THANK YOU.

THANK YOU to all the clubs who believed that women’s professional soccer could thrive in the United States. Without your dedication and support the NWSL would just be a figment of the imagination for soccer fans around the world.

THANK YOU to all the players who played their hearts out each and every day to make the inaugural season such an amazing experience for thousands and thousands of fans around the world.

THANK YOU to all the fans who supported their favorite clubs and players by filling the stands throughout the country and spending countless hours in front of their computer screens watching the live streams.

THANK YOU to our dedicated volunteer staff of editors, writers, photographers and researchers. When I opened the doors to NWSLNews.com in January I knew I had some long days and nights ahead … and that was four months before the season even started. Within a few days I got my first email from a women’s soccer fan who wanted to help write some articles. Then another. And another. By the time March came around our volunteer staff jumped from one to twenty-something and we were off and running … and now here we are today. Without your commitment, passion and belief in the NWSL News and league we probably wouldn’t be here.

THANK YOU to each and every one of you for supporting NWSLNews.com. Our goal was simple … do everything we possibly could to help the NWSL succeed both in the United States and overseas.

I remember when the website first opened up (January 6th) and how excited I was that someone actually visited the website (two people visited in the first day … and I’m guessing one of them was my mom).

The next day we received over 200 visitors largely due to Lianne Sanderson taking time away from preparing for her trip to India with the JoLi Academy and answering a few of our questions. (Our traffic jumped close to 1,200 visitors per day after Lianne graciously tweeted out the link to the interview)

Zakiya-Bywaters-DraftA few days later I received an email from the NWSL saying the first ever draft would be held in Indianapolis during the NSCAA Convention but wasn’t going to be open to the media. No worries. I still planned on retweeting and posting updates to the website from the league. But then the day before the draft I received another email saying the media was invited and wanting to know if I could attend. Without hesitation I said yes and we drove throughout the night and arrived in Indianapolis about 2:00am on draft day.

Once we found our way through the convention center and into the media room for the draft it really hit me. The NWSL News was not a dream. I was here surrounded by fellow WoSo fans and journalists who also wanted to make sure the NWSL succeeded. I took my seat at the table and it happened to be next to Jeff from EqualizerSoccer.com. Before I could really introduce myself the draft had started.

The next hour or so was a complete blur. Reading tweets. Sending tweets. Updating the website … and the whole time trying to take everything in.

By the end of the draft I think our Twitter account gained close to a thousand followers and the website traffic hit over 800 visitors. WOW!

Then there was January 23rd. What a crazy Wednesday.

One of our volunteer writers from overseas said he had a connection with a player who was heading back to the US to play in the league and wanted to know if I’d be interested in an interview with her. YES, OF COURSE!

The interview was posted to the website early in the morning and everything was calm … and then the WoSo community found the interview and almost a THOUSAND people hit our website simultaneously … and our website crashed! I scrambled like crazy to keep the website up and running but the WoSo community was just too strong and we crashed. I don’t remember how many hours the website was down, but what I do remember was all the encouraging tweets we received from fans across the world wanting to read the interview but understood what was happening. Once I got everything under control late that evening we still managed to top out at over 2,500 visitors.

(If you were wondering what interview caused the crash, it was Ali Krieger discussing why she was so excited to play professional soccer back in the United States.)


… and all that happened in just the first 30 days of NWSLNews.com.

Now here we are today … 253 days since we launched and we can’t say thank you enough to each and every one of you. It has been such an amazing journey and we have already begun counting down the days to the opening of the 2014 season.

As a small token of our appreciation, we have created a very special thank you gift.

Right before the NWSL Championship match we asked fans to send us their favorite photos from the season to be included in an end of the season project. After receiving hundreds and hundreds of submissions we created the following poster.

The poster measures 11 inches wide by 14 inches in height and is made up of 154 fan submitted photos.

UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 19TH: SnapFish is currently having a 50% off sale using the coupon code SEPTEMBER50. You can get a 11×14 print for $3.50 (plus shipping) after the coupon OR you can get it printed AND framed for only $25.00 (plus shipping).

If you don’t see your photo in the poster or didn’t get a chance to submit, don’t worry. Just email us the photo (contact[at]nwslnews.com) and we will send you a customized version featuring your photo.

NOTE: The file is pretty large as we created it to be print ready. We sent ours off to Shutterfly.com and they did a wonderful job.

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Thank you again for making the inaugural NWSL season such an amazing experience and success and look forward to covering the NWSL for seasons to come.