WLS (Women’s League Soccer) was created in 2010 in the United States. However, the first season began in 2011, and after its second season in 2012, the league became the “Women’s Arena Soccer League.” The league aligns with all rules, international calendars, and player transfer windows according to FIFA standards.
Even though it observes all FIFA rules and regulations, WLS is very different from other U.S. soccer leagues. The league has seasons that only last May to July and only has six teams. While the league hasn’t drawn the attention it deserves, it is essential to note that it has been making great strides.
One of the most notable achievements of WSL is through Mexico’s Carolina Jamarillo, who made history in 2004 by becoming the first woman in Mexico to play for the men’s team in the professional league in Mexico. This event sprouted a controversial beginning to the year for women’s soccer globally.
At the time, Jamarillo, sporting a colorful pair of indoor women soccer shoes, was reported to say that she was aware of the discomfort the men had because she played with and against them. However, she also noted that it was important for more teams to include women as it would help develop women’s soccer.
According to Jamarillo, a significant number of female players were more interested in indoor soccer. Notably, Jamarillo’s decision to play for the men’s soccer team was not a decision she made for herself. It was to raise awareness of the need for the inclusion of women into the sport.
FIFA prohibited her signing by Mexican player Maribel Dominguez. According to the soccer body, there had to be apparent differences between women’s and men’s soccer. Coincidentally, the body suggested that perhaps women’s soccer wasn’t as popular. To be more acceptable, the players had to show off their aesthetic by dressing in more figure-hugging clothing.
While this may be history, it is essential to note that WSL has made significant strides. While women seem to have won the battle where the dress code for WSL is concerned, there are more women’s soccer league teams on the scene. Also, there’s a healthy competition amongst the women’s team to get ahead of the championships.
For instance, in March of this year, during Humber women’s soccer, OCAA defending champions held their defense to get ahead of the competition and earn a coveted spot for the provincial championships. Top scorer Giulia Zanardi led the team with five tallies. On the other hand, newcomers Emma Stushnoff and Catarina Mederios each scored four goals.
Vanessa Fiore was also in a celebratory mood after witnessing two clean sheets and three wins. The tournament ended with the same match, with Humber emerging as the tournament redeemer. While player Claudia Piazza started off the game on a high note by scoring at the fourth minute, Giulia Zanardi came through with the first of three tallies.
It was a win for the Hawks as they were crowned with the regional title after beating the Royals 6-0. The Hawks are the first team in the OCAA to win four consecutive women’s indoor titles in OCAA. On the same note, the only team to win three straight titles is Humber. The club has gotten the same title during three different championship seasons during 1999-2001, 2011-2013, and 2017-2019.
With so many strong teams coming up for the WSL, there’s bound to be a lot of competition and improvement on the overall gameplay. Also, the up-crop of different groups will see the WSL being more popular than it’s been through the years.