Women's Soccer USA

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

December 04, 2008

Chastain ready to play for FC Gold Pride

"I hope our newest sports team doesn't fall into that trap. FC Gold Pride is part of the new Women's Professional Soccer league, which is scheduled to start play in April.
The team will face an uphill battle, launching during a stomach-churning economy in a saturated sports market. But it has one important thing in its favor:

Chastain, for her part, is optimistic that she will have a role with FC Gold.
"It'll happen,'' she said Wednesday. "I believe that.''
Chastain would like to play. Unlike her famous teammates, she never retired, but was unceremoniously dumped by former national team coach Greg Ryan (the first of many bad ideas that led to his firing last year). But she has continued to play with Sacramento Storm, with and against players who have been drafted by the new league.
Chastain is 40 and well aware that she has some limitations on the field. But, at an FC Gold news conference at Santa Clara last month, she looked out at her old collegiate field and said: "Sitting here I can only think of game day. I would love to have Jaden come to the stadium to see his mom play.''
One would assume that FC Gold will pick Chastain in next month's general draft, which is the latest of the WPS's selection of players.
"We know her interest is to play,'' team General Manager Ilisa Kessler said. "We recognize her ability on and off the field. We'll make our final decision where she lands in the draft. She's one of our prospective players for sure. We couldn't ignore her.''

And despite the accomplishments of the current women's national team, which won the gold medal in Beijing, those players aren't exactly household names. They won't attract media attention or put people in the seats.

The news conference was held as the stock market was tumbling and the economic outlook turned worse.
This league's predecessor, the Women's United Soccer Association, was founded a month before the dot-com bubble burst and died after three seasons. Many factors contributed to its demise, but a faltering economy — and its effect on entertainment spending — was high among them.
The new league has much more modest goals than the WUSA. But it will need all the help it can get. And there's help right here — a valuable natural resource named Brandi Chastain."

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