Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pittsburgh delayed...

i'm supposed to be at Piper's Pub in Pittsburgh right now watching the USA vs. Mexico match. A foot and a half of snow in Milwaukee delayed my trip to the US Youth Soccer Workshop until tomorrow though, so i'm watching the game from the comfort of my home instead. An extra day at home is nice, but i would've traded the shoveling for a couple pints at Pittsburgh's premier soccer pub followed by a Kolbassi & Cheese sandwich topped with fries and cole slaw at Primanti Brothers original location...If you're ever taking a standardized test and you get "Primanti Brothers is to Pittsburgh as ___________ is to Chicago", go with "Billy Goat".

Women's Professional Soccer is following up its promotional efforts at the NSCAA Convention in Baltimore last month with a presence this week at the annual USYS get together. WPS will have a booth on the exhibit floor (i'll be there Saturday from 8:30 am to 1 pm) and another Town Hall forum 1:30 pm on Friday in room 308 at the Convention Center. i'll participate in this Town Hall along with St. Louis' Caryn Chasteen, Washington's Louise Waxler, Aaron Burch from WPS and Dennis Franczak from WPS marketing firm FUSE/ideas. Fuse will be videotaping interviews with many of the state association presidents and executive directors for WPS TV and posting those interviews on the League's website - We will also address each of the four Region meetings to bring all the state youth soccer association leaders up to date on WPS, answer their questions and invite them to be ambassadors for the League and teams.

i look forward to catching up with some of the Region II leaders including Illinois' Gus and Mary Jane Bender, Indiana's Don Rawson, and Wisconsin's Peter Mariahazy. I'm also hoping to see Region II Director Bill Podewils who is the former Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association President. Bill and i worked together to draft the landmark partnership agreement with Milwaukee Pro Soccer a couple years ago. Though we never got to use it in Wisconsin, the bones of that agreement were used to develop the Chicago WPS partnership with the Illinois Women's Soccer League.

The USA/Mexico game is wrapping up and it looks like it's going to end up a draw. Entertaining game and another step in the right direection as the USA gets some valuable experience for its young players in advance of 2010 qualifying in June.

Also good to see Dave Sarachan and Mike Sorber on Coach Bob Bradley's bench. Along with Piotr Nowak and Lubos Kubik, who are training the US Olympic team in Bradenton, the influence of the early Chicago Fire on the current US Soccer men's programs is very strong.

FT 2-2. Back to shoveling. If you're in Pittsburgh, look me up.

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