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Players react to new women’s pro soccer league

A new women’s professional soccer league announced its presence on Wednesday, and you’ve already heard our take on things. Here are how some ex-WPS and prospective players for the new league are feeling about the news:

Midfielder Allie Long

“I have so many emotions towards it because I’m super happy. I’m really excited. I think it’s a great start for the growth of women’s soccer and I am just praying that will be sustainable. Now that US Soccer has a huge part of it, it really will help a lot. I’m really thankful for the US Soccer Federation and the Canadian soccer federation, and the Mexican soccer federation for really doing whatever they can to help the league in the US. I really do think it will in the long run help the development of soccer in our country. It’s just an awesome thing that they finally got it together. Everyone’s been waiting anxiously and it’s just really refreshing and relieving to know that we will have a league and we will be able to play. Hopefully this year we’ll do whatever we can. I know as a player I will go out of my way to promote it and make it so it will last this time.”

Midfielder Leslie Osborne

On allocating the NT players & incorporating them into the existing teams:

“I was a part of the allocation in 2009, so I’ve been through it. Player preference is big, and you want the national team players to be where they want to be. It’s not necessarily about making the National Team players happy, but at the end of the day they should be comfortable where they end up. They’re going to be a big part of your team.”

On the existing WPSL Elite teams having an advantage:

“We have somewhat of an advantage going into 2013. We have a core group already. I’d rather be in a situation like us, rather than a new team like Portland that will have to start from scratch. We have a base we can build from.”

On NT players making their preferences known:

“Seattle and Portland will be very popular. But I think coaches will have a big say in where players end up. The coaches and the organization.”

On the league in general:

“This will be my second professional league, and I’m honored to play in it and to be a part of it. It’s outstanding, especially after the Olympics and the Women’s World Cup, that we can come together and say before heading into 2013 that we have a place for professional soccer here in the United States.”

On USSF involvement:

“I’m really impressed with everyone involved and all the work that’s been done. The backing of US Soccer, their guidance and their work with the Canadian and Mexican federations will be a huge help for the future of the league. The US has the greatest women’s soccer team in the world, and this league is going to be an essential part of making sure we stay at the top.”

Midfielder Brittany Bock

On the announcement:

“It’s exciting because what happened in February was just devastating for a lot of players and there are so many talented players in the draft. To finally get that news that the league for sure is coming back is huge news. And there are a lot of players who have been kind of waiting for them to come back.”

On whether the players knew about the involvement from the federations:

“I was in Sweden for the last three months so I was maybe missing a lot, but I didn’t know that Canada and Mexico were going to be involved. I thought it would be a good idea for our US Soccer Federation to be involved because that’s a big pool of their players, but I didn’t really know.”

On the difference from 2009 when she was one of the hot college seniors:

“It was so exciting coming out of college. I was just expecting and hoping that that’s what I was going to do. I was going to play professional soccer. Luckily it came. Now that I’ve been all three years in the WPS and then we go through a year when the league folded, it’s not that I had taken it for granted before because I definitely didn’t …it’s very exciting to know that the league is coming back and that there is so much work going into it. I’m just so happy to have this opportunity again.”

Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc (who added that she does intend to play in the new league)

“I’m very happy about the news of the new league.. It is great for growth of the game. I am also excited to hear of CSA’s involvement. In hosting the next WC we needed to keep the excitement of the women’s game up and this will only help. Having the opportunity for several Canadian players to play professional games on a weekly basis will be good for everyone – the players, the organizations and the fans. Hopefully the product on the field will speak for itself and we will be able to make this one of the best leagues in the world.

“Having played in the past two leagues, the WUSA and the WPS, I hope people will support this league as well and come out and watch the games. Everyone can play a part. If you have the national team players from USA, Mexico and Canada playing together, it is bound to be a great product.”

Reporting from Dan Lauletta and Meg Linehan.

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