SoCal FC's quest to be the next Sacramento Republic FC, the next Chicago Fire, fell just short.
The local women's team, in their first season, lost 2-1 to the Chicago Red Stars Reserves on Sunday in the WPSL championship game in Edmond, Oklahoma. Mary Luba gave Chicago the lead in the 18th minute before Annie Alvarado tied it up for SoCal FC in the 23rd minute. But minutes into the second half, the Red Stars Reserves took the lead for good, as Ashley Handwork headed in a corner kick for the 2-1 scoreline.
In a summer where women's soccer received a boost in attention because of the Women's World Cup and the U.S. Women's National Team's win of the top prize, it's clear that there's interest in women's soccer in this country, and that's of course great to see. There is occasional talk (including in this space) about how nice it would be to see an NWSL team come to Southern California, and seeing another Southern California team make the WPSL final, in a year where the LA region lost any W-League representation (despite the defending champs being from LA before folding) is heartening. Certainly, there are more than enough good players in this area to be immediate contenders, at least in the lower divisions, and much of the USWNT is stocked with Southern Californians.
Can SoCal FC build on this next year? They had a fantastic first season, and hopefully they can be a fixture in the local and national scene for years to come, featuring some of the top stars of tomorrow. Congrats to SoCal FC on their terrific run in 2015, and let's hope this leads to more interest and success moving forward, for them and the women's soccer scene in the area alike.
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