LA Sol wins as Womens Professional Soccer kicks off

FirstWPSGoal (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                                      Photo by ISIphotos.com

The inaugural season of Women's Professional Soccer got underway on Sunday and the Los Angeles Sol got the league off to a good start with a 2-0 victory against the Washington Freedom.

Led by Brazilian superstar Marta, the Sol entertained the crowd of 14,832 at Home Depot Center, but it was Allison Falk who earned the distinction of scoring the first goal in the new league's history. Falk scored just six minutes into the opener.

The seven-team league kicks off a full slate of games next week.

Did you watch the opening match? What did you think? Are you excited for the start of the new league? Were you not that impressed?

Share your thoughts below.

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48 Responses to LA Sol wins as Womens Professional Soccer kicks off

  1. Chrös says:

    It is somewhat disappointing that in a town like Los Angeles, with a facility like the Home Depot Center, and with players like Marta and Abby Wambach, that they couldn’t manage to get more fans out there.

    I’m a little worried, especially when you have a team like St. Louis playing in a small college football stadium with a running track in Edwardsville, Ill.

  2. Joe says:

    Womens soccer is hard to watch. I was excited for the league to start and then I could only watch maybe 10 min at a time. They play so slow and the field looks so big. I think they should play with a size 4 ball also. On the goal the dead ball was about 35 yrds out and that woman had to kick the ball as hard as she could to get it there. Its reminds me of hockey in the way that it is going to be very hard to watch on tv but will be better in person…

  3. bc6 says:

    Theres a womens league?

  4. Isaac says:

    Chros,

    As far as fans go its just because for some reason people dont think Womens Soccer is worth watching. Which is a load of crap. There womens soccer game has a lot more finesse and free flow to it. Did anyone see the UsSoccer Assist of the year? That was womens soccer. Anyone have a vid of the goal?

  5. sean monaghan says:

    this is the topic to do it in…..Im 33nd in the nation right now and 3rd in the SBI league in MLS fantasy!!!!haha

  6. biological says:

    Chros… did you see the Gals/Chivas matches last weekend? not too many more people showed up for those.

    i will give the women’s league crap simply because i don’t think it’s at all viable and, at this point in soccer history in the US, I wonder if it is prudent. however, i agree with some other poster on here. while the sheer power of the womens game does not match the mens, some of the tactical/team play is on par. i remember discovering that during the 98(?) WWC when it was here.

  7. Tom P says:

    I liked it, I watched it and will continue to do so. These are nice,intelligent and well spoken women who give it their all every game and never complain about the turf, their coach or anything else for that matter. Also in many aspects they are technically better because they can’t really on pure speed.

    I only wish there was a team near me so I could take my daughter.

  8. John says:

    it was a very good match…the level of play was better than the nyrb vs revs match i was at on saturday! it was also a smoother flowing game. I’m surprised that I enjoyed that match so much!

  9. JoeW says:

    All of the reasons people give for now watching WPS apply to MLS (by Eurosnobs). You can argue: “why watch Juan Pablo Angel when instead I could be watching Cristiano Ronaldo?” or “why watch Columbus play when even as clearly the best team in MLS last year they aren’t as entertaining and as skilled and as athletic as Barcelona?” If those arguments are valid, than no-one should ever go to see a USL match (what were those 40k+ idiots in Montreal thinking?), or a college game, or a HS match or any of the U17 and U20 World Cups. The combination of skill, athleticism, teamwork is just inferior to what the very top teams in Europe offer. And heck, for that matter, why ever watch or root for the UNMNT when instead you can adopt Argentina?

    Man, I get tired of people who denigrate (fill in the blank) MLS, WPS or any other league because there is something better out there. I’ve enjoyed watching U10 matches, paid to watch the U17 World Cup, went out of my way to drop by Bradenton to see our U17 guys scrimmage (not play an actual match, just SCRIMMAGE), have attended DC United practices and some of the reserve matches, would watch the Northern Virginia Royals, have been to college games (men’s and womens), have watched clubs play overseas, root passionately for the USMNT as well as ANY club based in the US when it’s in an international competition. You either love the game (which means you can see beauty in any setting and any match) or you’re a poser and snob. Yeah, there was more beautiful soccer this past week by Argentina and Barcelona than by the USMNT and any club in MLS or WPS. But I can have “man love” for Messi and still root for MLS clubs and cheer on the Puerto Rico Islanders and have season tickets to the Freedom.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, the 3 times I’ve suffered serious injury as an adult playing soccer all came from vicious tackles by women!

