Players set for USL W-League Combine

Players set for USL W-League Combine

TAMPA, Fla. - United Soccer Leagues announced Wednesday the full list of 128 players who will be participating in the upcoming inaugural USL W-League Combine that will give the players an opportunity to showcase their abilities for Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) and other coaches and scouts at the Ed Radice Sports Complex in Tampa, FL September 4-7.

The combine player list features participants who played for 31 different W-League teams in 2008, attended 97 different universities and represent 13 different nationalities.

“Since the league was founded in 1995, the W-League has been the cornerstone for women’s elite club soccer for 14 years, providing a home for the world’s best players and developing the stars of the future,” said W-League Director of Operations Melanie Fitzgerald. “The players gathering for the combine are among the best in the league over the past few years and include many that may become household names with WPS clubs or beyond in the near future. History has shown USL’s dedication to development of the female player and the women’s game to be of the highest caliber and we are confident the WPS coaches, general managers and scouts on hand will be in agreement in September.”

With many current and former internationals among the list, as well as collegiate standouts, it is expected that numerous players drafted and signed by WPS will hail from the W-League. Historically, the same occurred with the launch of the Women’s United Soccer Association in 2001. A total of 92 current and former W-League players were allocated or drafted by the WUSA leading up to the first of its three seasons.

Numerous W-League players went on to find success in the WUSA, including several that also found a spot with the US National Team. Recent Olympic gold medalists Shannon Boxx and Angela Hucles are two such players. Boxx, a member of the Boston Renegades, was drafted by San Diego and would later debut for the US in 2003. A former Hampton Roads Piranha, Hucles was drafted by Boston and would go on to join the US squad in 2002.

Thirty players from the W-League Championship final four will also be on hand from the FC Indiana Lionesses, Seattle Sounders, Washington Freedom and league champion Pali Blues.