July 26, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - Florida Atlantic University’s Soccer Stadium hosted 26 of the world’s top women’s soccer players in the 2012 London Olympics when they showcased their talents for the magicJack organization during the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPSL) in the summer of 2011. Players currently representing four of the 12 countries in the Olympic tournament were members of the magicJack or opposing teams in the WPSL.
“Hosting the magicJack and the WPS last year brought the best players in the world to FAU and Boca Raton,” said Brian Dooley, FAU’s head women’s soccer coach. “It was a unique opportunity for the community to watch world-class athletes and develop a connection with them. We now will see these players on the world stage at the Olympics.”
Some of the players at FAU last year were Marta Vieira da Silva of Brazil, a five-time FIFA World Player of the Year; Sophie Schmidt of Canada; and Kelly Smith of Great Britain. Members of the U.S. team were Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Christie Rampone and Megan Rapinoe.
“Women's soccer is on the rise and the level of play is outstanding,” said Dooley. “Watching the matches with our campers last summer was enlightening. The campers could remember the players’ names, their ages and their college teams.”
FAU Assistant Coach Staci Wilson was a member of the U.S. gold medal-winning team in 1996 Olympics, the first to include women's soccer as a sport. Wilson won two professional championships and three NCAA Division I national championships while playing at the University of North Carolina.
Dooley and Wilson preview the London Olympics and address the state of women’s international soccer at http://www.fausports.com/sports/w-soccer/spec-rel/072512aaa.html.
The Owls are scheduled to open the 2012 season on Friday, August 17 with a home match against in-state rival Jacksonville University, starting at 7 p.m.at the FAU Soccer Stadium, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.