Palm Beaches Serving as Training Ground for NWSL Action
17 Mar, 2021
The Washington Spirit announced that the club is training at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach now through March 21.
“We are thrilled to be training in the Palm Beaches in partnership with Palm Beach Atlantic University and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission,” said Spirit owner Michele Kang. “Our players will benefit greatly from a world class outdoor facility in perfect weather for training as many other sports teams have enjoyed for years. We are committed to provide a high-quality preseason preparation environment for our players who are some of the best in the world including World Cup Champion and Olympic Gold Medalists Kelley O’Hara, World Cup Champion Emily Sonnett, the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Year Aubrey Bledsoe and the 2nd pick of the 2021 NWSL Draft Trinity Rodman.”
Kang, who is a Palm Beach resident, was officially announced as part of the Spirit ownership group last year. She leads a list of new Spirit investors with strong ties to Palm Beach including Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Veronica Atkins, Suzanne Niedland, and Mary Mochary. Together with the new investor group, the club is transforming the Washington Spirit to become the most valuable women’s sports brand and club in the world as measured by player experience, fan experience, partnerships, and community service.
“Palm Beach Atlantic University is excited to have the Washington Spirit Women’s Soccer Team call our beautiful Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Athletic Campus their spring training home,” said Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, Palm Beach Atlantic University President. “Spirit owner Michele Kang is the recipient of the university’s American Free Enterprise Day Medal, and we’ve learned that new Spirit Family investors include another great friend of PBA: Ambassador McElveen-Hunter. We’re honored to host the Washington Spirit team and even have them scrimmage with our Sailfish soccer players.”
While in West Palm Beach, the Spirit will play three closed scrimmages against the Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish, the IMG Academy Team and the Orlando Pride of the NWSL.
“The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is thrilled to host the Washington Spirit training camp in The Palm Beaches,” said Sports Commission Executive Director George Linley. “This opportunity introduces us to the National Women’s Soccer League, which represents the sport’s highest professional level in the United States. Palm Beach County has a rich soccer heritage and has hosted marquee soccer events, such as FIFA Soccer Friendlies, Olympic Soccer Training Camps, SheBelieves Cup, and NCAA Women’s College Cup. Being selected as the spring training site for the Washington Spirit significantly enriches the soccer legacy that exists in The Palm Beaches.”
The club’s Medical Task Force will work in coordination with the NWSL’s Medical Task Force in coordination with West Palm Beach public health officials to ensure that the players and staff train and return to competition safely. The NWSL’s full protocols can be found here.
The NWSL season will kick off with the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup in home markets beginning on April 9. Following the Challenge Cup, the Spirit will play in a 24-game regular season beginning May 15.