Soccer and Snow and Other Stuff

This morning it is NOT snowing – but there’s still plenty of digging out to do here in NH.  It’s nice, light, fluffy snow – the kind where the rewards of shoveling far outweigh the costs.  (Only challenge is finding some place to PUT the stuff – the mounds are so high.)

I find myself thinking often this morning (and yesterday, and the day before) about the tragedy of a local kayaker, Toby Wood, who appears to have been lost at sea.  He was last seen paddling in from the Isles of Shoals on Friday.  He is someone I knew only very peripherally from the local mental health world … and later from the soccer world, as his son and my daughter go to the same college.  It is so very sad – and such a haunting tragedy for those closest to him – the “what if’s” echoing endlessly … my heart goes out to his family and friends.  And I find my mind turning to the preciousness and the fragility of life, and of our connections.

at-the-chimineaHollyCornblog and CharlieHopbrew arrived safely home after a very long and snowy drive …

HollyCornblog has been sharing some photos since.

Here’s the crew at the chiminea on Saturday …

… and here is the chiminea as of yesterday afternoon … quite a different world out there. 

(You can see where I’ll be shoveling later today!)  Yee hah!

So it’s March 3 – and hard to believe that in a scant 26 days (and counting) the WPS will field two teams for its inaugural match!  There’s tons of news on-line as clubs start their preseason practice, finalize contracts, and the buzz grows.  I was aggravated (although not surprised) to read the usual negativity from Jamie Trekker (whose love of women’s soccer knows no bounds).  Here’s the article that he cites for his negative spin … a more balanced view than what he draws from it.  Proving Jamie and his grim projections wrong would be a nice perk of a successful first season, wouldn’t it?  Let’s go for it!

Meanwhile – moving to WPS news, I liked this story about Molly Uyenishi, a student at Colorado College how has taken time out from her senior year to try her hand at professional soccer.  She impressed folks enough to be called into the Red Stars’ camp, and has until March 12 to make it onto the 24-woman roster.  This group will be cut to 18 before the season starts (that’s the limit for WPS rosters).  Keep your eye on Molly!

The Breakers (as in Boston Breakers) have announced their preseason roster and their cut dates.  (Pleased to see Mary Frances Monroe in the mix!)  The roster will be finalized on March 24th.  The Herald had a nice piece about the Breakers’ training camp

The Breakers will also try to build a following off the field in the midst of a severe economic downturn. The goals and the business models are more modest from the heady, Hamm-fueled WUSA days, but the dollars available have shrunk, too.

For now, those worries are distant as training camp begins and the promise of a new start beckons.

“It’s great to be out here and know that the season is right around the corner and the Breakers are back,” Lilly said.

The WPS is capturing attention around the world, as in this piece from Sowetan … balanced reporting about the promise and perils of this venture (Mr. Trekker, please take note).

warm-upsLike the Breakers (but without snow) the LA Sol have opened their camp.  Here are Johanna Frisk and Marta warming up … Frisk is a Swedish international who apparentl came to the Sol with a thumbs up from Pia.  (There are also rumors that she was a necessary ingredient in their signing Marta … but I’ve no iea if that’s true or not.)

The Red Stars continue to sign some nice players, having recently finalized arrangements with Megan Rapinoe, Marian Dalmy, and Ella Masar.  Meanwhile, the Sky Blue have a new blog (or maybe not-so-new … let’s just say new to us) and have finalized their contract with Heather O’Reilly (and boy do they look happy about it!).

Finally, in Nordic Soccer News I’m reading about an unfortunate schedule conflict.  The Swedish national team was scheduled to play the Brazilian nationals on April 25th to celebrate the opening of the new “Gamla Ullevi” stadium in Göteborg.  This is to be the new home of the national team – and an event that women’s soccer fans around the world surely want to support and celebrate.  BUT – the date coincides with a packed slate of games for the Brazilians in the WPS.  Sounds like the preferred back-up would be the USWNT – but they are also engaged with their WPS clubs.  My vote goes to Germany … since they’re not being allowed to play in the WPS anyway.  You want someone of their caliber – and presumably they are available (and their travel would involve a smaller carbon footprint, to boot!)

Gotta run … I hear the low coming.  Back later to check for typos!  😉

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