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  • Writer's pictureAmy Kate - The Red Way

There Are Only 2 Teams in Liverpool: Liverpool FC & Liverpool FC Women

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

There are 2 teams in Liverpool: Liverpool FC and Liverpool FC Women

As a female growing up in California football (or soccer as we called it) was a girls' sport and we were really good at it! The rest of the world, however, didn’t have the same enthusiasm. It wasn’t until 1991 that the first FIFA Women's World Cup was introduced to the world. I was a freshman in high school when I watched Michelle Akers score 2 goals and the United States Women’s Soccer Team lift the trophy after defeating Norway 2-1 in China at the Tianhe Stadium. Though I was a teenager and hadn’t really experienced life, at that moment I felt it was the best day ever.

Michelle Akers score 2 goals and the United States Women’s Soccer Team lift the trophy after defeating Norway 2-1 in China at the Tianhe Stadium.

I fell in love with this sport when I was 4. I remember being devastated that I couldn’t play with the other kids, most of whom were boys because I hadn’t yet turned five. At that point in time, there was nothing worse in life than sitting on the sidelines on a weekend morning watching your sibling kick the ball about and not being allowed to play.  So, like any other mature four-year-old I cried, and not so patiently waited, until I was five when my parents signed me up and that was the beginning of my love affair with football.

Amy Kate - AYSO -1981-82

Like the men, football is the most prominent team sport played globally but the popularity for the women’s side sadly isn’t equal. Women’s football has faced many struggles and hurtles through the years. It’s crazy to look back in history to find that in 1921 the English FA banned women’s football games from taking place on their grounds used by its clubs. This ban remained in effect for fifty years until the ban was lifted in July 1971.

When I researched the history of the women’s game a few years ago, I found it fascinating that there are records of that dating back to the 1790s when there was an annual match played by women in Scotland. But for me, I went into excitement overdrive when I learned that the first-ever match recorded by Scottish Football Association took place in 1892 in Glasgow the same year my beloved Liverpool was founded by John Houlding and joined the English Football League. Three years later, in 1895 the first match between women was recorded in England.

During the First World War, the women’s game grew popularity in England. On Boxing Day of 1917, there was a game played between Dick, Kerr's Ladies (later changed to Preston Ladies FC) and a team from Ireland. The women drew a crowd of 20,000 spectators that day. It wasn’t until the 1970's that professional women’s teams were formed. Italy was a pioneer for women’s sport. They were the first country to have employed female footballers professionally, though only on a part-time basis and the first to import foreign footballers from other Europeans countries.

Dick, Kerr's Ladies in 1921

It wasn’t until 1985 when the United States national soccer team was founded largely due to the passing of Title IX in 1972. This outlawed gender-based discrimination for federally-funded education programs throughout the United States, which in turn ignited the creation of college soccer teams. The Federation hired Dublin born, Mike Ryan as a coach. He selected 17 college players including Michelle Akers who played for Central Florida to field a team at the Mundialito tournament in Italy.

The United States has been at the forefront of women’s sport since the early 1990s. 34 years later the United States Women’s Soccer team has earned the title of being is the most successful women’s football team internationally with titles that include winning four Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals, and eight CONCACAF Gold Cups.

Due popularity of the Women's game in the United States after winning their second Women's World Cup in 1999 there were talks of creating a professional women's league. In February 2000, the Women's United Soccer Association was founded and later was referred to as WUSA. The league was comprised of 8 teams including my local team San Diego Spirit with its inaugural season in 2001. This was the same year I got my coaching license and began coaching for a San Diego based club that was coached by all women. I really enjoyed my time with the club and the girls. The highlight of being a part of the club was having the players from the San Diego Spirit come weekly and help with the training of the girls. I think I was just as star-struck as they were.

Campaign office in San Diego with Former US Womens National Soccer (1994-2006) and San Diego Spirit player (2001-2003)Shannon MacMillan working on the Soccer City SD Campaign (2018)

After only 3 seasons, the league suspended on September 15 due to $100 Million in losses only weeks before the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup. That was a devastating blow to the sport and to me personally as it felt like my dream had been crushed.

The United States Women’s Soccer Team reached the Semifinals in the FIFA Women's World Cup losing to Sweden. I was at the final in Carson, California when Germany beat Sweden and became the World Cup Champions for their first time.

I’m so proud to see how far women’s game has come. It’s popularly has grown immensely worldwide and there are many incredible world-class players breaking through on club level and internationally.

US Soccer volunteer - US Womens Soccer v Denmark, San Diego, California (January 2017) ONE Nation ONE Team

The United States might be the leader in Women’s Football but the competitive league has been developing over the last several years in countries such as England, France, Italy, Australia, and Japan to name a few.

Being a huge Liverpool fan for over 20 years and also a big supporter of the women’s game, its only natural to become interested in Ladies side. Their history isn’t as long but they have won a few trophies including two FA Women's Super League (2013, 2014), three FA Women's Premier League Northern Division (2003-, 2006-7, 2009-10), FA Club of the Year(2014).

Liverpool FC Women - 2019-20 Season

In October 2018, Vicky Jepson was appointed manager of Liverpool F.C. Women. She’s been with #LFC since 2009 and in 2014 she was nominated for the FA Female Development Coach of the Year, and won the award in 2015.

Charlottte, NC, LFC Preseason Tour (2018) with CEO of Liverpool Football Club, Peter Moore

Liverpool’s CEO, Peter Moore has been instrumental in improving the women’s culture over the last few years. He shared his vision with us back in February in Los Angeles when he came to speak to the fans which included things like arranging the women to play at Tranmere Rovers Grounds across the Mersey, creating a “family environment” for the women to live together in apartments on the waterfront and more importantly treating the Women’s and Men’s team as one.

Peter Moore tweeted, “Two teams, one club...#YNWA” showing his continued commitment to the both teams.

To paraphrase a famous quote that Bill Shankly once said, “There’s only two teams in #Liverpool, Liverpool and Liverpool reserves” but I’d like to think he’d agree with me saying, “There’s two teams in #Liverpool, Liverpool, and Liverpool Women.”

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