In the summer of 2011, I, like the rest of America, watched as the US Women's National Soccer team made a run to the final of the Women's World Cup. They lost that final in excruciating fashion, on penalty kicks to Japan. Alex Morgan's star was born that summer. Abby Wambach's was cemented, as was the place in our collective American sporting hearts for the girls donning the red, white and blue.
That support showed immediately following the World Cup as crowds filled stadiums around the country to see those same players play in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). In August, just a month after the final, I ventured from Syracuse to Rochester, NY where the Western New York Flash were facing the Philadelphia Union in the WPS Championship game. I filed this report for Sportsnight on WAER:
Play-by-play courtesy on the Wambach goal to Ian Darke, ESPN TV
Just a few months after that game and that report, the league folded. It was stunning to me considering the success, but the business side had again doomed a women's professional soccer league.
Determined to succeed where others have failed, the National Women's Soccer League was founded shortly thereafter. Now, in 2016, it's still going and is doing so as the most successful women's soccer league in American history. I wanted to know why, so I sat down with Ali Krieger of the US Women's National team and the NWSL's Washington Spirit to ask her. You can read more at the link below and check out our chat, as heard on 106.7 The Fan.