Getting a kick of freedom

Philicia Douglas

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Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is a pro league with a total of six teams across the country, and this April, FAU will become the home base for one of them.

Magic Jack’s Washington Freedom will be playing most of this season’s home games at FAU Soccer Stadium.The team’s new owner Daniel Borislow recently purchased the Washington Freedom, but ran across problems with finding a proper venue.

That caused him to turn to FAU women’s soccer head coach Brian Dooley. Borislow asked FAU to be host to his team, and after many discussions, the pro soccer team’s temporary home change was approved with the anticipation of growing FAU’s soccer program.

“Our hope is that it continues to solidify FAU as a prominent place in the development of soccer in certainly South Florida, if not in the region in the country,” said Dooley.

Athletic Director Craig Angelos is anticipating that the Freedom will draw attention to FAU because of its notoriety. WPS is known to have many of the greatest women soccer players in the world, such as Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, and Heather Mitts, all of whom have played for Washington.

In hopes of meeting the requirements of the league, Angelos plans to extend the current stadium to 3,000 seats by late April.

“The soccer field is what will be used right now [and] if it goes well in the future and the league continues, then maybe we can build something here to get an even better venue,” said Angelos.

MagicJack’s Washington Freedom’s arrival at FAU will be the first-ever pro women’s soccer team to play in South Florida and the second pro team of any sport to play in South Florida history (the WNBA’s Miami Sol in 2000).

Washington Freedom’s season kicks off on the road on Saturday, April 16, at 7 p.m. against the Boston Breakers in Kennesaw State University Stadium. The Freedom’s first home game is on Saturday, April 23, although the venue where it will be played has yet to be finalized, as the team plans on playing a home game or two in Washington.