and I wish a lot of other girls, particularly those with the national team, would have stepped up and taken on that type of role. I know some of them did. A lot of them didn’t.”
Many women’s soccer players get involved with their local communities, teaching clinics, reaching out to young players, raising interest and awareness. Osborne did more. She met with wealthy supporters of the sport, helped identify potential investors, did the behind-the-scenes work that is generally not the province of players.
“I felt an obligation, I felt how lucky I was to have the opportunity to play for my country, to play professionally,” Osborne said. “I want other kids to have the same opportunity and dream to one day play professionally like I did.
“When our main owner left and we needed to find new ownership, the easy thing would have been to move on. Myself and a couple people that truly cared about this organization took the initiative to find new owners. It was a lot of work and it was challenging, but I loved every minute of it.”
Leslie Osborne, man. There’s a reason the Breakers faithful love her, and not just for the way she plays.
On the day WPS was put to rest permanently, remembering a brighter moment for the league.
In this Sept. 16, 2008 photo, Boston Breakers coach Tony DiCicco, left, stands with players Kristine Lilly, Angela Hucles and Heather Mitts, and Women’s Professional Soccer league commissioner Tonya Antonucci during the allocation draft in New York.
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
— WPS: What is the impact on L.A.? - A California-centric but overall good piece on how WPSL may absorb a lot of WPS players this season
— Whitney Engen’s Dispatches from Sweden: First Impressions - Engen’s on loan to Tyresö FF during the WPS offseason. I think this will be a really interesting column.