USL News Release
TAMPA, Fla. – The third edition of the USL W-League Combine, featuring Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) and other professional and international coaches, is set for December 16-19, 2010. One of the showcase developmental events for women’s soccer in North America, the 2010 W-League Combine will be hosted at the world-class facilities of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
The purpose of the event is to provide elite women’s players an avenue to showcase their talents in the hopes of earning an opportunity at the top professional levels. USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor will work alongside USL staff to develop a comprehensive curriculum that challenges participants while providing coaches with the proper environment for evaluation. This year’s upgraded event is a product of USL’s increased focus on the development of women’s soccer at all levels in North America.
A total of 96 elite-level women’s soccer players will be selected to attend the combine, which will include high-level training conducted by professional coaches. A total of 25 players from the two previous combines have played in WPS, while more than 60 percent of current WPS players have W-League experience.
“The W-League Combine has been one of the most important annual scouting events for our coaches and teams over the past few years,” WPS COO Mary Harvey said. “The level of talent that assembles in one place is fantastic and WPS teams will continue to use this event to help build out their rosters for the following season and beyond.”
Players invited to the 2010 USL W-League Combine will be selected through an application process, which begins today at www.uslsoccer.com/wcombine/ and will run through November 26. USL will utilize the recommendations of Mellor, W-League members, WPS and domestic and international coaches in the selection of W-League and other elite female players to participate in the combine. Of the 96 players invited, 12 will be goalkeepers (an increase from six in the past) who will be asked to arrive a day early for a special technical session to be conducted by Mellor. A complete schedule for the event will be available soon.
“I am excited that the 2010 W-League Combine will be able to make use of IMG’s wonderful new nine-field facility,” Mellor said. “It is important that we provide our combine participants with the best soccer fields and soccer environment for them to perform at their highest levels. We are adding international club coaches to assist our W-League coaches in managing the combine teams, which will give our players the opportunity to showcase themselves for not only W-League and WPS scouts, but international professional club scouts as well.”
Called “the country’s most comprehensive playground for athletes in training” by Sports Illustrated, IMG Academy features world-class playing surfaces, strength and conditioning facilities, video lecture halls and resident and dining halls. Located on 400 pristine acres in Bradenton, IMG Academy is the world’s most prestigious training destination and features unmatched on-site facilities.
Players participating in the 2010 W-League Combine will have full use of all soccer facilities and locker rooms as well as the Sports Performance Center for classroom instruction and presentations. Lunch and dinner will be provided at the student dining hall.