[PREVIEW] Women's Professional Soccer is gone, at least for 2012. Trying to fill part of the void is the WPSL Elite, a new division within the Women's Premier Soccer League, that opened play Thursday when the Boston Breakers defeated the ASA Chesapeake Charge, 3-0. The Breakers are one of three former WPS clubs along with the Chicago Red Stars and Western New York Flash among eight clubs entered in the WPSL Elite. For a look at some of the players the new league has attracted ...
(Click herefor WPSL Elite schedule.)
U.S. NATIONAL TEAM.Two U.S. women's national team regulars, Tobin Heath (New York Fury) andLori Lindsey(Western New York Flash), are slated to play in the WPSL Elite when they aren't with the national team, which is preparing for the London Olympics in August. Meghan Klingenberg, who recently signed with the Flash, is a long shot to make the Olympic team but attended the recent camp in Florida. Heather O'Reilly is supposed to train with the Boston Breakers.
WPS.Paul Riley, who led the Philadelphia Independence to second place in WPS in 2011, has brought Nicole Krzysikand Tina DiMartino with him to the New York Fever. It also signed Sky Blue FC star Brittany Taylor to make it one of the favorites to win the WPSL Elite. The Breakers return Leslie Osborne, Taryn Hemmings, Elli Reed and Katie Schoepfer from last year's WPS team and added former national team defender Kat Whitehillfrom the Atlanta Beat. Schoepfer and rookies Veronica Napoli and Jessica Luscinskiall scored within the first 20 minutes to give the Breakers the win at Chesapeake. Chicago signed Lori Chalupny (Atlanta), Ella Masar (magicJack) and Jen Buczkowski (Philadelphia Independence).
COLLEGE.Several top seniors are hoping to make an impact in the WPSL Elite, Melissa Henderson (Notre Dame) and Courtney Jones (North Carolina) are at Boston. Florida State defender Toni Pressleyis one of the New England Mutiny's top signings. Underclassmen planning on spending the summer in the WPSL include Boston College stars Kristen Mewis and Vicki DiMartino (both with the Mutiny) and Penn State's Christine Nairn (ASA Chesapeake Charge).
INTERNATIONAL. There are no big foreign stars in the WPSL Elite. Perhaps the most unusual situation in the WPSL Elite is at FC Indiana, where head coach Shek Borkowski has brought in more than a dozen players from the Haitian national team he's coaching.