FC Gold Pride players Barnhart, Buehler and Hamm
Women’s professional soccer returns to the Bay Area this spring. A return of women’s soccer since the San Jose CyberRays of the defunct Women’s United Soccer Association.
Los Altos residents Brian and Nancy NeSmith are the owners of the Bay Area’s team in the new Women’s Professional Soccer league.
Suzanne’s post covers the introduction of the team’s name, FC Gold Pride. Some think Golden Pride would be a more appropriate name.
The NeSmith’s believe a fun, family friendly league will be more successful than the WUSA. the league will stress keeping costs down.
Los Altos native Albertin Montoya will be the Pride’s coach and some of the Pride’s players attended Stanford, Santa Clara University, and UC Berkeley.
Montoya, an assistant coach for the Stanford University women’s team and previously an assistant coach at Santa Clara University, began his collegiate playing career (a midfielder) at North Carolina State and was an Atlantic Coast Conference First Team selection in 1994. He later transferred to Santa Clara and received player of the year awards with the Broncos.
Players from local universities include Nicole “Barnie” Barnhart (goalkeeper), Rachel Buehler (defender), Tracy Hamm (defender), and Leslie “Ozzy” Osborne (midfielder). Ms. Barnhart and Ms. Buehler are 2008 Olympic gold medalist.
The Pride will play their home games beginning April 2009 at 10,300-seat Buck Shaw Stadium. The other teams in the league’s inaugural season are Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey, Chicago, Boston, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. With Dallas, Atlanta and Philadelphia scheduled to join the league in 2010.