A lot has gone on this week in women’s soccer; so much that, combined with me being pulled in a few other direction for more pertinent tasks, we have some catching up do do on the news front.
In most recent news, at least one half of the UEFA Champions League final is close to being set. Lyon put on an absolute show, drubbing 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam 5-1 on Sunday, so it is pretty safe to say the French side is one step closer to defending its Champions League title. The Arsenal Ladies fell 2-1 to 1. FFC Frankfurt in the first leg of the other semifinal thanks to Kerstin Garefrekes’ stoppage time winner.
The Seattle Sounders Women played in front of another sellout crowd (4,300-plus) at the Starfire Sports Complex, beating Seattle University 5-0. Sydney Leroux led the way with a hat trick for the Sounders Women. It was just an exhibition, so nothing to get too excited about. There was, however, some interesting news in the match report: Midfielder Keelin Winters had just returned from Germany to talk about signing with a team there.
Below are the highlights (skip to about 4:45), where is is also mentioned that Alex Morgan was held from the game for having a slight knee problem. That is definitely something to keep an eye on.
Speaking of Winters, she is one of 27 players headed to training camp from April 18-30 in Bradenton, Fla. The full training camp roster is listed here. One big eye-opener is the addition of Christen Press, who is finally getting a training camp with the senior national team now that she is playing in Sweden. She won WPS Rookie of the Year honors in 2011, scoring eight goals. That was not enough to get a call-up from Pia Sundhage, however. Press is certainly on the outside looking in right now. With Alex Morgan shining and Sydney Leroux looking like a future strike partner for her, Press has her work cut out for her. That should make for some fun training sessions as all of these players fight for some attention from Sundhage.
Interestingly, Christie Rampone said she is rethinking retirement and she may still try to compete through the 2015 World Cup in Canada. She turns 40 years old in 2015, but Rampone has proven time and again that she is an absolute fitness monster. If she is healthy and capable of playing at a high level, I don’t think any American will complain.
Former Stanford standout Cami Levin, fresh off a national championship, is back with the Pali Blues for the 2012 season. I think of all the would-be WPS rookies in 2012, I was most looking forward to seeing her play. There is nothing like a solid, versatile player.
Ali Krieger has joined Mia Hamm in Nike Soccer’s campaign called, “The Chance,” which is aims to identify the top players in the country. Imagine being one of these kids; really. ‘So I was practicing the other night and Mia Hamm showed up…’ There’s some water cooler – or, study hall – chatter.
As I finish up writing this, Boston Breakers assistant coach – and legend – Kristine Lilly is running the Boston Marathon in some sweltering heat (for running, anyway). Best of luck to her. Apparently Metro Boston does not know the difference between Lilly and Breakers captain Kristine Lilly.
And speaking of “This Week in Women’s Soccer,” we’ll be back this week, so keep an eye out for that late Monday night or Tuesday morning.
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