Talk

Fuel Soccer Talk: Can women’s success last?; Miami vs. Cosmos in NPSL finals; NPSL National XI

The big question: Can World Cup success translate to more interest in NWSL?

Maggie Vanoni of the Seattle Times asks a great question: “Will the U.S. women’s World Cup team boost NWSL and women sports?”

The answer won’t be known for weeks, months, even years.

Vanoni rightfully asks: “Going forward, the big question is whether the NWSL, and professional women’s sports in general, can capitalize on the momentum created by the U.S. women’s national team’s success.” She also rightfully adds a tag to the question – “Doing so would require an investment from more than just the athletes.”

Every four years the nation kicks around some interest in the women’s World Cup. Players and fans hope that interest helps take the women’s professional league to another level. This year, there was as much attention off the field as on the field and while that’s a good thing, the answer to Vanoni’s question will be a result of what happens on the field. Yes, TV and corporate America need to step up but sports is a business and if they aren’t going to make money they aren’t budging. Will the level and quality of play be enough to sway the average sports fan?

Women’s soccer has an uphill battle for a number of reasons. The two big ones IMO? 1. A small percentage of American sports fans care about soccer – any kind of soccer. 2. And the ones who do have plenty of prime choices to choose from including the Premier League, the Champions League, other European leagues and more locally the MLS and even college soccer. A lot of competition for not a lot of fans.

But it’s events like the Women’s World Cup that can change that, and a few weeks after the U.S. won it all in France, the crowds are coming out to watch the NWSL. So far, so good.

READ VANONI’S EXCELLENT COLUMN    

What can the NWSL do to attract more fans?

NPSL: Miami FC tops Cleveland to advance to finals against Cosmos B

Photo Credit: Orovio Photography

The Miami FC hosted an NPSL national semifinal at FIU Soccer Stadium on Saturday night and came out victorious by beating Cleveland SC 4-1.  The Miami FC will now look to defend its NPSL national championship against New York Cosmos B.  For the second-consecutive year, Miami will travel northeast for the Final. The match will be played at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, New York on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 7:00 pm ET.

Miami finished the first half with 12 total shots – five of which were on goal – and held Cleveland to zero shots on goal.  While the match was scoreless at the break, Miami continued its trend of dismantling opponents in the second halves of matches. This time, the shots turned into goals.

Callum Chapman-Page, Miguel González, Ariel Martinez and Harrison Heath scored goals for Miami. Mike Derezic scored Cleveland’s lone goal.

Midfielders David Diosa and Junior Burgos scored second-half goals to boost the New York Cosmos to a 2-0 victory over ASC San Diego in the National Premier Soccer League playoff semifinals at Mitchel Athletic Complex on Saturday night.

On the opening goal in the 53rd minute, Diosa latched onto a through ball from midfielder Ricardo Bocanegra on the right flank. Diosa raced through the San Diego defense before beating goalkeeper Jean Antoine from 10 yards for his first goal of the season. The 26-year-old midfielder also had a role in Burgos’ goal as he was taken down in the box by San Diego’s Khadim Seye. The Salvadoran stepped up and fired a shot into the lower-left corner for a two-goal advantage.

Goalkeeper Paul Blanchette recorded the clean sheet for the Cosmos. San Diego, the West Region Champions, had won its three playoff games on the road.

NPSL announces National XI selections for the 2019

The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce the National XI selections for the 2019 season. Teams, media, fans, and supporters were all part of the online voting process.

The National XI includes one head coach, three defenders, four midfielders, and three forwards.

Head Coach & Goalkeeper will be announced on July 31st.

HEAD COACH:
To be announced on July 31st

GOALKEEPER:
To be announced on July 31st

DEFENDERS:
Jamie Smith, Asheville City SC
Mike Muniz, Napa Valley 1839 FC
Nicholas Itopoulos, Med City FC

MIDFIELDERS:
Carlyle Junior, Duluth FC
Christian Enriquez, ASC San Diego
Dylan Mares, Miami FC
Juan Hernandez, Chattanooga FC

FORWARDS:
Bljedi Bardic, New York Cosmos B
Cesar Mexia, FC Arizona
Chris Ribet, A.S. Los Angeles

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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