  10. Nick says:

    JoeW does make a good point. A lot of the criticism doesn’t add up. I probably won’t go out of the way to catch a game, but I certainly won’t knock the ladies game. They can bring it and I’m sure these girls would knock quite a few of us around in a pickup game.

  11. elmatador says:

    I watched a little bit of it and I think the WPS game was way more entertaining than let’s say a Dallas FC vs Chivas (yawn). It was sad to see FC Dallas play in front of 6K fans..you have got to be kiiding!! Just plain sad….besides a lot of those girls are very hot!!

  12. HIncha Tim says:

    JoeW,

    I’m with you 100%. Eurosnobs should not logically watch highschool or college basketball, nor would there be 4th, 3rd, 2nd divisions in European soccer if Europeans thought like they did. Supporting your local team brings rewards of its own, if you bring different expectations into it.

  13. Steve B says:

    My only concern isn’t the attractiveness of the game, but whether or not WPS will be good or bad for MLS. If people spend their money in WPS, MLS suffers. If WPS succeeds and MLS takes a step back this season, MLS will be mocked by major sports pundits. I’m sure their are other aspects as well.

  14. EDB says:

    I watched it here and there and enjoyed it. I thought the game had a nice ebb and flow. I can’t wait for the red stars to begin play

  15. past star says:

    I watched the game and enjoyed it, although it would have been nice to see more chances created in the attacking third. The teams possessed the ball out of the back nicely but seemed to lose possession a lot in the middle and final third of the field.
    Still it was more enjoyable to watch than lower division men’s soccer.

    I was disappointed with Marta. They are paying her $450,000 US per season (plus giving her a house and SUV) and she didn’t do very much in the game, other than showing a couple of nice stepovers and an assist (which was a pass than any player on the pitch could have delivered). For a league trying to make it in a recession, this salary seems extreme to me. Is she $400,000 better than Shannon Boxx who is only making $40,000? She is also going to find it difficult in the US where the domestic players are more physical and athletic than in Sweden.

    Looking forward to watching more games in the future. I hope they can keep the attendance figures up. WUSA’s first year was much much higher (WUSA inaugural match in 2001 had over 34,000 in attendance).

  16. Christian says:

    JoeW,

    Finally a voice of reason – thank you. Many of the comments from Ives’ previous article were borderline misogynistic.

    No doubt the game yesterday brought out some major flaws that need to be addressed, but that’s typical anyway for teams that have only been together for three or so weeks. They have various styles from various countries – it will take some time.

    I enjoyed the game but was especially impressed with the vision of midfielder Miyama. I look forward to seeing the next match.

  17. Homey Boehme says:

    @JoeW – Well said, sir. I completely agree.

  18. Roehl says:

    I just finished watching the highlights. Pretty entertaining if you ask me.

    I seldom look at the crowd during matches. Anyone who cares about attendance numbers and dollar signs should go watch CNBC. This seemed like a fun match to watch if you just care about soccer.

    And on another note…if you judge from the highlights, the Sol could have a shot at beating the Galaxy, IMO.

  19. CPTKevin says:

    Bravo JoeW!!! I can’t improve on what you said, so I won’t even try.

  20. CM says:

    It was actually a decent match…and they had more people there than at some of the MLS openers! My wife is a former W-League player and her comment was that it was much better than the WUSA

  21. Cindy says:

    huzzah to JoeW. i agree completely!

  22. Allie says:

    elmatador is right! The WPS match was far more engaging than the FCD v. Chivas yawnfest (and I’m a Dallas fan!). Plus the WPS gets the biggest stars in the women’s game!! MLS can’t do that! LA Sol having Marta is like the Galaxy signing Cristiano Ronaldo right now which is never gonna happen.

    Support the women’s game. If you make criticisms- at least make educated ones. Go watch a game, then tell me they aren’t as good as whatever mens league. You won’t be able to do that.

