Squinting under a warm sun . . . becoming acquainted with new teammates . . . catching up with old friends . . . straining dormant muscles. Yep, this is spring training alright. But it ain’t for the national pastime.
Like everything else they’ve been doing of late, when the women of the WUSA gathered in San Diego for training camp last month, they were carving out new territory. That’s just the way it is when you’re preparing to launch a historic new league. And while there’s plenty that’s inspiring—not to mention warm and fuzzy—about every step taken toward the league’s kickoff, there’s much that’s mundane as well. Running endless repetitive drills, doubling up in strange motel rooms, going through round upon round of publicity and promotions—that’s what made up the bulk of this camp, or any other, for that matter. But even that stuff was infused with electricity; the women of the WUSA are a dynamic bunch, and they brought a certain energy to everything they did. Just witness these scenes of the New York Power in action.
Photographs by Virginia Lee Hunter
Top left: defender Kristy Whelchel stretches her hammy; top right: Tammy Pearman and Jen O’Sullivan cool off; middle: fullbacks Nel Fettig, Christie Pearce, and Sara Whalen huddle up during an exhibition match; bottom left: striker Tiffeny Milbrett signs autographs after a preseason game; bottom right: defender Ronnie Fair tries on new shoes sent to her by Nike, her sponsor.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 17, 2001