Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Pro Role Models Return for U.S. Girls Along with Top Level Soccer
by Tonya Antonucci, October 16th, 2008 1PM
Subscribe to Youth Soccer Insider

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
Galaxy coach Brian Kleiban has the American Messi's back    
Growing up in Southern California, the son of Argentine parents, Brian Kleiban admired Fernando Redondo, Ariel ...
Tab Ramos on 2017 Development Academy finals and Mexican-American tug of war    
The U.S. Soccer Development Academy concluded its 10th season last weekend, with the Texans SC Houston ...
Efrain Alvarez, age 15, helps shoot Galaxy into U-17/18 Development Academy final    
Efrain Alvarez, who turned 15 on June 19, sparked the Los Angeles Galaxy's comeback against the ...
Texans SC Houston are only non-MLS club at this weekend's Development Academy championships    
Texans SC Houston, which beat Real So Cal, 2-0, in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-17/18 ...
The Road to 10,000 Games (Part 2): How I'll commemorate the milestone game    
In my last article, I wrote about some highs and lows in officiating thousands of soccer ...
USA to face host India, Ghana and Colombia at U-17 World Cup     
The USA was drawn into Group A for the boys 2017 U-17 World Cup and will ...
The Road to 10,000 Games     
It has been said that a referee never has a home game. But this is negative ...
A coach's life: Phil Savitz, NSCAA High School Coach of the Year, South Carolina legend, big Bruce Arena fan    
Phil Savitz has coached boys high school soccer for 37 years and serves as the Girls ...
Development Academy: Only FC Dallas has a chance to return to final four    
Only one team that reached the semifinals of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy national championship in ...
Take care of the mighty hamstring     
We're learning more and more about the importance of the hamstrings in injury prevention and overall ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives