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Wednesday Women's Soccer Wrap

The Chicago Red Stars announced Wednesday the signing of English international midfielder Katie Chapman, who joins the team after spending the last three years with Arsenal.

She follows English teammates Karen Carney, Kelly Smith and, should they be officially signed by Philadelphia, Fara Williams and Lianne Sanderson.

Arsenal, once the be-all, end-all of women’s club soccer in Europe (and arguably anywhere), has now lost another player to Women’s Professional Soccer as it continues to establish itself as the best league in the world.  In 2007, the Lady Gunners won the quadruple: The Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup.

The move also means that Chapman reunites with Chicago Head Coach Emma Hayes, who was also an assistant coach at Arsenal for two years.

“I have watched Katie play since she was 15,” Hayes said. “I coached her for two years at Arsenal and she is a rock that makes everything around her better. She was the engine and heartbeat of the successful quadruple-winning team.”

Check out Chicago’s full press release here.

Sky Blue adds more depth

Sky Blue FC also announced on Wednesday the signing of Finnish international striker Laura Österberg Kalmari.

Kalmarihas 118 caps, she is the most-capped active player for Finland.  Themove will add even more depth to what has arguably become the deepestteam in WPS.

Stadium updates

The Equalizer provided several new details on the Atlanta Beat’s new stadium yesterday, but there are some interesting clues in this Atlanta Journal Constitution article.

First comes the mentioning of possibly expanding the stadium to 22,000 for a potential Kennesaw State football team.  That would instantly turn the Atlanta stadium situation from the best in the league to just another average stadium if it were to become a football stadium as well.  There is a big if there, but it is a concern to hear.

The article also mentions that the Beat will play 15 home games at the stadium, perhaps accidentally giving away part of the league’s plans for scheduling in2010.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Independence announced that it will play its home games at John A. Farrell Stadium on the campus of West Chester University in suburban Philadelphia.

The campus is located in Chester County, where the new soccer-specific stadium being built for MLS side Philadelphia Union will be.  The announcement comes as a big blow to at least this journalist, who expected Philadelphia to play in the beautiful new park.

The situation is out of their control with the Union’s stadium not being finished, but John A. Farrell Stadium is a turf football field with a track around it.  Not exactly an intimate atmosphere.

What was wrong with Villanova University, where the Philadelphia Chargeplayed?  My memory is groggy, but I attended a Charge game years agoand did not have significant problems with the facilities.

As good as Philadelphia has been doing with personnel moves, this one troubles me.  The Independence will be just the second team in the league (along with Boston) to play on a turf football field, but West Chester University does not quite have the charm of Harvard Stadium.

And as far as FC Gold Pride, its future at Buck Shaw Stadium seems unclear, according to some statements from Head Coach Albertin Montoya.

“We’re not sure yet,” he said.  “I’d rather not comment about that. Things have to be finalized on both ends and then whether we stay thereor not, so that is just still to be determined.”

Atlanta draft options

Finally, the Atlanta Beat have decided which player it will take with the No. 1 pick, but team officials are not telling who.  The best players in the country will be on display this weekend at the College Cup in Texas, and we can expect to see many players from the Final Four in WPS in 2010.

Atlanta Head Coach Gareth O’Sullivan provided some vague and jocular insight on the situation.

“All I can say is that, well, we’re excited about it,” he said.  “I mean, we’ve decided who we are going to pick and we’re excited about that direction and the lady in question will be playing in Texas this weekend.”

MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalists Announced

The semifinalists for the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy award, the highest individual honor in NCAA soccer, were announced on Wednesday.

They are:

  • Courtney Barg, So., M, Notre Dame, Plano, Texas
  • Lauren Cheney, F, Sr., UCLA, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Becky Edwards, F, Sr., Florida State, Downingtown, Pa.
  • Whitney Engen, D, Sr., North Carolina, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.
  • Michelle Enyeart, F, Sr., Portland, Hemet, Calif.
  • Sinead Farrelly, M, Jr., Virginia, Havertown, Pa.
  • Danielle Foxhoven, F, So., Portland, Littleton, Colo.
  • Tobin Heath, M, Sr., North Carolina, Basking Ridge, N.
  • Kelly Henderson, D, Sr., Boston College, Baldwin, N.Y.
  • Sydney Leroux, F, So., UCLA, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Kristen Olsen, K, Sr., Southern California, Orange, Calif.
  • Tiffany McCarty, F, So., Florida State, Laurel, Md.
  • Kelley O’Hara, F, Sr., Stanford, Fayetteville, Ga.
  • Christen Press, F, Jr., Stanford, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.
  • Katie Schoepfer, F, Sr., Penn State, Waterford, Conn.

My pick as of right now is Kelley O’Hara, but she does not pack the star power that the likes of Tobin Heath does.  I think the College Cup will determine a lot of this.  If UCLA can upset Stanford on its way to a title, Sydney Leroux might have a case for herself.

U.S. Women’s National Team Camps

And finally, the United States Women’s National Team has named its players for December training camps for the senior national team and the U-23 team.

Check out updates on the senior team’s training camp here (which has been ever-changing due to College Cup commitments).

And, here is the U-23 training camp roster.The U-23 camp (also at the Home Depot Training Center) will overlap the senior camp by two days, giving some players the chance to stand out to U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage.

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