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Solo's magic, Morgan's development and Marta on Brazil

Snow continues to be dumped on the Northeast at a pace that might as well see school districts skip summer vacation all together, but 2011 women’s soccer coverage continues to heat up as the Women’s World Cup and 2011 WPS season approaches.  On Saturday, Our Game Magazine reported that Hope Solo has signed with magicTalk SC/Washington Freedom.  Elsewhere, Alex Morgan’s story continues to grow more impressive with more information and Marta makes a critical point about the development of the Brazilian Women’s National Team.

  • Hope Solo signing with magicTalk makes sense financially, but the move is somewhat surprising for a player in  need of recovery time ahead of the 2011 Women’s World Cup.  Solo is still recovering from shoulder surgery she had in September.  She just participated in her first U.S. Women’s National Team training camp in months, but she was still unable to go full contact.  The idea of Solo not signing a club contract until after the Women’s World Cup seemed to be a legitimate option.  Atlanta Beat Head Coach James Galanis, who was hoping to re-sign Solo, said earlier in January of Solo not signing with any WPS team:“Yes there is and we’ve got to respect it – whatever it is that she decides – and there is a really strong possibility of that she’s going to train with her personal trainer and just worry about getting fit, going to the national team camps and going to the World Cup and maybe play after that somewhere.  I don’t know.”

    Surely others will look to play up the angle that Solo will be playing for a team that calls Briana Scurry its new general manager, but four years later I think that story can be put to bed…for now.  And if that does not make sense to anyone, then the subject is better off left untouched.

  • It is fair to say that Alex Morgan is considered a consensus future stud for the U.S. Women’s National Team.  Combined with the potential for the even younger Sydney Leroux (and not to exclude Lauren Cheney or Amy Rodriguez), the United States could be looking at a very technically creative forward duo in the next decade.  Morgan, along with Leroux, possesses the potential to be an out-and-out goal scorer rather than merely a role playing forward.  She is a shining bright spot for the future of the U.S.What’s most impressive though is how quickly she developed.  Jordan Conn points out in his SI.com column that Morgan only began playing club soccer at age 14.  Within three years she was in the U.S. Women’s Youth National Team pool.  To go from recreational league play at age 14 to a player in the national team’s system is unheard of during a time when players continue to be identified at younger ages and late-bloomers get passed over.  Morgan is not just the average late bloomer.  With that quick of a transformation, she is a downright anomaly.
  • Speaking of development, Marta points out in this FIFA.com interview that Brazil needs a top-flight professional women’s soccer league.  Said Marta:”We need to be following the example set by these countries in establishing a top domestic competition that will enable us to take that last step.”

    Brazil is currently ranked No. 3 in the world but suffers from a lack of regular training camps, friendly matches and domestic competitions.  To get to the next level, Brazil has to establish a more professional set-up (even if wages are semi-professional) to allow its women’s players to train more often.

  • And Marta had two goals in Santos’ 5-1 friendly win over Juventus.  It is a loan that has incited much controversy, but the contract with Santos ends Feb. 6.  However, it appears Santos will squeeze in one more game next weekend to bid farewell to hometown hero Marta.
  • Also, Bill Archer takes a look at WPS from a more comical angle.  There’s a bit of cynicism mixed with a touch of optimism.  Regardless, he makes some decent points in the final paragraphs of his conclusion.  Maybe people don’t like the idea of magicTalk SC, but at least there is a league.
  • And finally, if you want to chat with Canadian stars Christine Sinclair and Karina LeBlanc, well, here is your chance.
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