Philadelphia Independence Host Training Camps/Team Tryouts
PHILADELPHIA (June 10, 2009) - The Philadelphia Independence (Philadelphia Women's Pro Soccer LLC) is pleased to announce a unique opportunity for 32 local female soccer players hoping to play for the Independence in next year's Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) league. In a show of its commitment to the fans to build a team that represents the tradition and work ethic of Philadelphia and its surrounding communities, the Independence will run a mini-camp in hopes of finding its first player to be signed. This event will complement the WPS expansion draft and international draft in August, and the WPS college draft in January - at which the Independence has first pick. From this series of player selections, the Independence will build its roster.
"The WPS has the absolute best female soccer players in the world," says Coach Matt Driver, "and I know that this talent-rich Delaware Valley region has quality, world-class players right here amongst us who deserve a shot at the big leagues....I see them in the Independence minor league programs. If we sign our first player from this mini-camp, that's a super story of a local kid making good; if we don't see the play we are hoping for, it will be a fun event for the players and coaches nonetheless." Newly-selected team General Manager Terry Foley added, "Since launching this franchise, we have focused the organization on bringing the best female athletes in the world to the Independence, and on serving this city's communities through a grass-roots partnership. What better demonstration of that grass-roots commitment than to open our roster to local players that have a history in these schools, neighborhoods, and soccer clubs."
The Independence is proud to have this training camp hosted by Philadelphia's own Chestnut Hill College. The College's impressive academic, sports, and student facilities will be home to the players from June 23-25, as they attempt to impress the Independence coaches enough to get a developmental player contract for the 2010 WPS season. The mini-camp will begin with check-in on Tuesday, June 23rd, 8:30-9:00AM at the College's Fitzsimmons Hall. Training sessions and scrimmages will go until Thursday, culminating in evening games to showcase the talents of the 32 player participants.
A unique feature of the mini-camp is the fact that the Independence organization, in partnership with Chestnut Hill College, is covering all costs for the participants. The 32 players will need only to provide their own travel to and from the area. Unlike most other combines and team tryouts, this arrangement is intended to make certain training camp costs do not prevent a talented player from pursuing the dream of playing women's professional soccer.
As an expansion franchise starting play in the spring of 2010, the Philadelphia Independence is permitted under WPS league rules to hold this camp in order to exercise its option to obtain pre-draft rights for up to two domestic players. Within the mini-camp rules, participants must have played youth, high school, college, or adult soccer in this Delaware Valley region. Players must also have been on the previous draft board and must not have their rights held by any other WPS team. If selected, the player(s) are guaranteed a development contract on the Independence 2010 roster. Top talent already signed up to attend the mini-camp are several Philadelphia Independence youth development/WPSL minor league players, such as: Tara Davies, Penn State; Mandy Moraca, UNC; Kelly Rowland, Florida State University; and Dani Collins, College of William and Mary.
"I love the idea of this training camp!" said Independence Assistant Coach and Olympian Staci Wilson. "It will allow the determination and persistence of a local female to elevate herself in pursuit of her dream to play professional soccer. There will be no agents, no international players, and no politics in a setting like this. Everyone gets a fair look. Skill and work ethic will be thoroughly evaluated, allowing us to pick players who have the tenacious attitude and confidence that will be the stamp of the Philadelphia Independence."
Team President/CEO David Halstead added, "The Independence has an exciting few months ahead. The mini-camp may provide this team's first player, then we will be unveiling our team logo right around Independence Day and our club affiliation program shortly thereafter. Then in August, we begin the much-anticipated player draft and selection process. Finally, on the heels of all that action, we launch our ticketing program and kid's membership program in early-September. Luckily, we've got a great staff that will ensure we deliver the best players and the best fan experiences possible."
The Independence has gotten off to a terrific start with tremendous support from those buying season tickets as well as community and fan groups such as Daughters of Betsy. If you have not yet reserved your Independence season tickets, or signed up for our monthly newsletter - The Independence Insider - visit our website to sign up and to see what else is going on: www.wpsphillyindependence.com.
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