A few mornings ago, Nikki Krzysik, Rebecca Moros and I showed up to play pickup with a bunch of guys. We entered the indoor facility in Clifton, N.J., excited about our preparation for another professional season. We left heartbroken, feeling as if we had nothing to play for. In the instant I saw the e-mail that W.P.S. 2012 would not be taking place, my motivation was zapped. I had a lump in my throat. Even worse was seeing the faces of the two other women who were there with me. Our livelihood had been taken away from us all at once. What now? Who should I contact? Where can I play? What are my options?
Yes, I knew that the league was fragile, but my optimism made me sure that I’d be suiting up for the Atlanta Beat in a couple of months. On Jan. 30, I lay in bed, looking at the comments on Twitter and attempting to brainstorm my next move. I was emotionally drained. Distraught. Confused. Angry. Very angry. For about three hours.
Somehow, though, no matter how many knocks I take personally, or women’s soccer takes as a whole, I cannot help but feel an extraordinary amount of hope in the bigger picture. What kept popping into my mind, amidst some tears and the nagging urge to just let myself give up, was the “resume in 2013” part of what I had read.
There has been a lot of discussion about the resources that are lacking in order to make this league work as we had hoped. But maybe this year will be a good time to step back, assess, and consider the resources that we DO have. We have a very successful U.S. Women’s National Team, which is chasing an Olympic gold medal. We have marketable players who are known outside of the soccer world. We have five owners, and potentially more interested ones, who are committed to W.P.S. We have talented women training every day to compete for roster spots. We have families and young players hoping to be able to watch games and one day possibly participate themselves. This is what we DO have.
I don’t mean to diminish the hardship that this last-minute season suspension has caused many people. It is devastating that there will be no W.P.S. this year. Personally, I am now unemployed and scrambling to find playing opportunities abroad. But wouldn’t it be a shame to waste even one day hanging our heads when we can begin working toward making W.P.S. work in 2013? Maybe this year is a blessing in disguise — a time to step back, gather our resources, and realize just how important W.P.S. is to a lot of us. Let’s start preparing for the 2013 season now!