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Hayes fired, WPS issues statement on Athletica

Monday suddenly turned into a busy day in Women’s Professional Soccer.

Emma Hayes has been relieved of her coaching duties as Chicago Red Stars head coach anddirector of operations duties.  Hayes compiled a record of 6-14-6 in a little over one season with the Red Stars.  Read more here and post your thoughts below.

In other news, Women’s Professional Soccer has released the following statement on the status of Saint Louis Athletica:

“WPS and its Board continue to work closely with the appropriate parties on the matter related to Saint Louis Athletica, including the possibility that the league will take over the team which would enable the Athletica to play the 2010 season in full.”

This comes after reports surfaced last week that Athletica and parent club AC Saint Louis may fold before the end of their respective 2010 seasons.

The league’s willingness to step in and save Athletica if need be would at first seem controversial given the folding of the Los Angeles Sol in January, but things are different with Saint Louis.  A team folding mid-season would completely mess up the entire WPS schedule, causing cancelled games in all eight markets.  It would also scream of instability to see the league lose two teams in four months, one mid-season.

WPS may be able to keep Athletica afloat until the end of the season, but it had better find a replacement owner by September if it chooses to do so.  Exactly how the league takes over the franchise will surely impact the bottom line of every team and WPS, although with WPS not being single-entity, convincing teams to support Athletica financially may be harder than MLS, where teams are required to support the single-entity structure.

What do you think about these events?

7 Comments… read them below or post one
Jeff said…
Mike – I love the passion. I think the best thing to do is channel that by supporting the team and showing up to the games. That will help, even if just a little bit. But make your voice heard there. The franchise needs it.
Scott said…
Jeff, exactly! Expect to need 2 (or more) to win, rather than bank on keeping a clean sheet every match.
Mike Beckmann said…
It would be a shame if our Athletica and AC St. Louis teams folded and I hope they don’t! I think it would make our city look bad sports wise and that people will say “See St. Louis can’t support scoccer”. That one of the reasons why we don’t have a MLS team because people think we don’t support scoccer and yet we are concidered the scoccer capital of the U.S. People also think that we are just a Baseball town. Baseball is my favorite sport and I am a Cardinals fan first but I am also a Blues fan, a Rams fan and a Athletica fan as well as a St. Louis Billikin College Basketball fan along with Mizzou Football and Basketball fan. I believe we are more then just a Baseball town. Yes Baseball is first here but I believe that we could and should support the other teams we have as well like our Blues Hocky, Rams Football and Athletica and AC St. Louis Scoccer just like I do. I also believe we would support the NBA and WNBA as well. Finally I believe that we here in St. Louis are not just a one sports town/city but a multi-sports town/city and that we can support all the differant team here in our cuity of St. Louis. Yes it would be a shame if our Athletica and AC St. Louis teams folded and yes I hope they don’t and I hope they can find new ownership by the 2011 season and beyond. One more think I do agree that the WPS Should take over our Athletica for the rest of this season until they can find new ownership because in my opinion and the opinion of those who fellow our Athletica they are one of the best teams in the WPS and it would be a shame if the WPS were to lose them do to a lack of new ownership as well as money. I also hope that the WPS can and will do what ever they can do to help our Athletica in finding new ownership even if they have to keep running our team themselves until our team dose find new ownership simular to what the MLB did with the Washington Nationals and I hope they will.
Jeff said…
Ang, good points as well. Scoring is only up marginally overall, though at just over two goals per game. There have been high-scoring weekends but they have been coupled with some very low-scoring weekends. Clearly, though, a strong offense can work wonders in this league. FC Gold Pride is working its magic, but not even Marta and company can average two goals per game. I don’t think a defensive approach means a shutout every time. Hold a team to a goal per game and you will be in every game. Then you have to take care of things on the offensive end.
Ang said…
Great points, Scott. Jeff — Given how low-scoring WPS was last year, I would completely agree with your point that a defensive approach isn’t so far fetched. But looking at the second year of the league where teams had infinitely more chemistry, there have only been a handful of scoreless matches. Goals have been frequent this season and for those of us with a Fantasy League team, shutouts can be hard to come by and even harder to predict. Personally, I firmly believe that the best defense is a strong offense. The other team can’t score on you if you have have possession and are constantly putting pressure on their defense.
Jeff said…
Scott – good points. I think you have to consider Cristiane up there, although she is yet to really show it in 2010. That may have to do with her support, although I think she has had chances thus far that have been spoiled, some even by questionable offside calls. That is beside the point. Everyone knew entering this season that Hayes was putting her mark on the Red Stars with a fresh start and new faces. That meant that the team needed to perform, which it did not. I don’t think a defensive approach is that bad though when you look at a relatively low scoring WPS. Good point about the dual coach/GM roles.
Scott said…
There are a number of things that can be pointed at with regards to the Red Stars. I will just list a couple: * Emma shouldn’t have been given additional responsibilities above that of head coach. There is little proof in American sports over the past 30 years of an individual succeeding when carrying both the talent acquisition and talent allocation roles (coach/GM or the equivalent). * WPS has some of the best scoring talent on the planet, and the American style of women’s soccer is attack-minded. Therefore, it makes little sense to adopt a defense-first approach and try to gut out 1-0s every week. The defense WILL be breached at least once a game in this league (though somehow SBFC makes this work most weeks), so playing to score 2 or 3 or more is necessary. * The team STILL doesn’t have a top-tier goal scorer that is comparable to those which exist with Gold Pride, the Freedom, St. Louis, and Boston. Either that, or the appropriate forward/midfield support hasn’t been supplied if one considered Cristiane on that level. I hope the new boss decides to play the “bright” game and remembers that you can’t win if you don’t score.

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