FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – In 2019, the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup. It had 12 former WPSL players on the squad, including Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.
“WPSL” stands for Women’s Premier Soccer League. And it is a league that has returned to the central valley after a two-year hiatus.
“The talent is as good as it’s ever been, if not better,” said Tim Carroll, the head coach of the Fresno Freeze.
The last time the team played, it was known as ‘Fresno FC Ladies.’
“In our history, we have never finished lower than third place in our conference,” said Carroll, who has a 33-6-5 record as the head coach of the Freeze since 2014. “We’ve only lost a handful of games in our existence.”
In 2019, Fresno won the PAC North Conference. To return to that level, right now the team is in the process of holding combines, trying to find top talent here in the valley.
“If you’re good enough, you’re old enough, and if you’re good enough, you’re young enough,” says Fresno Freeze Executive Director,Kevin Botterill. “We have players in their 30’s and we have some players still in their teens. And we encourage anyone of high school age and older to come and give it a shot. If they’re good enough, we’ll find them an opportunity to play.”
“We have so much talent here and I feel like it’s sometimes overlooked,” added Freeze forward/midfielder Megan Galvan, who also plays at Fresno City College. “I feel like this is a good opportunity for all of us in the valley to come together and show everybody else who we are and we got.”
“This is our community’s women’s team, and I think that the best thing is for us to put the best players we can on the pitch,” he said. “Then to get the community to support us and make sure that this team thrives going forward.”
Fresno Freeze FC will have a mix of new players and players who have been with the team since the beginning, in 2014.
“The atmosphere is amazing, especially when Fire Squad would come out,” said Alyssa Nishikawa, one of the veterans who played at Bullard High School and later at Fresno State. “I think it fired us up even more, and it would keep us honest. Because if we have a bad touch, we would hear fans say, ‘ooh’ and we needed that to keep us on our toes.”
“That’s how we keep soccer honest. By having fans out there supporting us, pushing us to be better, inspiring us to work hard.”
Fresno Freeze FC will open its season on the road on June 5th, with the home opener taking place on June 26th.