Morning everyone! Thanks to all who have visited the site in the last couple days. We have received some wonderful feedback on the Fabio Lopez Interview. If you haven’t seen it check it out below. Some exciting stuff is in the works as well for next week. Australian National Team captain Jason Culina was kind enough to give us an interview and we will also look at the state of football in Liechtenstein as well and in true One Game, One World style probably throw in a surprise to the mix.
Anyway enough of that, let’s go to today’s Morning Kick-Off.
You are probably asking yourself what the heck does that mean. Well, I came across this fantastic story about a couple of English guys who were looking to do a football documentary on a place unspoiled by the greed and riches of the English Premier League. They ended up in Pohnpei, one of the four islands in the Federated States of Micronesia.
To make a long story short, the two men in question, Journalist Paul Watson and filmmaker Matthew Conrad became coach and assistant coach respectively of the Pohnpei national side, a team that is not affiliated with FIFA at the moment and that has never won a competitive fixture.
The work that is being done by these two is absolutely fantastic and refreshing in this day and age where some players make hundreds of thousands of dollars, pounds, and euros a week. This is a super story right up our ally at OGOW and we will be giving you an exclusive scoop on it sometime this month.
WPS Season 2
This weekend sees the second season of Women’s Professional Soccer kick-off on Saturday night with the Boston Breakers traveling to face the Washington Freedom. WPS has 8 teams raring to go for season 2 including expansion sides Philadelphia Independence and Atlanta Beat. The league had a decent degree of success in the first season of play averaging just over 4,600 fans per match and about 5,500 for the three play-off matches. Now this may seem pretty modest in comparison to other leagues and it is, however WPS is aiming for slow, steady growth and above all to not be burdened with the heavy financial losses that ultimately led to the demise of the WUSA a few years back.
WPS appears to be making inroads in sponsorship (up 150% according to league officials), which is always a great sign for a young league. WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci expects attendance to rise 5-10% this season and has stated that the league’s six original teams are already seeing a 20% increase in season ticket sales. This bodes well for the league which did lose the Los Angeles Sol after that club ceased operations.
That was bad news, for the league’s sake they were able to keep reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, Brazilian Marta in the league as she has joined the FC Gold Pride. With a presence on Fox Soccer Channel and a strong grassroots effort coupled with the sponsorship interest and of course the good product on the field certainly WPS has a real chance to succeed especially continuing their measured approach to growth.
Do you live near any WPS clubs? Do you plan on taking in some matches this season? Let us know with a comment.
Okay, I had to mention this as the last piece of the Kick-Off. Real Madrid-Barcelona promises to be a superb match on Saturday with as much importance as any El Clasico has had in quite sometime. You really see the winner going on and taking the title. We really like to focus on the people, places, and matches that aren’t usually in the daily headlines, but as promised we try to cover the game at the highest level as well so look forward to our Big Match Report on Real Madrid-Barcelona.
With Real looking to take a giant leap toward the only title they can still win this season and Barcelona seeking a win which would bring the current side closer to becoming a dynasty this one should be special.
Who do you want? Let us know!