For a brief moment at LAG Confidential yesterday, there was sadness.
Not long after the U.S. Women’s National Team soundly defeated the Netherlands to capture their fourth World Cup triumph, blogs across the SBNation Soccer network eagerly pointed soccer fans in the direction of their local National Women’s Soccer League club, where all 23 national team players compete every week.
We had nowhere to point the fans, because we don’t have a NWSL team. Even the Galaxy’s second-division clubs in Orange County and San Diego are basically off-season.
Yes, fans in So Cal will have the oppurtunity to view matches on the ESPN network, and there are others ways of supporting the league. But will increased engagement necessarily translate to action?
It’s safe to say just about every soccer fan in Southern California wants to see the NWSL in Los Angeles. Led by co-owner and 99er Mia Hamm, LAFC have long been expected to bring in a club at some point, even the great FC Barcelona has explored the possibility.
As of now the LA Galaxy don’t have any plans to bring in an expansion franchise, despite investing in a girls’ academy and two second-division clubs. And considering Galaxy supporters were quite vocal with disapproval even before the World Cup kicked off, even if it continues it is unlikely social media posts will be enough to force action.
So what’s the next step?
If Galaxy fans want to see the NWSL in their backyard one day (and we’re not talking about Banc of California Stadium), the supporters may be served best taking a cue from the USWNT with the fight for equal pay by putting a permanent spotlight on #WoSo2LA.
While a majority of fans favor fairly compensating the women, it was ultimately recourse in the form of legal action that took the cause to the next step. Bringing serious attention to the issue may require taking things up a notch, and not just on social media.
It’s the fans who will have to take it upon themselves to advocate for a women’s team and make it a thing. Across town, signs pleading for Mia Hamm to bring a NWSL to LA have been spotted in the 3252. Galaxy supporters are absolutely free to express how they feel at Dignity Health Sports Park with everything from visual displays to the classic chant. (Hi Nate!)
We’ve got a few ideas we’re working on, but in the meantime give us, Corner of the Galaxy, Kev, Britt, Delmy, Gabe and the rest of the gang the ammo we need to keep this topic in the public consciousness, like this Galaxy fan.