February 21, 2010

The Los Angeles Sol-An All Too Short History Part 4

Part 4 - Demise and Legacy

After a disappointing finish to an otherwise great season, players and fans were looking forward to 2010. The Sol were in the process of overhauling their international cast and were positioning themselves well for the January draft. Behind the scenes, with AEG on their way out, WPS officials were working on getting a new ownership group in place. Unfortunately, they quite simply ran out of time. A look at the last few months of the Los Angeles Sol.

November, 2009-WPS takes over operations of the Los Angeles Sol and continues attempts to find another ownership group.

Late, 2009-Abner Rogers is dismissed as head coach of the Los Angeles Sol, earning the Coach of the Year award in his only season.

January 7, 2010-The Sol trade Camille Abily to FC Gold Pride for Tina DiMartino. Abily was the league's 2nd leading scorer, while DiMartino was a 1st round selection for FCGP in 2009. The trade startles many LA fans.

January, 2010-Los Angeles adds three new international players. Dutch players Cathrine Paaske-Sorensen and Julie Rydahl Bukh and Czech forward Pavlina Scasna are the new additions. They are to replace Abily, Han Duan, and Johanna Frisk.

January 15, 2010-At the WPS Draft in Philadelphia, Los Angeles selects Nikki Washington, Casey Nogueira, and Kiersten Dallstream with their three 1st round picks. They also add Michelle Enyeart, Kiki Bosio, Estelle Johnson, Mary Casey, and Lindsey Browne in later rounds.

January 19, 2010-GM Charlie Naimo is named acting head coach of the Los Angeles Sol.

Late January, 2010-Negotiations between WPS and a potential buyer break down, leaving the league with no alternatives for the 2010 season.

January 28, 2010-WPS announces that the operation of the Los Angeles Sol has been discontinued. The league also announces that a dispersal draft would be held the following week.

February 4, 2010-The Sol's players are selected by the remaining 8 franchises in the Los Angeles Sol dispersal draft.

The end came with stunning swiftness to those of us not privy to negotiations that had been going on for months. While this signals the end of the Los Angeles Sol for now, the league will certainly make expanding to Los Angeles a priority for the future, maybe as soon as 2011. And former Sol players will be helping other WPS teams to the playoffs and for one team, a championship in 2010.

An incomplete list of the records and accomplishments of the 2009 Los Angeles Sol:

First WPS Goal in history-Allison Falk (March 29, 2009 vs. Washington)
First WPS Assist in history-Aya Miyama (March 29, 2009 vs. Washington)
First WPS Shutout-Karina LeBlanc (March 29, 2009 vs. Washington)
First WPS Win-Los Angeles 2, Washington 0 (March 29, 2009)
First 2-goal game-Marta (April 5, 2009 vs. Sky Blue FC)
Longest Winning Streak-Los Angeles 4 (June 21 through July 5, 2009)
Longest Unbeaten Streak- Los Angeles 11 (May 9 through July 5, 2009)
Most Wins in a Season-Los Angeles 12
Most Points in a Season-Los Angeles 41
Most Goals by a Player in a Season-Marta 10
Most Consecutive Games with a Goal-Camille Abily 4 (May 24 through June 7, 2009) and Marta 4 (June 21 through July 5, 2009)
Most Assists by a Player in a Season-Aya Miyama 6 (tied with Sonia Bompastor)
Most Shutouts by a Goalkeeper in a Season-Karina LeBlanc 12
Most Consecutive Shutouts by a Goalkeeper-Karina LeBlanc 4 (March 29 through April 25, 2009)
Best Goals Against Average in a Season-Karina LeBlanc 0.53
Golden Boot Award-Marta
Player of the Year Award-Marta
Coach of the Year Award-Abner Rogers
WPS All-Stars-Shannon Boxx, Karina LeBlanc, Marta, Aya Miyama, and Camille Abily (unable to play)

The Los Angeles Sol, at least in their first incarnation, had a short, but very memorable history. The WPS will continue with eight teams, each having committed ownerships for the 2010 WPS season. I am looking forward to a very exciting 2010 season, but there will certainly be something missing without the Los Angeles Sol. May we see women’s professional soccer in Los Angeles again in 2011.