Cary, North Carolina — WoSoCo is an event created by Jen Cooper during the National Women’s Soccer League final. Cooper’s event included sessions on the WUSA and also had a question and answer session with Utah Royals FC defender Becca Moros.
Andrew Helms and Jen Cooper began the discussion about the WUSA. The Women’s United Soccer Association began in 2000, after the U.S. Women’s National Team won their second World Cup. As many soccer fans know, the USWNT won their second World Cup in 1999.
However, the WUSA did not last long. Instead, the league folded after only three seasons. Only the Boston Breakers survived long enough to make it to the NWSL. However, the Breakers did fold during the NWSL days, ceasing operations after the 2017 season.
Cooper told the story of Joe Cummings, who was part of the Breakers during their WUSA days. He was even named executive of the year within the club. Cooper shed some insight on what Cummings’ staff looked like in Boston.
“All of Joe’s staffers were right out of school,” Cooper said. “He had to train people outside of his job… He’s still very much involved the in the game.”
Royals defender Becca Moros answers fan questions
“There was a squirrel that came on the field.”
Becca Moros, a defender for the Utah Royals FC, took questions from Cooper and from the audience. She talked about the WPS and starting her career there. She also talked about the time a squirrel jumped on the pitch during her time with the Washington Spirit.
“The league folded, which was traumatic experience,” Moros said. “I went to Japan afterward… I trained with the team in Tokyo. Yuki Nagasato played for the team at that time. I knew Japan was the best experience for me at that time.”
However, Moros returned to the U.S. in 2014, joining the Portland Thorns. She returned home due to a breast cancer diagnosis to her mother. However, Moros said that going overseas is an excellent opportunity for players to grow.
“I was happy to be in Portland,” Moros said. “Portland is closer to New York than I was in Japan. I began my NWSL career in Portland. Then, I was traded to Kansas City. After watching the final between Kansas City and Seattle, I knew I wanted to be on that team.”
Moros also made sure to pay respects to Vlatko Andonovski, who coached her in Kansas City. She said that when she moved on to Utah, she was part of a very professional environment. Moros also talked about injuries piling up this season and making it through 2019. However, she spent plenty of the season engaging with her teammates and helping young, rookie players.
Getting a Behind-the-Scenes look
Cooper was then joined by Dan Lauletta of The Equalizer to chat about preparing for an NWSL broadcast. Lauletta spent some of 2019 calling games for the NWSL during Yahoo! Sports live streams. Meanwhile, Cooper has called plenty of Houston Dash matches.
When doing a broadcast, Cooper said she organizes her notes in front of her set up. She points to her notes to insinuate to the other announcer that she’ll be speaking. Meanwhile, other resources includes Opta, calls with the coaches and club notes.
Lauletta said that he tries to ask questions to use as background information.
“I tru to come up as something that isn’t easily known,” Lauletta, who usually calls Sky Blue FC matches at the venue, said. “Maybe thoughts on how the other teams might play. They’re usually then more forthcoming on the call… Usually, I let the play-by-play person goes first, and then I bounce off of what they say.”
Cooper said she enjoys shining light on players you don’t hear about.
“A first-time listener will want to hear about Alex Morgan and Marta, but there’s so much more,” Cooper said. “… I can get information on Sam Mewis, Alex Morgan and Marta anywhere. I can’t get many stories on Desiree Scott, Sarah Gorden and others.”
COVER PHOTO: Utah Royals FC defender Becca Moros talks during WoSoCo, an event put on by Jen Cooper of Keeper Notes. Photo courtesy of Michael J. Cox/Keeper Notes.