I got an e-mail from a friend yesterday who was passing along news that former Philadelphia Independence coach Paul Riley is back in town, leading a series of regular training sessions for players with Women's Professional Soccer experience.
Riley is currently hosting a weeklong, residency-style program for a group of players who are participating in the WPSL Elite division this year.
Most of those players are on the roster of the New York Fury, which Riley also coaches. A lot of them also played for the Independence.
Although I highly doubt any of these players will be on the U.S. Olympic team this summer - especially since Pia Sundhage's roster can only have 18 players - there are still a few names you might recognize.
The most significant name on the list is probably Sinead Farrelly, the Haverford native who was the Independence's top draft pick in 2011. She was starting to get on the radar for the U.S. national team as the Independence made their playoff run last year, but WPS' suspension this year means she won't have the same kind of opportunity to showcase her skills.
Most of the big-name U.S. women's players are in Seattle right now, playing for the Seattle Sounders' women's team in the W-League. The Sounders' roster includes Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Stephanie Cox, Sydney Leroux and Mexican international Veronica Perez.
The W-League is run by United Soccer Leagues, which also oversees the USL Pro and Premier Development League.
D.C. United, the Colorado Rapids and the Vancouver Whitecaps also sponsor W-League teams, and FC Dallas sponsors a WPSL team.
As of now, the Union do not have any official ties to any teams in either women's league.
You are welcome to wonder aloud as to why there are two women's leagues playing at the same level, and competing with each other for talent and other resources. Especially when there is no full-time professional women's league
Anyway, here's the list of players who are in town for Riley's training sessions. Their current teams are listed first, followed by past affiliations.
Jen Buczkowski - Chicago Red Stars (WPSL Elite)/Philadelphia Independence (WPS)
Tina DiMartino - New York Fury (WPSL Elite)/ Philadelphia Independence (WPS)
Sinead Farrelly - Ottawa Fury (WPSL Elite)/ Philadelphia Independence (WPS)
Estelle Johnson - New York Fury (WPSL Elite) / Philadelphia Independence (WPS)
Nikki Krzysik - New York Fury (WPSL Elite) / Philadelphia Independence (WPS)
Meghan Lenczyk - Ottawa Fury (W League)/Philadelphia Independence (WPS)
Jasmyne Spencer - New York Fury (WPSL Elite)/Philadelphia Independence (WPS)
Jazmyne Avant - NY Fury (WPSL Elite) / Sky Blue FC (WPS)
Michelle Betos - NY Fury (WPSL Elite) / Boston Breakers (WPS)
Allie Long - New York Fury (WPSL Elite) / Paris Saint-Germain (France) / Sky Blue FC (WPS)
Brittany Taylor - New York Fury (WPSL Elite) / Sky Blue FC (WPS)
Claire Zimmick - Boston Breakers (WPS)
Kelsey Hood - New England Mutiny (WPSL Elite)
Ashley Grove - Rochester Ravens (W-League)
Merritt Mattias - NY Fury (WPSL Elite)