  23. beckster says:

    I watched it and enjoyed it. I thought the SOL played impressively – particularly just having been together for 3 weeks. Who can’t enjoy Marta!!!!

    As a DC fan, I was concerned. They don’t seem to have the same level of player that the other teams do. They seem to be relying on a group of players that played in the W league for them of good (but not great) college players. Wambach desperately needs some better players in the midfield and someone to help her up front. Don’t know what happened to Scurry – bunch of howlers. At her age, she shouldn’t be done but I wonder.

    I hope all the girl’s youth soccer clubs come out and watch. There are some terrific player there and it will only get better!

  24. Chrös says:

    I guess my concern remains that if the WPS can’t even start out with much of a bang, how much of a shot does it have?

    I don’t think there is any excuse that can be made for a metropolitan area of almost 13 million people that brought 15,000 to the first game of what is supposed to be a groundbreaking event.

    The people of Los Angeles simply do not care about the Sol. It’s really unfortunate. But it kind of makes me wonder from the start: why put a team there? If you’ve ever seen the documentary about Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, etc., where it shows their farewell match—it is an empty Home Depot Center.

    I understand Los Angeles is a big city, but maybe the league would have been smarter to regionalize the teams, or put them in cities that might embrace them better. For example I would have to imagine a city like Portland would be great for WPS.

  25. dena says:

    More people attended this match than the Red Bulls – Revolution game over the weekend. Sigh…

    @Joe, class post.

  26. Chris says:

    I was actually really intrigued to watch it, especially since it is automatically the top women’s league in the world.

    First, I was impressed they got 14K people out for the match. Perhaps my expectations were too low if other people are considering that low attendance (considering Houston only had 16K at its opener, I’d say it wasn’t bad). I think that will drop off significantly, but if they can average between 8-12K, I’d consider it a success. I’d also be surprised if the other cities come close to attracting that many fans.

    I actually thought the play was lacking in sharpness at times, but I think that’s mostly down to the teams not having much of a preseason and not gelling yet. The ladies definitely have some skills, though the lack of power and speed (except Marta and Waumbach) is a little anti-climactic in the final third.

    I don’t see how the first goal ever scored in a WPS match wasn’t an own goal by Scurry. It was either a foul by the defender or a keeper howler, but not a goal by the defender.

    Being a Dynamo fan, I’m not used to seeing a player take a hard foul and just get up and walk away. Credit to the ladies for their ability to control their temper.

  27. gel65 says:

    i was at the game and it was much more fluid and enjoyable to watch,than the galaxy game the week before.i think marta was a lil too unselfish when she had the ball and i believe miyama was the best all around player on the field with an incredible work rate.wambaugh didnt have any help.boxx was very disappointing with her play.i think it can get better and work over time.

  28. Lu.M. says:

    JoeW said it best and basically sums up my reasons for supporting my local clubs and US soccer in general.

  29. DC Josh says:

    I was surprised by the pace they were playing at for the last 5 minutes of the game I watched.

    But I will never watch another game. I can’t get into women’s sports.

  30. RK says:

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, the 3 times I’ve suffered serious injury as an adult playing soccer all came from vicious tackles by women!

    Posted by: JoeW

    Because they don’t know how to play! ;)

    I can’t just watch any soccer — I needed to have some sort of vested interest in it. You won’t catch me watching random EPL or German games or South American WCQs, because I just don’t care, but I might watch La Liga teams or MLS.

    There are plenty (too many?) games out there to watch. Different strokes for different folks.

  31. tyson says:

    joeW, great post.
    i too go out to watch, just to watch. i sit at our local field to watch the pick up games. i watch whatever is on tv. soccer to me is soccer to me. there is better play and worse play but come one, the excitement is always there.
    i watched the WPS game and i will watch them all season. i am here to support soccer in the US. and i think more of the people should be too. quit turning your nose up at play that isnt EPL or La Liga. last i checked none of the clowns on here posting about bad soccer in the US play on any of the euro teams either.

