Friday, April 6

Stories Of the Day: Faces in new places

Stepping away from the big leagues for a moment…

Superstars in Seattle: Fresh off their three-team, two-match tournament in Japan, a handful of US internationals landed in Seattle yesterday and took in, as spectators, a Sounders Women training session before getting in the action themselves soon. The group signed on to play with the W-League team is Stephanie Cox, Sidney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo, who is a Washington native and University of Washington alum. It will certainly be interesting to see how this turns out with the Olympics on the horizon, and in the long-term for professional women’s soccer.    

Islanders in Alternate Venue: Just days before they are set to kick off their 2012 campaign at home, the Puerto Rico Islanders revealed that the club has expanded the Bayamon Soccer Complex from 1,000 seats to approximately 3,000. The club has been forced to relocate to the training facility due to renovation delays at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, which will now be unavailable for nearly half the season, if not more. The smaller venue will certainly create some drama, but it is a shame the momentum the team has created off the field the past few years with the community may be curbed by fans being alienated due to inability to get tickets.

Swinehart is not in Charlotte?: I have been reading and skimming numerous player signing reports over the past few weeks as the lower divisions prepare to kick off their 2012 seasons. Sure, the signings of WPS and international players in the in the W-League and WPSL Elite have been headlines, but those leagues have always had those kinds of players come and go when the pro leagues have not existed or with collegiate internationals.

Today, however, one signing really caught my eye. Ashley Swinehart signed with someone other than the Charlotte Lady Eagles, where she has played since 2002. One of the star players of the W-League, Swinehart will not be donning the orange this year in favor of the blue and red of Central SC Cobras, located in Columbia, SC.

"Ashley has had a great career as a W-league player with the Charlotte Eagles. When I learned she was living in Columbia, I knew she would add great leadership and experience to a first year franchise. We are excited to add a player with her goal-scoring pedigree," Burris said.

It will certainly make for some interesting Carolina derbies as the two clubs will meet three times this season with the first coming just three weeks into the campaign.

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