Little leaguers have Major League Baseball. Pee-wee football players have the NFL. Community basketball players have the NBA. Ice hockey players have the National Hockey League. And girl soccer players have…well, it could have been playing against the top ranked female soccer players in the nation, but now they are forced to settle for a short-lived career with college soccer, and will most likely never receive a paycheck.
The last month has been tough on women's soccer. WUSA was forced to fold due to lack of financial support and low attendance, leaving thousands of girls without role models and busting their hopes of every becoming professional soccer players. Sure there is the chance of becoming World Cup participants or Olympians, but only the best of the best can ever reach that level, and those events, which still do not generate as much publicity as Super Bowl Sunday, only come around every four years.
There seems to be little hope that WUSA will be revived; it was only after the USA's triumph over China in the 1999 World Cup that the United States introduced a women's soccer league. When the women were defeated by the Germans, it became evident that women's soccer had taken a hard hit, not only here in the USA, but around the world. The only hope of ever generating real interest in women's professional soccer is not in Europe or Asia or Canada, but here in the United States. But after the US's defeat, interest in the sport that women have turned into an art will become minimum. (I even doubt if the fans that watched the heart wrenching penalty kicks during the last World Cup will tune into the duel between Germany and Sweden.)
It doesn't seem fair that men's sports generate so much publicity; airing on Primetime and companies are willing to pay millions for 30 seconds of advertising time. How is it that Redskin's games are sold out and yet tickets cost three times as much as seats for a Washington Freedom's game? And while the 'Skins continue to lose and charge overpriced tickets, Freedom won the WUSA championship.
Fortunately for all the aspiring women soccer players, they can still look towards Allen Iverson who receives a well-earned salary of $10 million. And while Iverson continues to think he doesn't have to act like a role model, the women of the US professional soccer world can stand in the unemployment line.
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