I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end

So the fledgling WPS has had its first casualty and the Los Angeles Sol is no more.

While there is no shortage of opinion on the dissolution of the Sol, there was something I’ve been thinking about that I haven’t seen anyone discuss: Tell me something about the LA Sol as a team without mentioning Marta.

Find it difficult?  You’re not alone.  The most I could come up with was that they had a pretty good defense, but were not a team that played to its defense.  They had some international stars, who were not Marta, but impressive nonetheless. But outside of that, I have no idea who the Sol were as an organization, a soccer team.  Despite having the highest attendance in the league, I couldn’t tell you what their fans were like. In fact, outside of some light plaintive Internet wailing, I haven’t seen much evidence of fan protest at all.

Try the same for any other WPS team.  You can certainly describe the Freedom without mentioning Abby Wambach.  Last year Chicago had a certain identifiable, attractive (and ultimately unlucky and unsuccessful) style of playing. You can say more than a few words about Boston’s abrasive, intimidating fans.

Essentially, what the league is losing is the first team Marta was on.  Maybe the only, should she decide to not return.  Certainly there would be no other team willing to match what AEG agreed to pay her.

So I will not mourn the loss of team I never really knew.  I do worry about the status of the players they drafted this year, and the status of bubble players on other teams once the dispersal draft has occurred.  I worry about Michelle Enyeart, one of my favorite college players, who I was delighted to see drafted while she was still in the middle of a lengthy rehab.

Ultimately, I can’t say what the end of the Sol really means for the WPS.  No one knows that. It doesn’t look sunny, but nor does it spell doom.  What I hope it means is that any future owners look very hard at the product they are creating and ask themselves how they can make something that people will fight to see stick around.


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