FFT's best seasons in U.S. women's professional soccer history: 10-6
We continue our #WoSo15 with the quiet key to one of U.S. professional soccer's most talented teams of all time:
10. Shannon Boxx, 2010
One of the most enticing debates from the short history of Women’s Professional Soccer centers on the LA Sol, the best professional U.S. women’s team not to win a championship. Who was the team’s best player? Marta? Camille Abily? Aya Miyama?
For my money (and my MVP vote), it was Shannon Boxx. You can disagree with that and still acknowledge that Boxx was absolutely dominant in the first season of WPS as captain of the Sol. She was the engine and the motor of the league’s best team, the ultimate two-way midfielder to complement the talented attacking cast around her.
Boxx’s game has never been about numbers, and her three goals in 19 matches that season don’t tell her full story. Ultimately, the LA Sol is remembered for losing the championship match to the Cinderella story that was Christie Rampone’s Sky Blue FC, and for ceasing operations a few months later. But 2009 was Boxx’s best season as a pro and one of the most prominent reminders of what we missed in those lost years between WUSA and WPS.
Among the most compelling stories in U.S. women’s national team folklore is Boxx earning a place on the 2003 World Cup roster before ever making an appearance for the senior U.S. women's national team. Her play in WUSA earned her that trip. Six years after WUSA folded, she produced this masterclass in LA. It makes you wonder if Boxx could have carved an even larger legacy in those years without a full professional league. At least we’ll always have 2009.
- Jeff Kassouf