USL News Release
Thursday, October 21, 2010
TAMPA, Fla. – Former U.S. Women’s National Team and current Boston Breakers head coach Tony DiCicco has been confirmed as a coach for the 2010 USL W-League Combine set for December 16-19. One of the showcase events for women’s soccer in North America, the 2010 W-League Combine will be hosted at the world-class facilities of IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida.
DiCicco, who led the U.S. to Olympic and World Cup glory, will be joined by Syracuse University women’s head coach Phil Wheddon, former Antigua & Barbuda Women’s National Team head coach Lenny Hewlett and Aaron Lines, who led the Buffalo Flash to the 2010 USL W-League title. Additional U.S. and international coaches will be announced in the coming weeks.
“The 2010 W-League Combine has taken a huge step in sophistication not only what the players will experience while at the combine, but also in the personnel that will be leading the management of the teams,” Senior Director of W-League Operations Amanda Duffy said. “The experience of the coaches will bring a depth of knowledge not previously reached, and will also allow for a greater amount of interaction between the players and the coaches that have a direct impact on which players will make it to the next level. The lineup of coaches this year is exciting and makes for a very unique opportunity for the players attending.”
A total of 96 elite-level women’s soccer players will be selected to attend the combine. Twenty-five players from the two previous combines have played in WPS, while more than 60 percent of current WPS players have W-League experience.
The purpose of the USL W-League Combine is to provide elite women’s players an avenue to showcase their talents and earn an opportunity at the top professional levels. USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor will oversee 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.
Applications are being accepted through November 26 at the new online home of the USL W-League Combine, www.w-leaguecombine.com. 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 led by Mellor with assistance from DiCicco and Wheddon. A complete schedule is available at www.w-leaguecombine.com.
Called “the country’s most comprehensive playground for athletes in training” by Sports Illustrated, IMG Academies 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 Academies is the world’s most prestigious training destination and features unmatched on-site facilities.