Women's Soccer USA

Coverage of women's soccer in the US. If it's not here...it's not important...

November 22, 2008

WPSL connects with new Bay Area WPS franchise

This past week, the new Bay Area Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) franchise announced its team name - FC Gold Pride - and colors (black & gold) at the team's kick-off media event held at Santa Clara University. Appropriately enough, the Pride will use Buck Shaw Stadium at Santa Clara as their home field - the 10,300-seat stadium will be the place when the team kicks off play in April 2009 - cementing their connections with one of the top collegiate programs in the nation.
Connections with the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) are apparent as well, as the Pride named League Commissioner & California Storm owner Jerry Zanelli their new Director of Player Development. The FC Gold Pride has already been taking on a WPSL look, hiring as their head coach Albertin Montoya - long time Senior Advisor & trainer for the Storm - who will have as his assistant coach Sissi, a three-year player for the Storm and an All-WPSL selection each of those seasons.
"This is an opportunity for the WPSL to work closely with Women's Professional Soccer, as we are with many of the other teams," said Zanelli.
Such is the case with the FC Gold Pride's initial draft selections, as all three players have roots in the WPSL - Nicole Barnhart (California Storm), Rachel Buehler (San Diego WFC) & Tracy Hamm (California Storm & 2008 All-WPSL selection) were all on hand for this week's announcement. WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci - a former WPSL player & team owner - and Bay Area soccer icon & Storm alum Brandi Chastain were also on hand for the event.
Jerry Zanelli - who has served as the WPSL commissioner for 11 years and has overseen the league grow from 6 teams to last years' high water mark of 51 teams in five conferences - has been busy on both fronts this off-season. Zanelli is finalizing the expansion teams for 2009 with teams already committed from Portland (OR), San Antonio (TX), Pocono (PA), Palmdale (CA) and Las Vegas (NV).
"We are finding even a greater interest by teams for the 2010 season," said Zanelli.

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