Monday, February 9, 2009

The Women's Pro Soccer League Snare their Beckham

She's the one in the yellow

To the shock of many in the women's soccer community across the Atlantic, one of their superstars has fled, at age 30, to join the WPS. Arsenal fans... this week month season just keeps getting worse and worse, doesn't it?

Arsenal Ladies' star Kelly Smith, a key member of the England squad, is to ply her trade with the Boston Breakers this season after signing a 4-year deal. That is assuming, of course, that the league lasts long enough to honor her entire contract.

Quoth Smith:
I couldn't earn anywhere near to what I'll be getting in the WPS if I stayed in this country. But it's not just about money. It's about playing with and against the best players in the world, training every day and everything else that goes with being a professional footballer."
The alarming parallels with Beckham continue.

The WPS has already snagged four other England internationals to pad out their rosters, all of whom will be among the highest-paid players in the league. Arsenal teammates Alex Scott (Boston Breakers) and Karen Carney (Chicago Red Stars) are on their way, as are Chelsea Ladies' stars Anita Asante (NY/NJ Sky Blue?) and Eni Aluko (St. Louis Athletica), leaving a few wondering just what impact this might have on the development of the English league.

Still, the business model's worked before -- pay top dollar to lure away stars from other countries. These women all have clauses in their contracts allowing them to head back for Euro '09 preparation, but heaven forbid if any of them get tapped up by AC Milan.

This concludes our annual women's soccer coverage.


Adam said...

There goes Arsenal's best chance at siverware this season. I wish I was joking.

Andrew said...

The last sentence is funny because it's true.

Spectator said...

Arsenal Women have still won every single one of their games this season.... 13-0-0 with a +60 goal differential. I think they'll probably be okay in the end.