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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer in the USA. Presented by Tom Goodman, M.Ed. Girl’s/Women’s Soccer.

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girl s women s soccer in the usa

Girl’s/Women’s Soccer in the USA

Presented by

Tom Goodman, M.Ed.

girl s women s soccer
Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • 1917 – Dick, Kerr Factory in Preston, England…company men’s team was not doing well…women bragged that they could play the game better…men’s team challenged the women to a match…score was never posted, but it was the beginning of English Women’s soccer!
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • Other women’s teams were formed as a result of the Dick, Kerr Ladies’ success and games were organized.
  • 1920 – Game between Dick, Kerr Ladies and St. Helen’s ladies was played on Boxing Day at Goodison Park in Liverpool. 53,000 fans watched the game!
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • 1921…the FA banned women from playing soccer on its grounds for 50 years, seeing it as a threat to the professional men’s game!
  • This action crippled the women’s game in England and in other countries as well.
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • 1930’s - Women’s Leagues existed in Europe (England, Italy, France)
  • 1950’s -

a). International competitions began

b). Norway, Germany, Sweden getting involved

c). Italy formed National Women’s Association

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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • 1951 - Craig Club Girl’s Soccer League, 4 teams, lasted 2 seasons (Father Craig of St. Matthews Parish, North St. Louis)
  • 1957 – Germany organized 1st informal European Championship
  • 1960’s – Several European National & Regional federations formed, as well as several national leagues
  • 1970’s – Start of the girl’s/women’s game in the USA
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • 1970’s – girl’s recreational soccer, high school soccer and college soccer began to grow
  • 1972 – Title IX legislation mandated gender equity in education; mandated equal access and equal spending on athletic programs at colleges
  • 1981 – Almost 100 NCAA women’s varsity programs; even more club programs
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • 1982 – NCAA took over as national sponsor of women’s sports
  • 1980-2000

– growth of youth participants: 900K to 3 million

- growth of girl’s participation: 10% to 50%

  • 1980-2000

– growth of college programs: 77/598 to 790/1509

- growth of women’s programs: 13% to 52%

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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • Currently (2000 – 2007)

– growth of youth participants: 3 million to 3.5 million

- girl’s participation: approximately 50%

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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer

US National Team

  • 1985 – Collection of unknown players (Enos, Boyer, Orrison, Bender, Wyant, Akers-Stahl); little practice; limited equipment; primitive travel conditions.
  • 1985 – trip to Italy…4 games…lost to Denmark, England and Italy…drew with Denmark in a re-match.
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer

US National Team

  • 1986 – Anson Dorrance appointed coach; professional coaching regimen; added quality players (Akers-Stahl, Heinrichs, Belkin); record 5-2.
  • 1987 – more players added (Fawcett, Lilly, Hamm, Jennings); record 6-1-4.
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer

US National Team

  • 1988 – more players added (Foudy, Higgins)
  • 1988-1989 – tough time for women’s national team; little practice time; lack of consistent quality competition
  • 1989 – FIFA establishes the Women’s World Championship, soon to be called the Women’s World Cup (WWC), the 1st to be held in 1991 in China
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer

US National Team World Cup & Olympic History

  • 1991 – USA wins the WWC; Norway is second; Sweden third; Germany fourth.
  • 1995 – Norway wins the WWC; Germany is second; USA third; China fourth
  • 1999 – USA wins the WWC; China is second; Brazil third; Norway fourth.
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer

US National Team World Cup & Olympic History

  • 1996 – USA wins the Olympics, defeatingChina 2-1
  • 1999 – USA wins the WWC; China is second; Brazil third; Norway fourth.
  • 2000 – Norway wins the Olympics, defeating USA 3-2
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer

US National Team World Cup & Olympic History

  • 2003 – Germany wins the WWC; Sweden is second; USA third; Canada fourth.
  • 2004 – USA wins the Olympics defeating Brazil 2-1
  • 2007 – Germany wins the WWC; Brazil is second; USA third; Norway fourth
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • Levels of Girl’s/Women’s Soccer Today
    • Youth
    • School
    • Amateur (USASA)
    • USL (W-League)
    • WUSA
    • US Soccer (National Team Program)
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • Youth
    • Recreation (U4 - adult)
    • Travel (U9 – adult)
    • Premier (U11 – adult)
    • State ODP (U13 – U19)
    • Regional ODP (U14 – U19)
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • School
    • Middle school
    • High school
    • Jr. College/Community College
    • College/University
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer
  • Amateur (United States Adult Soccer Association)
    • Competitions for players U-20 through Over-50
      • Local
      • State
      • Regional
      • National
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer

USL (formerly known as the USISL)

1993-1994 – W-League (National Amateur Women’s League) was established

1994 – W-League played brief exhibition schedule

1995 – W-league is for real with 19 teams playing nationwide

Today – W-League consists of 34 teams playing nationwide

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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer

WUSA (Women’s United Soccer Association)

  • 2001 – Spring debut; exciting time for women’s soccer; international and US national players were teammates; small stadiums; attendance averaged at about 8,000; 8 teams
  • 2003 – suspended operations after the season was completed; large financial losses
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer

WUSA (Women’s United Soccer Association)

Atlanta Beat Philadelphia Charge

Boston Breakers San Diego Spirit

Carolina Courage San Jose CyberRays

New York Power Washington Freedom

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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer

US Soccer (National Team Program)

  • U-21 NT
  • U20 NT
  • U17 NT
  • U16 NT
  • U15 Developmental Team
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Girl’s/Women’s Soccer

Thank you for your attention…

Enjoy the Seminar!


Dave Litterer; USA Soccer History Archives

Tom Goodman; On The Job Experience