  32. eric says:

    I tivo’d the game and watch last night. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m with Joe on this one. I’ll watch u 15, u17s. Any kind of soccer. I think its pretty amazing that we have the women’s equivalent of the EPL in the U.S. All the best talent right here. I’m not going to buy season tickets but I might go and watch a game or two and I definitely watch on TV. I just can’t get enough footy.

  33. SayervilleFC says:

    I chose to watch Dallas-Chivas so I can’t question anyone’s taste in soccer.

  34. Chosun says:

    I watched the game and actually found it slower than the games I watched in the previous women’s league, which surprised me. Overall, I was impressed w/ Marta and Miyama, but I’m hoping the NY team is better. Funny thing is, I tried to convince my ex to try out for the NY Sky Blue (terrible name, I think), but she was playing in Sweden and stretched her knee, so she missed tryouts. While I was watching it, I called her to try to convince her to try out again next year because she seems to play at a much higher level that most of the women in this LA game. Perhaps it only seems that way because I see her playing against weaker opponents, but I think she would dominate the midfield.

    Anyway, I hope the WPS does well, and I support it…

  35. Colin says:

    All we need to know is…

    MARTA IS RIDICULOUSLY GOOD.

  36. BFBS says:

    I heard a WPS club just signed some left back named Ashley (“Cashley”) Cole – she’s supposed to be world class.

  37. PRperson says:

    How many ppl who have commented here, work for the WPS?

    WPS will fold in 2-3 years.

  38. Brokenbil says:

    Regrettably, I missed the game (and nearly every other one this weekend). My wife and I are, however, season ticket holders for the Boston Breakers. Despite the regular ribbing I endure from my Man U-supporting coworker, I’m psyched about it. Two reasons:

    1) I took the WUSA for granted and never got around to seeing a game. Sure, I saw a couple on TV, but the Breakers were playing at Boston University’s Nickerson Field, so close to home they might as well have been in my backyard. Now that they’re back in the neighborhood, I didn’t want to miss another opportunity.

    2) WPS is more affordable for us than MLS. I love the Revs, but Gillette Stadium is too far away for us to go more than once a season. I wish the Revs would hurry up and move to Somerville. In the meantime, go Breakers!

  39. Rudy says:

    People ripping the attendance need to get a grip. It was a great crowd for a women’s game, at least more than three Red Bulls home games combined. It’s definitely a different game, but it’s not without it’s merit. I went to the game and will probably go to a few more.

  40. kyle says:

    “You either love the game (which means you can see beauty in any setting and any match) or you’re a poser and snob.”

    Here, here, JoeW! I agree wholeheartedly.

  41. Almost 15,000? Color me impressed! Long live WPS!

  42. newyorker says:

    It looks like that was a great game. I hope that the WPS is able to survive this time because it may also aid in the further development of the women’s game which is already very good in this nation. I think the WPS could become the best woman’s league in the world, there are so many talented players from around the world. Also, 14,000 people attending that match is very good for a woman’s league, we’ll have to see how the other teams do in that respect. Wouldn’t be surprised that some disgruntled LA Galaxy fans may have been in attendance.

  43. Gerald says:

    If there is a post of the year JoeW gets my vote.

    Well Said

  44. Holiman says:

    almost 15,000! The Rapids, Crew, and FC Dallas all play in 18,000+ size SSS and couldn’t average that many fans. I’m excited to see what they can average for all 10 home games in the WPS. 8,000? 10,000? Not too shaby at all for WOMEN’S soccer.

  45. Eric says:

    Good on yer, JoeW!Footy is footy, and if I’ve got the time, I’ll watch it, no matter what level. The level of play of WPS vs. WUSA is much better(sans the goalkeeping)and I hope it survives. Women should have the same opportunities as us guys at playing the game they love and get paid for it.

  46. Mike Canada says:

    Bravo JoeW!!

    I’ve traveled to see top level games, but I also go out to see local soccer wherever I’ve lived whether it be PDL (M&W), CSL, University etc. Unless we support the local product, no matter what level then the sport will not grow.

  47. Alexander says:

    my only issue is how unfortunate the WPSL is in having the first goal of the league be an own goal… otherwise great play that I saw going on in the highlights…

  48. Carl says:

    Boston Season Ticket holder here, cant wait to see Heather!!