Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Pro Role Models Return for U.S. Girls Along with Top Level Soccer
by Tonya Antonucci, October 16th, 2008 1PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  youth boys

MOST COMMENTED

By Tonya Antonucci

What a busy time it has been for us the past six months at the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) league office: new faces in the front office, teams drafting their first players for the 2009 season, the announcement of our national television partner - Fox Soccer Channel - and the addition of the San Francisco Bay Area as the league's seventh franchise for 2009.

But as the league operations come into full swing and with the season less than six months away, we can't and won't lose sight of one of our most important core constituents: America's youth soccer players and their loyal and supportive families.

The WUSA did an incredible job playing to the aspirations and dreams of America's younger fans. WUSA gave us a league with role models like Mia, Brandi and Julie, for our kids to emulate on and off the field. And it gave millions of girls and young women the opportunity to dream that they, too, could one day play professional soccer in the United States.

But WPS hopes to take our league beyond aspirations - to go one step further in the evolution of women's professional sports. By putting together the world's best women's soccer league, we plan to develop a product on the field that soccer players, sports fans and casual viewers alike will want to follow as exciting competition. We can do this by drawing from America's pool of elite players, bringing in international players and engaging fans in the U.S. across the age spectrum.

We hope to create an exciting game day atmosphere that provides affordable soccer fan and soccer-family-fun: from the season ticket prices -- which will be lower than all the other major sports - to the accessibility of our stadiums and players.

The youth soccer community is an absolute priority for us. Since officially launching the league late last year, we've already reached out to all the major youth soccer organizations to discuss and create unique partnerships and promotional tie-ins to our games, sponsors and WPS players. In fact, our League Relationships Manager responsible for grassroots outreach was the very first hire I made at the league level. Aaron Burch, who holds that position, was a Senior District Executive for the Boy Scouts of America in the Bay Area, and knows a thing or two about working with youth groups.

Earlier this summer, we brought Abby Wambach to the U.S. Youth Soccer Region 1 tournament; we met with leaders of AYSO at their annual meeting in San Francisco, and we'll be present as the NSCAA Convention for two years running come this January.

WPS clubs will be putting youth soccer game-day experiences and ticket packages together for youth soccer leagues and we'll have special WPS Game Days to recognize and appreciate all that the various youth leagues across the country have done to promote the sport, healthy living and personal growth for our youth.

For young players out there, this is the time to get engaged in WPS. Sign up at the WPS Fan Corner, fancorner.womensprosoccer.com , to follow all the news around the league and your favorite players; have your family put in a season-ticket deposit with your local WPS team, while the best seats are still available; or just go out and kick a ball around with the thoughts that one day you could be on the field playing against the likes of Marta at the Home Depot Center.

WPS is determined to bring its fans the best action, the world's best talent, and the best environment for women's professional soccer on the planet. Now we need the country's young fans to come along for the ride. If it's anything like the past six months, then we are in for quite an exciting time!

(Tonya Antonucci is the Commissioner of the Women's Professional Soccer , which kicks off next spring. Soccer America will be featuring a series of WPS executives, coaches and team officials as they countdown to kickoff in April 2009 with regular columns as part of SA's Youth Soccer Insider.)



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
Crucial Concussion Evaluation Info for Coaches     
How should a coach evaluate a young athlete for a possible concussion?
A great start to practice: Free play!    
I have often wondered what goes on in the minds of 6-year-old American children who are ...
The College Quest in 2014: 'Technology can help bridge the access gap'    
It's been a decade since Avi Stopper penned a guide for high-schoolers on how to navigate ...
'Give Players Freedom' -- Justi Baumgardt-Yamada (Q&A)    
Justi Baumgardt-Yamada was an All-American at the University of Portland, played 16 times for the USA ...
Top 3 Keys to a Successful Club: Keeping 'Customembers' Satisfied    
As in any business, and a soccer club is a business, it is important to know ...
For Kids Only ...     
Dear Soccer-Playing Children of America,
Wilson Egidio's New York City Success Story    
When Manhattan SC PSG won the U-17 national title in July it became the first New ...
Curt Onalfo: L.A. Galaxy builds bridge from youth to first team    
One of the biggest challenges in U.S. player development is providing a highly competitive, professional environment ...
Coaching your own child: Do's and Don'ts    
It's that time of year when men and women across the country embark on the wonderful ...
Matt Pilkington: Encourage Creativity    
Matt Pilkington was recently named U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-17/18 Coach of the Year for the ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives