‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the league,
Not a player was stirring, no HAO was #freed.
Draft picks had been traded, with thought and with care,
Each sweetened the deal on who was going where.
The head coaches were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of trophies danced in their heads.
They thought about game plans and on which players they’d bid,
Parsons dreamt of Portland and putting defenders in mid.
A new team was formed, they called it ‘The Pride’,
Harris and Kyle both signed up for the ride.
Morgan signed too, there was money to be made,
Swapped for Horan in a “Blockbuster Trade!”
The World Cup was held and by Canada was hosted,
Selections were made and rosters were posted.
From England and Sweden to Brazil and Japan,
Players left clubs with a dream and a plan.
With key players gone, the teams felt the sting,
But they shuffled their squads and each did their thing.
Betos scored a goal, knocked in with her head,
Dunn knuckled down and in scoring, she led.
ESPN and Fox showed the odd match,
Everything else, on YouTube you’d catch.
The sound it was awful and the picture much worse,
Fans begged their clubs for an end to the curse.
The Gals they came home and they basked in the glory,
With parades and parties and the odd cover story.
As they returned to the pitch, we saw on their feet,
Each sock covered perfectly with a yellow Nike cleat.
With Krieger & Co. each back in their spot,
Attendance at club games increased by a lot.
New fans watched nervously in fear of defeat,
Tuning in to watch players they’d never seen beat.
Some legends retired and some, they were born,
Mia’s goal record was matched by a Thorn.
Masar signed to Sweden, what about McLeod?
Angerer became a coach, is that even allowed?
Sunil Gulati appeared from below, with a black suit on and an ethereal glow;
“Here’s to the preseason, the sport and the shield,
And here’s to playing on a well kept grass field.”
“Here’s to a year of fair play and fierce passion,
And leggings under shorts in true goalkeeper fashion.”
“Here’s to equality! Well, within reason,
And here’s to the NWSL and another great season.”
“One little league and it’s ten little teams,
Of much better quality than their god awful streams.”
“Now, Spirit! Now, Breakers! Now, Thorns and The Flash!
On, Red Stars! On, Pride! On, Reign and The Dash!”
“Don’t worry, Kansas! I didn’t forget,
How you doing Sky Blue, got a coach yet?”
Gulati exclaimed as he flew out of sight -
“Happy Lauren Holidays to all, and to all a good night!”