February 10, 2010

The Los Angeles Sol - An All Too Short History

Part 1 - The Beginning

On February 4th, what was left of the Los Angeles Sol roster was dispersed and only time will tell when the WPS returns to Los Angeles, but the Sol made an indelible mark in their only WPS season. In their short one-season history on the field, they won the regular season title, set many records that will become benchmarks, and set a standard of excellence by which other teams will be measured for years to come. This is a look back at the short history of the Los Angeles Sol.

September 4, 2007-Los Angeles is announced as one of seven teams that will compete in the inaugural season of a new women's professional soccer league. The team will be owned by AEG and Blue Star, LLC.

September 15, 2008-Abner Rogers is named as the first coach of the Los Angeles WPS franchise.

September 16, 2008-Los Angeles receives its first players as Shannon Boxx, Stephanie Cox, and Aly Wagner are allocated from the USWNT.

September 24, 2008-Los Angeles selects Marta as their first selection (3rd overall) in the WPS International Draft. They also draft Aya Miyama, Han Duan, and Margret Lara Vidarsdottir. The following day, they would add Camille Abily as a post-draft discovery player.

October 3, 2008-Charlie Naimo is named as general manager for Los Angeles.

October 6, 2008-Los Angeles chooses Karina LeBlanc as their first selection (5th overall) in the WPS General Draft. They also select Kendall Fletcher, Christie Welsh, and Manya Makoski. All four would make the team, although Fletcher and Welsh were later traded to Saint Louis.

October 25, 2008-Los Angeles officially announces that the team would be called the Los Angeles Sol and they also unveil the team's new logo.

November 25, 2008-Los Angeles names Johanna Frisk as a post-draft discovery player.

January 12, 2009-The Sol announce the signing of three-time FIFA Player of the Year, Marta.

January 16, 2009-At the first annual WPS Draft in St. Louis, the Sol select Brittany Bock with their first selection (5th overall). In later rounds, they select Allison Falk, Katie Larkin, Greer Barnes, Valerie Henderson, Katie Hooker, McCall Zerboni, Brittany Cameron, Erica Janke, and Lisa Sari. All but Hooker and Janke would make the Sol's opening roster.

February 4, 2009-The Sol officially announce the signing of Aya Miyama.

February 19, 2009-The Sol announce the signings of Camille Abily, Han Duan, and Johanna Frisk.

March 2, 2009-The Los Angeles Sol training camp begins.

March 5, 2009-Los Angeles becomes the first team to announce an on-jersey sponsorship with Amway Global.

March 25, 2009-Los Angeles announces its opening day roster. Full-roster players are Camille Abily, Greer Barnes, Brittany Bock, Shannon Boxx, Stephanie Cox, Allison Falk, Kendall Fletcher, Johanna Frisk, Han Duan, Val Henderson, Katie Larkin, Karina LeBlanc, Manya Makoski, Marta, Aya Miyama, Aly Wagner, and Christie Welsh. Developmental players are Brittany Cameron, Lisa Sari, and McCall Zerboni.

March 26, 2009-The Sol add Liz Bogus, just recently released by FC Gold Pride, to their developmental roster.

March 29, 2009-The Sol defeat the Washington Freedom 2-0 before 14,832 fans in the WPS inaugural game played at the Home Depot Center. Allison Falk scores the first goal in WPS history on a header in the 6th minute. Camille Abily later adds a goal to seal the victory. Karina LeBlanc is sharp in goal and earns the shutout. The attendance would be the largest for a non-WPS/MLS doubleheader in the 2009 season.

With an immensely talented roster, the Sol were off to a great start and looked to be the team to beat in 2009. Over the next three months, the Sol were a dominant team. We'll look at that period in Part 2-Rise to the Pinnacle.

(Sources for some of the information in this story came from www.womensprosoccer.com and the 2009 Los Angeles Sol Media Guide)