Black & Gold: Los Angeles’ soccer market is missing a professional women’s team


first_imgAs women’s soccer continues to gain traction in the United States, expansion of the National Women’s Soccer League appears inevitable. Within the last six years, the NWSL has welcomed three new teams — the Houston Dash in 2014, Orlando Pride in 2016 and Utah Royals FC in 2018 — affiliated with their city’s respective MLS team. It’s time for Los Angeles to finally have an NWSL team of its own. While some criticized Hamm for investing in a men’s team before a women’s team, her leadership and passion for the women’s game will position her at the forefront of such a decision.  There is no NWSL team in Los Angeles just yet, but that does not mean we should just sit, tweet “#BringNWSLtoLA” and wait. Follow the league, watch the games and help women’s soccer grow. LAFC’s success has garnered the brand much excitement in a short amount of time. In just two years, the club has already become a heavy favorite to win the MLS cup. Given LAFC’s early success, it’s not unreasonable to imagine the same results for a new NWSL team in LA. Southern California is a soccer hotbed. Los Angeles has two MLS teams because the soccer market in L.A. has the capacity to provide both with many fans. The area’s role in women’s soccer specifically is also evident. Southern California has produced many talented female soccer players who went on to play for different national and professional teams. Two stars from the USWNT’s World Cup-winning roster this summer, Alex Morgan and Christen Press, hailed from SoCal. Many players have also benefited from the dominant youth clubs and successful college programs right here at USC and across town at UCLA.  Johannah Suegay is a sophomore writing about LAFC. Her column, “Black & Gold,” runs every other Thursday. Bringing the NWSL to L.A. would give women’s soccer the representation it deserves in an area that needs it. Seeing strong, athletic women pursue their passions despite countless obstacles empowers everyone, from young girls who just picked up their first sport to high school and college players who are discouraged by the inequality they’ve seen in women’s sports. The other most populous cities in the United States — New York, Houston and Chicago — all have NWSL teams. Given such widespread representation, it is baffling that Los Angeles is still without a team in the league. By not investing in an L.A. team, the NWSL is missing out on a large market. Just as LAFC received early support before the team was even formed, many soccer fans have shown their enthusiasm about bringing the NWSL to L.A. NWSL’s social media accounts are constantly bombarded with questions and petitions for LAFC to invest in a women’s team.  So many groups of people are impacted by or connected to this sport in some way or simply drawn in by the confidence and resilience of the athletes. Bringing women’s soccer to L.A. will challenge our community to break gender stereotypes and uplift women everywhere. Hamm is the only woman on the ownership team and understands both the experiences female athletes face and the necessity for women’s soccer to grow. If LAFC pursues this opportunity, I’m confident that she will lead the charge in creating a world-class environment for women’s soccer. Ever since the ownership group of the Los Angeles Football Club was announced, there have been whispers about expanding to the NWSL. Especially with the inclusion of ex-USWNT star Mia Hamm in the star-studded ownership team, many expected the discussion of investing in a women’s team to arise early.  Excitement about bringing the NWSL to L.A. has spread to Banc of California Stadium. At the last few LAFC home games, LAFC’s loyal supporter union, the 3252, flew banners and flags with the NWSL logo saying “Bring NWSL to LA.”last_img read more

Lakers are hurting up front; Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman will be game-time decisions


first_imgTalking BynumNick Young hasn’t followed Andrew Bynum’s lone season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also said he wasn’t aware that Cleveland suspended Bynum indefinitely Saturday for undisclosed conduct detrimental to the team.But the mere mention of Bynum’s name prompted Young to laugh as he recalled their lone season together last year with the Philadelphia 76ers, a year that featured Bynum sitting out the entire time because of lingering knee issues.“He just does his own thing,” Young told this newspaper. “Bynum is going to be Bynum no matter where he goes. He doesn’t care what people say or think about him.” Young mentioned Bynum’s eccentric hairstyles and worsening his left knee injury while going bowling in the middle of the season. Still, Young argued that Bynum received unfair criticism from Sixers fans who believed that he didn’t show enough interest in overcoming his injury.“He’s hurt. He’s somebody who has been playing games with bad knees,” Young said. “He’s trying to get back each game. In Philly, they’re tough. They were on Bynum everywhere he walked.”Bynum helped the Lakers to two NBA championships through seven seasons before being traded in 2012 to Philadelphia in a four-team, 12-player deal that brought them Dwight Howard. “He tried to get back, but he wasn’t right last year,” Young said of Bynum. “It was probably good for him to sit out.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Within a week, the Lakers went from having too many frontcourt players for coach Mike D’Antoni to juggle to suddenly having very little at all.Both centers Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman are considered game-time decisions when the Lakers (13-17) host the Philadelphia 76ers (8-20) tonight at Staples Center.Kaman suffered a moderate sprain in his left ankle in the final minute of the Lakers’ 105-103 loss Friday to the Utah Jazz. Gasol sat out two of the past four games because of an upper respiratory infection. D’Antoni said neither of them practiced on Saturday.Gasol hasn’t spoken to reporters since a visit with an eye, nose and throat specialist on Thursday showed his respiratory illness worsened. Kaman didn’t talk on Saturday, either, but he appeared downtrodden about both his injury and sitting in 13 of the Lakers’ 30 games.center_img “I have no approach,” Kaman said Friday after posting 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Lakers’ loss to Utah. “I get shuffled around so when it’s my turn, I try to take advantage of the opportiunities I’m given and it’s not easy.”D’Antoni offered some encouraging words about Kaman’s health.“It’s pretty favorable,” D’Antoni said. “He feels better about it. The swelling’s not too bad.”If neither Gasol or Kaman play, Jordan Hill will likely start along with Shawne Williams. Robert Sacre would likely receive significant minutes off the bench. Both Hill and Sacre stayed after practice on Saturday working on post drills with Lakers player development coach Larry Lewis.“You just have to stay mentally prepared,” Sacre said. “Obviously it’s tough. You never know when you’re going to go in. But you have to make sure you’re ready to go. When your name is called, you have to be prepared.”last_img read more