WPS: All Star First XI Selections Announced

5 08 2009

I’m not one for all-star games, but as this is the inaugural season of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS), the list of starters caught my eye.

Bompastor, bom bom bom, bom bommmm

Bompastor, bom bom bom, bom bommmm

I am disappointed that Hope Solo didn’t make the cut, but on balance I’d have to say that LA is #1 and guaranteed a trip to the Finals (joys of a 7-team league), so yes, Karina LeBlanc deserves the nod.

Other points about these selections:

  • The voters “get” WPS, really and truly. If they didn’t, the First XI would would be exclusively USWNT players.
  • Tying in with the above, Abby Wambach did not get the nod either, which is a huge snub – that is, if you have no idea what has been happening this year in WPS and it’s all about voting purely for “names”. Wambach hasn’t had the best season ever, and while I wouldn’t launch her from the team she’s not “First XI” material this year. My expectation is that Wambach (and perhaps Solo) will use this as motivation for next year.
  • Sonia Bompastor getting picked means people really paid attention. I’ll own up to getting all weepy and shit watching WPS this year because OH MY GOD, despite reports to the contrary the league is such a godsend. When would I have seen Sonia Bompastor had it not been for WPS? And would she have been such a revelation? Now, if people are really paying attention, they’ll chant at the next Washington Freedom game, to the tune of “The Breakup Song” by Greg Kihn, “Bompastor, bom bom bom, bom bommmm!” (They don’t make French national team players like that anymorrrre…)
  • Of course Marta is one of the two starting forwards. This is not a slam. Again, if people voted “names” the two forwards would be Wambach and probably Kai. Marta came into the league with much fanfare, and she delivered, oh lord almighty, how she delivered. Even in a loss, she delivered. Even not scoring or assisting, she delivered. Yes, she’s on the list.
  • I’m kind of shocked that Kelly Smith is on the list. Not like she stinks at soccer or anything, but seems to be injuries have sidelined her a bit, but what I have seen of her this year has been inspiring and exciting. Again, this is why WPS is a big furry deal. Arsenal Ladies didn’t get TV time, at least not in the USA. The last time I saw her play outside of the Women’s World Cup and maybe the Olympics was when Arsenal Ladies went to the FA Cup final, which was televised. My dad, who doesn’t give a rip about soccer watched the game with me and around 30 minutes into it was all, “shhhh, we’re watching Kelly Smith.”
  • Lori Chalupny strikes me as a “name” vote. I don’t have an immediate suggestion for who should have been picked if not her, but sadly, I can’t really think of any games (what few STL games have been available on TV out of market) where Lori Chalupny’s play caught my eye. More like, “hey, Chalupny’s on the team… do something!” STL is in 2nd place heading into the final regular season game so there’s that, anyway.
  • And finally, good pick, selecting Camille Abily. Another “who is this, now?” player. I think the LA faithful know.

I’ll have more thoughts about WPS as the playoffs proceed and the all-star game wraps up. But yeah, the league is special, I’m excited about it, and hey, maybe I’ll move in-market. They’re getting an Atlanta team next year, so maybe I’ll be a Dreamer and a Beater. Hey now!

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