I just spent 8 hours following or watching (yes, I watch those streams) women’s football from Europe. Four hours of that was consumed by UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finals. I also managed to multitask Liverpool v Chelsea in EPL play during that time.
During that time I saw one, count it, one tweet from a player I follow (no I don’t follow them all, but I do follow all USWNT/FC Kansas City/Boston Breakers players) about UWCL – or any women’s soccer. I did see lots of tweets from women players about men’s soccer. Do you see where I’m going with this?
If women’s soccer is ever to be taken seriously by fans and supporters it has to also be taken seriously by the players. It is HARD to follow women’s soccer, but that’s no excuse, As easily as you can pick a men’s team or league to follow you can pick a women’s team or league to follow. Picking is the easy part, following is the hard part. Following is the part that takes dedication and effort. Following is what makes a fan and eventually a supporter. Players say they want to lead by example, well that has to extend to what happens in WoSo elsewhere in the world. American professional women’s soccer does not happen in a vacuum. International players bring a lot to the American professional game and international leagues cultivate those players. International leagues also provide some very good American league coaches. And I’d bet you that many (read most) of the women in NWSL had no idea about Laura Harvey or what she’d done at Arsenal Ladies, until she came to America. I could be wrong about that, but nothing in interviews or on social media shows anything to the contrary.
The simple truth is women’s professional soccer in the U.S. needs professional women soccer players to be a fan of their own game around the world. And to convey that interest to fans in the U.S.
If any players want tips or links to watch games I, and many fans, would be more than happy to share what we’ve learned about the trials and tribulations of following women’s soccer around the world. It IS the world’s game and that includes the approximately 50% that are women.
Step up WoSo Pros, step up.