Archive for July 2012

A Brainstorm for Women’s Soccer in the Midwest   Leave a comment

I have been less-than-satisfied with the league options that currently exist in our area for women’s soccer.  I wrote about the three regional/national leagues on our radar in an earlier post, and after talking with some people in the leagues I am left with some head-scratching.  WPSL ran a haphazardly put-together schedule for 2012 that saw teams play only five matches and no round-robin play amongst the conference members, and in past talks seems to not have interest in adding additional teams in Wisconsin.  W-League is talking about adding a Midwest division, but once again the cost of entry, infrastructure requirements, and cost of travel make this a no-go from our perspective.  Which brings us to WLS.  After conversations and e-mail exchanges with three of the five teams in the league (including the current commissioner), my initial suspicions of its viability have been confirmed.  Although it’s still the best place for us to launch of the three on the table, I’m not comfortable with being painted into that corner.  Which is why, over the past week, I got back to thinking about soccer in the Midwest as a whole and whether something can be built outside of these three entities.  With that, I began to brainstorm of cities that might or could support women’s soccer and how to get them together in a league along with some administrative rules for operation.

With Milwaukee as the starting point, the first goal needs to be getting enough other cities within a reasonable radius to form a six-team league.  Following that, add on more cities surrounding the original six to get to twelve (and thus two divisions with members of the original six dividing into them).  Lather, rinse, repeat to eventually get to 24.  This is a possible progression of how to build to that:

Phase 1:  Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Chicago, Des Moines

Phase 2:  St. Louis, Louisville, Springfield (MO), Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Omaha

Phase 3:  Grand Rapids, Detroit, Kansas City, Madison, Cleveland, Cedar Rapids

Phase 4: Nashville, Illinois 2, Wichita, Chicago 2, Ohio 3, Indiana 2

Now, for some minimums of participation:

  • A ground with seating (whether the club charges admission is their own choice)
  • A website, Facebook page, and Twitter account specific to the team with regular updates and posted contact information
  • 20 players
  • Affiliation with their home state’s soccer association (adult or youth) or a team already competing in a recognized national league

Match rules:

  • 2 x 45 minutes halves
  • 20 player game day roster
  • College substitution rules (1st half sub, no re-entry that period; 2nd half sub, one re-entry); if temperature is above 90 at kickoff, unlimited substitutions at defined intervals
  • 3 for win, 1 for draw, 0 for loss;  additional points for scoring 3+ in match or shutout (5 pt. max if all hit)

Posted July 20, 2012 by Scott in Uncategorized

Who We Want   Leave a comment

This morning, I completed my perusal of every Division I women’s soccer roster for schools outside the power six conferences (Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Big East, Big XII, and Pac-12) in developing our player pool (Divisions II and III along wtih NAIA will be done once their rosters are finalized) to scout for the 2013 team.  With that done, I thought it would be a good time for me to explain the criteria I use to either include or exclude a player from my player pool (the rule) as well as give an example of where an exception to the rule might be granted.

To qualify to play for Milwaukee United, a player must:

  • Be a resident of Milwaukee County
  • Have attended a Milwaukee County high school (public or private)
  • Have played soccer for at least three of their four years at the school, including their senior year
  • Be playing college soccer at the present time (or have done so in their final undergraduate year if a graduate)

If that is what qualifies a player to join us, the following disqualifies her:

  • Not being a resident of Milwaukee County
  • Not attending a Milwaukee County high school
  • A lack of significant high school play (e.g. playing for a club team during the high school season)
  • Not playing for her high school team senior year (which occurs after the National Letter of Intent signing date in early February)
  • Ceasing to play college soccer while still having eligibility to do so

If the above constitutes the rule, an exception to the rule would be a player for whom the totality of their profile negated their not being a resident of Milwaukee County.  Exceptions are looked at on a case-by-case basis and their profiles evaluated thoroughly against those of qualifiers.  This is what an “exceptional” profile looks like:

  • Resident of a blue-collar/middle class suburb just west of the Milwaukee/Waukesha County border that is known as an extension of Milwaukee’s northwest side
  • Attended high school in Milwaukee County at a religiously-based private school
  • Played club soccer for an area outfit that is not as well-known or renowned as FC Milwaukee, Brookfield Soccer Club, or SC Waukesha
  • Will be playing Division I college soccer this fall at a school outside of Wisconsin in a mid-major conference

It is the unique combination of ALL of these traits that makes an exceptional profile.  Modify any one of those bullet points and the player would not qualify.  For us, the mission of  providing playing opportunities for those who otherwise have been overlooked or who aren’t seen as being as good as the ones with club pedigrees and ample resources at their disposal means we look for something different than others do.  It also means that our roster won’t be heavy in Division I talent (to date, I found only three players on D-I rosters from here and that includes the above-mentioned exception), but that is the state of affairs for our local players currently and we are committed to fixing it by whatever means are at our disposal.

Posted July 19, 2012 by Scott in Club Philosophy

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Let’s Meet   Leave a comment

Over the week of July 19-24, I am looking to meet with fans, business people, players, coaches, and anyone else interested in helping to grow competitive women’s soccer in Milwaukee County.  Send me a message, name the place, name the time, and let’s see how we can improve the state of the game here.

Posted July 10, 2012 by Scott in Uncategorized

Quick Update   Leave a comment

Just a quick update on where things stand.  I have been in contact with the commissioner of Women’s League Soccer along with two of the five teams in the league.  The information they have given me has been helpful in seeing what we have to do in order to enter the league for 2013.  There is a catch, and it has to do with the way women’s soccer is currently organized in Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Soccer Association/Wisconsin Adult Soccer Association had its membership in USSF revoked in January, with its successor, Wisconsin Soccer Leagues, Inc., being provisionally appointed at the beginning of June.  Formerly, women’s soccer has been under the auspices of the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association, and entry to Women’s League Soccer is dependent on being registered with the USASA (adult) affiliated organization in one’s state.  I have sent an inquiry to the head of WSL’s board as to where women’s soccer stands in Wisconsin.  With the right answers from him, we will be able to move forward with recruiting, promotion, and the necessary steps to start our road to bringing both soccer glory and civic pride to Milwaukee.

Posted July 8, 2012 by Scott in Uncategorized