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Discussion Starter #1
The W-League celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. With the demise of the WUSA the W-League becomes the main North American women's club league.

The season schedule will be announced later, but the Playoff format has been determined as follows:

Conference Playoff Format:

Central Conference: A division championship match between the top two teams in each division will determine who plays in the conference championship match.

Eastern Conference: The regular season conference champion will receive a bye to the four-team conference playoff, which will also consist of the three division champions. The top two teams in each division will play in the division championship matches.

Western Conference: The top two teams will play for the conference championship.


League Semifinals at Keith Harris Stadium in Ottawa August 7.
(Three Conference champions plus host club Ottawa Fury)

League Final and Third-place game (same stadium) August 8.
The final will be telecast live by Fox Sports World in the USA and Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The 2004 schedule is HERE.

The teams (new expansion franchises marked with *):

Northern Conference

New England Division
Western Mass Lady Pioneers *
New Hampshire Lady Phantoms
Boston Renegades
Rhode Island Lady Stingrays

North Central Division
Sudbury Canadians *
Montreal Xtreme *
Rochester Ravens
Toronto Inferno :heart:
Ottawa Fury

Northeast Division
New Jersey Lady Stallions
New Jersey Wildcats
South Jersey Banshees
Long Island Lady Riders.
New York Magic

Central Conference

Atlantic Division
Richmond Kickers Destiny *
Bradenton Athletics *
Asheville Splash
Carolina Dynamo
Charlotte Lady Eagles
Northern Virginia Majestics
Hampton Roads Piranhas

Midwest Division
Cleveland Internationals *
Detroit Jaguars *
Fort Wayne Fever *
West Michigan Edge *
Cincinnati Ladyhawks
Columbus Lady Shooting Stars
Windy City Bluez
Chicago Cobras

Western Conference (no Divisions)
Edmonton Aviators Women *
Calgary Wildfire *
Arizona Heatwave
Denver Lady Cougars
Fort Collins Force
Mile High Mustangs
Vancouver Whitecaps
Seattle Sounders
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Friday, February 13, 2004

LONDON, ONTARIO -- United Soccer Leagues announced today that London, Ontario has been granted an expansion W-League franchise, the London Gryphons, for the 2005 season.

The new club will debut with an exhibition schedule against W-League opposition in 2004 with one home game and three away games. The inaugural season and official W-League play will commence in the spring of 2005.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The championship tournament is this weekend in Ottawa.

Semi-finals on Saturday Aug. 7:
Chicago Cobras v. Vancouver Whitecaps
Result: 2-1 for Vancouver
Ottawa Fury v. New Jersey Wildcats
Result: 2-1 for New Jersey

Names you might recognize are:

Chicago's Charmaine Hooper, Nancy Augustyniak and her twin sister Julie, and Emily Janss.

Ottawa's Taryn Swiatek, Rhian Wilkinson, and Diana Matheson.

Vancouver's Martina Franko, Erin Mcleod, Kara Lang, and Andrea Neil.

New Jersey's Marinette Pichon, Anne Makinen, and Marieke van Tienhoven.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Vancouver Whitecaps beat New Jersey; Crowned W-League Champions
Canadian Press
Sunday, August 08, 2004

After more than 110 minutes of play, the Vancouver Whitecaps were officially crowned the North American W-League Soccer champions.

The Whitecaps and New Jersey Wildcats played to a 0-0 draw after regulation and two 15 minute halves and were forced to decide things with penalty kicks. The Whitecaps held the advantage four goals to two. Vancouver's Randee Hermus was named the championship's most valuable player.

With the win, the Whitecaps became the first Canadian team to win the championship.

"We were told before the game that if we won we would be the first Canadian team to win the championship," said Vancouver's Kara Lang. "That really gave us motivation."

The Whitecaps came into the championship at Ottawa's Keith Harris Stadium as winners of the Western Conference with a 13-0-1 record, while the Wildcats, winners of the Northern Conference, had a perfect 14-0-0 record.

Both teams were extremely well matched which made for a well-balanced game.

It became evident early on that this could be headed for extra time as neither team allowed any dangerous scoring chances and on the few that did take place both keepers were perfect.

In the end Vancouver's Erin McLeod prevailed as she made two out of four saves in the shootout, while Amanda Brown gave up four.

"Erin was outstanding," said Whitecaps coach Chris Bennett. "We've got a whole team of outstanding players and she's one of them."

The Whitecaps held a 3-2 advantage in penalty kicks when strangely enough it was McLeod's turn to kick. Her scoring sealed the victory.

"Just before the shootout Chris (Bennett) told me I was kicking fourth," said McLeod. "Thankfully I wasn't really keeping track of the score and I didn't realize my goal was the winner until after it went in."

While the Wildcats were pleased with their performance coach Charlie Naimo felt his team was short-changed.
"From my perspective we were the better side," said Naimo. "They played well, but I thought we deserved to win, but that's my perspective."

Earlier in the day the Ottawa Fury defeated the Chicago Cobras 1-0 for the bronze medal.

Amy Vermuelen scored the winning goal at the 11th minute as she scored on a cross from Leah Robinson.

"I just wanted to make contact," said Vermuelen. "I put a shot on net and it went in far post."

After losing to the Wildcats in the semifinals the Fury were determined to finish their season on a winning note.

"We weren't going to settle," said Kelly Parker. "It's a little bit of vindication. We have higher standards, but I think we played with a lot of heart and came out with a result we liked."

The Fury feel they are one step closer to achieving their goal and are already looking forward to next season.

"The objective for this team is to win a championship," said Fury coach Frank Lofranco. "This is a team of winners. I'm really happy with the finish, with the win. We didn't want to be in the consolation final, but that was the cards we were dealt."
 

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Discussion Starter #6
W-League Championship All-Tournament Team

G Leisha Alcia Ottawa Fury
D Sasha Andrews Vancouver Whitecaps Women C
D Rochelle Willis New Jersey Wildcats
D Fanta Cooper Chicago Cobras
D Randee Hermus (MVP) Vancouver Whitecaps Women C
M Tobin Heath New Jersey Wildcats
M Andrea Neil Vancouver Whitecaps Women C
M Tara Minnax Chicago Cobras
F Amber Allen Vancouver Whitecaps Women C
F Marinette Pichon New Jersey Wildcats
F Rhian Wilkinson Ottawa Fury C

C indicates member of Canadian National Team
 
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