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

Klose: Africa will win World Cup with more slots


first_imgLegendary Germany striker legend Miroslav Klose says an African country will win the FIFA World Cup if the continent has more slots like their European counterparts.Africa are allocated five out of the 32 slots while World Cup power houses Europe and South America have 13 and five slots respectively.While five countries from Europe have won the World Cup  (England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) three from South America (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay) have tasted glory on football’s biggest stage.The farthest African teams have been at the World Cup is the quarter-final  (Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana).Co-host of the 2002 World Cup South Korea is the only Asian country that has gotten to the semi-final.And according to Klose, the 2014 World Cup who is also the tournament’s all time leading goalscorer, posited that the five slots allocated to Africa limits the continent’s chances of winning it.“There is no way Africa can win the World cup, unless FIFA brings balance to the number of teams that qualifies to the World cup,” the former Bayern Munich striker said, as cited by Soccer Scenes Africa.“For now it is advantage to Europe and South America. The slot for African teams is very bad. Only five teams in a world cup that has almost 13 European teams. If Black lives really matter, we should show it by actions in every institution not only by kneeling down.“We need to balance everything, no one must be considered superior than the other. Despite all the talent they have, but it would be absolutely impossible to go all the way to reach the World cup final with only five teams in the tournament, meanwhile other continents have more than five,” he added.last_img read more