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Archive for September, 2008

Want to play professional women’s soccer?

You have until 8pm ET (5pm PT) on Friday, October 3 to register to be listed on the draft board for the WPS General Draft, taking place on Monday, October 6, 2008.

To register, players must complete the Prospective Player Form found on the WPS website, here.

I think it’s cool that this draft open to everyone. Hey, maybe they’ll find some great hidden talent!

For example, Christie Rampone, captain of USA Soccer. She went to a small division I school as a basketball player (Monmouth University) and was randomly recruited for the USA team. She tried out and has been leading the USA team ever since.

So even if you’re a small Division I athlete, don’t think you’re not at the level to compete in this league. It’s always worth a shot!

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Kate Smith of Detroit Shock

Kate Smith of Detroit Shock

The Detroit Shock defeated the New York Liberty tonight, 75-73 in game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

According to the AP article, Deanna Nolan scored 21 points and Taj McWilliams-Franklin put in 19 to help the Detroit Shock reach the WNBA finals for the third straight season.

This was definately an exciting game. The Shock were up by 20 in the first half, but had to fight of New York’s determination, as they got within two early in the fourth.

The deciding moment seemed to occur when Loree Moore missed a free throw and Alexis Hornbuckle answered with five quick points for the Shock.

The WNBA finals will match up the Detroit Shock and the San Antonio Stars on Wednesday, October 1 at 7:30 PM on ESPN 2.

Here’s what the complete schedule will look like:

Game 1: DET at SAN, Oct. 1, 7:30 ET (ESPN2)
Game 2: DET at SAN, Oct. 3, 7:30 ET (ESPN2)
Game 3: SAN at DET, Oct. 5, 4:30 ET (ESPN2)
Game 4: SAN at DET, Oct. 6, 7:30 ET (ESPN2)
Game 5: DET at SAN, Oct. 9, 7:30 ET (ESPN2)

I’ll be covering this regularly. This will be a great matchup!

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Gina Carano, an undefeated Xtreme Couture fighter (6-0), is starting to become known as the “face” of women’s mixed martial arts (MMA).

However, according to MMAjunkie.com, this is not exactly the type of label she wishes to hold.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, MMA is a full contact combat sport that employs various fighting techniques which combine martial arts traditions with non-traditions in competitions. From my understanding, you’re allowed to strike and grapple in this sport (aka – beat the crap out of each other).

Women’s MMA is gaining popularity in the martial arts arena. In particular, Gina Carano, EliteXC poster-girl, is generating attention. Right now, she’s gearing up to fight Kelly Kobald (16-2-1) on October 4.

However, as I mentioned earlier, “the face of MMA” is not exactly the type of title she’d like to hold.

Here’s what she told reporters:

“I am a recognized female in the sport, but I don’t think that I am the face of women’s MMA,” Carano said. “It’s just a label. I’m Gina Carano. You can label me that.”

However, she’s excited the sport is gaining attention.

“It’s been unbelievable to be at the forefront of women’s MMA,” Carano admitted. “Raising the recognition of the sport has been a blessing. The fan support has been amazing. I’m standing up here because of the fans.”

Her upcoming bout with Kobald will certainly be exciting, and the anticipation is generating some buzz in the MMA community, as Kobald, after debuting in 2002, went undefeated through her first 17 bouts.

“I’ve got one of the toughest fights of my life coming up,” Carano said. “I’m coming ready to fight. I’m going to give it my all.”

My favorite quote from Carano is her explanation as to why she likes to compete.

“Everyone has their own niche in life,” Carano said. “I just seem to gravitate towards physical violence.”

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Yesterday’s WNBA action was certainly exciting for both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. The Detroit Shock beat NY Liberty 64-55, and LA Sparks were eliminated by San Antonio Silver stars, 76-72.

The two heroes of the day were Deanna Nolan of the Detroit Shock (pictured on the right) and Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Stars.

Deanna Nolan scored 22 points to lead the Shock in their victory over the Liberty in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals Sunday. They play again tonight at 7pm EST on ESPN2.

In the West, Becky Hammon led the Silver Stars in their Western Conference Championship by scoring 35 points and making four free throws in the final 36 seconds.

It was definately an exciting day for the WNBA. Tonight’s matchup will be equally exciting; I just wish we wasn’t so overpowered by all of the football coverage going on right now.

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Just a reminder to everyone: WNBA playoffs are today, taking place in Detroit. Tune in to ESPN2.

At 3pm EST, Detroit Shock plays NY Liberty for the East; right now, the Liberty are up 1-0.

At 5pm EST, the LA Sparks take on San Antonio Stars for the West; right now, the two teams are tied at 1-1.

These should be some pretty good games; I’ll be posting about them later. For more information, check out WNBA.com.

Have a great Sunday!

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Right off the plane from willing the Olympic Gold Medal Beijing’s Volleyball championship, Misty May-Treanor was enrolled in Dancing With the Stars. She debuted this week. Check out this video on YouTube:

Her participation in Dancing With the Stars shows that popular culture is valuing the contribution that May-Treanor and Walsh have made upon our society. It’s really exciting to see her out there. It’s also exciting that May-Treanor can be seen as Pretty and Tough at the same time.

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Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPS) is well on its way to making a reappearance to our cities (exciting!). This week was the first step in that process, as the league underwent its first international draft.

Each team was allowed to draft four international players, providing teams with the opportunity to begin a formal negotiation process with each selected player upon receiving permission from that player’s current club. For the 2009 season, teams will ultimately be allowed to sign up to five international players per roster. The results of the draft included the selection of 10 players from Brazil, four from Japan, three from Australia and three from Canada.

Below is a snapshot of what happened at the international draft. I provided links to each team’s Web site, so I highly encourage you to check out a team that’s nearby. Season tickets are not that expensive, and this will be an exciting season to watch. I will (for sure) be following the Washington Freedom (my local team).

WPS Initial International Draft – Assignment of WPS-Playing Rights (in order of selection)

1st Round
Bay Area: Formiga (Brazil)
Boston Breakers: Kelly Smith (England)
Los Angeles: Marta (Brazil)
St. Louis: Daniela (Brazil)
Trade with Washington
Chicago Red Stars: Cristiane (Brazil)
Washington Freedom: Homare Sawa (Japan)
Trade with St. Louis
Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY): Sarah Walsh (Australia)

2nd Round
Bay Area: Christine Sinclair (Canada)
Boston Breakers: Fabiana (Brazil)
Los Angeles: Aya Miyama (Japan)
Washington Freedom: Sonia Bompastor (France)
Chicago Red Stars: Heather Garriock (Australia)
St. Louis: Renata Costa (Brazil)
Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY): Rosana (Brazil)
3rd Round
Bay Area: Eriko Arakawa (Japan)
Boston Breakers:
Maycon (Brazil)
St. Louis:
Lotta Schelin (Sweden)
Trade with LA 4th Rd
Washington Freedom:
Lisa De Vanna (Australia)
Chicago Red Stars:
Karen Carney (England)
St. Louis:
Melissa Tancredi (Canada)
Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY):
Ester (Brazil)

4th Round
Bay Area: Erika (Brazil)
Boston Breakers: Shinobu Ohno (Japan)
Los Angeles: Han Duan (China)
Washington Freedom: Louisa Nécib (France)
Chicago Red Stars: Caroline Jonsson (Sweden)
Los Angeles: Margret Lara Vidarsdottir (Iceland)
Trade with St. Louis 3rd Rd.
Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY): Kelly Parker (Canada)

This is really cool stuff, and I’m so glad they’re bringing in international talent. This will make for an exciting season!

For more information on WPS, visit their Web site.

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