EDIT - ha ha, Bill! How'd you like your three minutes on top of the home page?! Actually, Bill raises some interesting MLS allocation questions, so go read it.
Probably this blogger is a slightly better source for your WPS news, but I for one am glad we'll finally see a professional soccer team at the Home Depot Center.
Technically, this isn't "liveblogging," because I won't post until it's over, but I'm going to try to follow the allocation draft thingy as it happens.
One of the interesting things about WPS is the willingness of the W-League and the WPSL to not only send their players to draft combines, but to actually advertise the fact. Even getting links from both the W-League and the WPSL is like getting trackbacks from both Likud and Hamas. Then there's the fairly unavoidable fact that the existing leagues are going to be worse next year than they were this year.
Rough justice, perhaps, for the W-League, whose champions, the Pali Blues, built a team overnight on savvy marketing, a strong fan base, and a bunch of players from Ajax America Women. AA recovered after a laughably weak start, winning the WPSL championship. Now the Los Angeles Pagan Fertility Goddesses* will help feast on both. What's good for the goose is good for the awkwardly gender-specific metaphor, of course, but it's weird that even avowedly amateur teams should welcome competitors. Ajax America wasn't dependent on ticket sales, but the Pali Blues had a strong season ticket holder base. Be interesting to see what happens here and in other existing W-League and WPSL markets.
Bay Area gets Nicole Barnhart, Leslie Osborne, and Rachel Buehler. If you're following this on Twitter, you probably understand and tolerate Twitter much better than I do. By the way, "Bay Area" is a weak location name for a team. I don't know why "Golden State" is tolerated, but usually over-general location names say that you're ashamed of where you play. I hold out hope that this will be resolved when they find a stadium. Pointless to call them the Palo Alto Sopranos if they're playing in Berkeley.
Boston gets Angela Hucles, Heather Mitts, and up-and-coming rookie Kristine Lilly. Hucles and Lilly were old school Breakers. I looked it up, because I forgot - the Breakers were really good in 2003. Honk if you're aware than 2003 will have been six years ago when WPS kicks off.
Steve Nash has too much free time. Look, if I were a Suns fan, would I want Nash screwing around wearing Whitecaps jerseys, or would I want him freaking practicing so he could beat the god-damned Lakers?
Peter Wilt's Red Stars - ooh. Carli Lloyd, Lindsey Tarpley, Kate Markgraf. We'll see what the other teams come up with, but right now expect to see Chicago in the Fan Mail From Some Founder Cup.**
Sky Blue FC...waitaminute. Alphabetical order? In what alphabet, Cyrillic? Now, see, if you're ashamed and embarrassed by where you play, then just go with your nickname. Worked for the Cosmos. Actually, Sky Blue FC is a perfectly legitimate name. Oh, their players. Natasha Kai, Heather O'Reilly, Christie Rampone. Forward, midfielder, defender. Sensible enough choices, although wildly different personalities.
The Los Angeles Cherubim: Boxx, Cox and Wagner. Couple of interesting thing here. First of all, AEG has learned not to totally ignore defense. Second, will be great to finally see Wagner lead a team. Boxx used to play for Abner Rogers ages and ages ago for Laguna Hills. Boxx is listed as an alumna, but the most prominent player to talk about LHESC and Rogers was Amy Rodriguez. I'm assuming Rodriguez will end up in Los Angeles, right? Strange she wasn't worth picking. Unless someone else did. UPDATE -nope. Wow, weird non-take.
The St. Louis Joan of Arcs - actually, Jeanne d'Arc FC would be a great name. Harks back to the great old mythological and historical names of old, like Ajax and Atalanta and Luis Angel Firpo. They get Lori Chalupny, Tina Ellertson, and Hope Solo. Ellertson is the one with a lot to prove here, since injury kept her out of the Olympics. I THINK we're up to speed on Lori and Hope's story at this point.
Washington Freedom, and every time I look their logo gets worse and worse - Ali Krieger, and a couple of scrubs named Cat and Abby who weren't even good enough to make Pia's Olympic squad. Wow, nice scouting, Freedonia. Wambach's triumphant return to the District very, very partially reunites the 2003 WUSA champions. I forget who else was on that team.
Final results here. Among the players not chosen: Rodriguez, Lauren Cheney, and every foreign player in the world. EDIT - oh, I'm a tool. No foreign players are on the USWNT, whose specific allocation this was. I thought this was an open, worldwide draft. Heh. I suck.
Oh, and, remember all that talk I had about W-League and WPSL players? Well, apparently those players will be dispersed later...or in private...or something. It will be those players who effectively decide whether your team crashes and burns or not, which is why it's worth keeping an eye on. Okay, not too many of these players are in the USWNT pool, but SOME are. I'll stand by this point, while stupidly admitting that no, very few of these players would have been taken in this particular draft.
My on-the-fly rankings of the draft:
I like the two Midwest teams' choices the most, Sky a tiny bit less, the next three I think are relying too much on big names from the past, and Bay Area better get Marta. (EDIT - in case I need to expand on this...how do you leave Rodriguez and Cheney on the table, and take the US backup goalkeeper? Are we in a keeper drought in America all of a sudden?)
*I'm a recovering team nickname suggester, so this is dangerous territory for me to begin with...but it's historically been unusually difficult to name a Los Angeles sports franchise. Nearly every sports nickname apart from the Trojans, Kings, Angels and Galaxy was imported from elsewhere. Appropriate for a community that from its very founding was built by constant immigration from elsewhere, but not helpful from a creative standpoint. (Unless the WPS team skanks off with the "Spirit" name, but then they would sound like a women's sneaker from the 1980's.)
**Don't worry, even I don't get that joke.