Friday, May 13

W-League alumni on US World Cup squad at all-time high

The roster announced for the United States Women’s National Team for the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany this summer included an all-time high in alumni for the W-League with 15 former players on the squad named by Pia Sundhage. The World Cup team, the fourth since the founding of the league in 1995, features players representing 18 current and former W-League franchises. 

The 15 W-League alumni for the upcoming tournament eclipse the 13 that were on the last roster in 2007. There were eight W-League alumni in 2003 and a dozen on the first 1999 squad.

W-League alumni returning from the 2007 roster are Abby Wambach, Lindsay Tarpley, Heather O’Reilly, Carli Lloyd, Shannon Boxx and Christie Rampone. It is the third tournament for Wambach and the fourth consecutive for Rampone, the lone remaining member of the 1999 Women’s World Cup Champions. Wambach played for the Rochester Ravens as a teenager in 1998 and Rampone was a member of the New Jersey Lady Stallions the same year.

Monday, May 2

Remembering a Story of Survival

With the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, much like the occasions when the events or 9/11 are at the forefront of American discussion, the thoughts of one person whom I am glad to call a friend always come to my mind. A longtime associate and friend in the game, Lyndelle Phillips narrowly escaped death that day.

Here is the account of that day through her eyes, as we reported at United Soccer Leagues several days later...

NEW YORK  – Lyndelle Phillips, the team president of the W-League’s New York Magic, knows she is lucky to be alive.

Phillips miraculously escaped injury in this week’s terrorist attack on New York City’s World Trade Center. Ironically, it was her prior experience in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that saved her life and that of many of her co-workers.

Sunday, March 27

Ocho Overshadows Other Crossover

It is entirely understandable that the media are all over the Chad Ochocinco (nee Johnson – he says he’s changing it back by the way) trial with Sporting Kansas City (nee Wizards/Wiz). He is a high-profile National Football League player that is currently in the media frenzy of the labor lockout. But it should be noted, though, that it is not the only sports crossover that took place this week. Tennis stars took the pitch Wednesday evening to play the Hope For Japan charity exhibition versus the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the new North American Soccer League.

And they weren’t just your run of the mill ATP World Tour players. Among the players in Miami for the Sony Ericsson Open that laced up their football boots for charity were Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the top two ranked players in the world. Andy Murray (ranked fifth) scored on of the two strikes for the tennis squad in the 5-2 result in favor of the professional footballers. Marco Baghdatis (24th) of Cyprus tallied the other goal from the penalty mark in the shortened 40-minute exhibition friendly.

While Ochocinco may be trying out for an MLS squad, the risk of injury is slight and carries with it the safety net that the season is months away, if not more given the NFL labor situation. These tennis stars were risking injury during a tournament in which even the slightest of ankle sprains could cost them on the court.