‘Enduring Spirit’ and the NWSL preseason

I’m planning to get my first peek at the 2014 Washington Spirit on Saturday, and I have no idea what to expect.

A few bits of news about Spirit-affiliated people have trickled through:

- Hayley Siegel, the Reserves’ voice of experience last season, tore her ACL last fall and won’t be back this season.

- Marisa Abegg, as you’ve probably heard, officially retired to focus on her medical career.

- Colleen Williams, whose season ended with a nasty knee injury last summer, is back on the field.

- Heather Cooke, who was in preseason camp with the Spirit but wound up spending the summer with the Philippines national team and MTV, is in camp with Chicago.

But news isn’t traveling fast. I heard today that a Spirit mainstay from last season, Julia Roberts, was waived and is already in camp elsewhere. (Yes, that explains why she says “new city” in this tweet with her colorful injury:)

I’ve got several emails out in an attempt to confirm this through official channels. Why player transactions are treated with such secrecy is something I’ll never understand.

(Clumsy segue to book plug here …)

The secrecy makes me that much more appreciative that the Spirit let me follow the team around last season for Enduring Spirit. I didn’t have unfettered access by any stretch of the imagination — I went to only one team meeting, and I have no idea what the Spirit’s locker room looks like — but I went to many practices and a couple of road trips.

A couple of months ago, I listed things you’ll learn from reading the book (mostly from the first two chapters). I also did some questions and answers, including my definitive take on the funniest person in the Spirit organization. If you want to try before you buy, check out these two excerpts on an early-season practice and a team-building exercise after Mark Parsons took over as coach.

The book is available in several formats: print (through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and possibly other retailers), Kindle, Nook, Apple and whatever you use to read books from Kobo. You’ve still got roughly a month before the regular season, and I can assure you it won’t take that long to read it. Enjoy.

One more note today relating to the book — one of the inspirations for Enduring Spirit was the Joe McGinniss book The Miracle of Castel di Sangro. The Spirit’s story was less controversial than that of Castel di Sangro, where the mafia lurked in the background, but I often found myself thinking back to his approach as I went about reporting and writing. I’m sorry to hear McGinniss passed away yesterday, and I wish all the best to his family and his many fans.

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2 Responses to ‘Enduring Spirit’ and the NWSL preseason

  1. john says:

    Went to Spirit practice this am. Wiliams was held out of the scrimmage portion. Angelli participated fully. Chapman on sidelines. There were approximately 25 players present and I believe Menchel was not among them.

  2. Beau Dure says:

    Angeli and Chapman’s health could be a major swing factor for this team. They were both fantastic in WPS.

    Jasmyne Spencer is apparently elsewhere: https://twitter.com/Jas_it_Up/status/443499739917467649

    Pretty soon, the number of returnees from last season could be down to single digits.

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