Team will not play next season, eyes return in 2012
Crystal Palace Baltimore announced Friday that it will not be fielding a team in the North American Soccer League during the 2011 season in order to restructure with an intended relaunch for the 2012 NASL season. The relaunch will include a complete rebranding of the club to coincide with opening a soccer facility in downtown Baltimore. In addition, the club announced that it is ending its four-year relationship with Crystal Palace FC of England's Championship Division. Crystal Palace Baltimore was the first trans-Atlantic partnership of its kind in North America, but the relationship between the clubs could not survive the financial struggles that resulted in Crystal Palace FC entering administration in England. The club is working with the city of Baltimore to secure a venue for 2012 and beyond. "We want to be downtown and believe doing so will allow us to better connect to our fans and the city," said Pete Medd, part-owner and president of Crystal Palace Baltimore. "We would like to thank our loyal fans who have stuck with us despite not having a place to call home, and we are committed to giving them what they deserve and what all of our future fans in Baltimore deserve — a venue that honors their loyalty and commitment to the club." The club looks forward to involving local soccer fans in the process of choosing a new identity and nickname. One thing that has been determined is the club's future colors: red, yellow and black, the historic colors of Baltimore and the state of Maryland.
Terps' Spencer receives NSCAA All-America honor
Maryland junior forward Jasmyne Spencer became the first Terps women's soccer player to earn National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-America honors since 1996 when she was selected to the fourth team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. "This is more good news for Jasmyne, and for our program," Maryland coach Brian Pensky said. "Jasmyne's standard is to always be alongside the best, and certainly this honor is an indication of that. It's also just one more instance of Maryland soccer now firmly being on the map, so to speak." Spencer, a Bay Shore, N.Y., native, was selected to the All-Southeast Region first team for the second consecutive year earlier this week. Last month she was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com's Team of the Season third team. Earlier this season, Spencer became the first Terps field player to be named to the All-ACC first team in back-to-back seasons since Erin Taylor was selected in 1995 and 1996. Spencer finished second for the Terps with 25 points on 10 goals and five assists. Spencer helped guide the team to an 18-2-3 record, a final regular-season national ranking of No. 3, according to Soccer America, and the program's first-ever No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Spencer joins Kelly Amonte (1993, second team) and Taylor (1996, first team) as the only players in the program's history to earn NSCAA All-America honors.
More women's college soccer: Penn State sophomore midfielder Christine Nairn (Archbishop Spalding) was named to the NSCAA All-America second team.
Three girls, three boys named NSCAA All-Americans
Three area players were named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Girls High School All-America Team. Forward Margaret Purce (Good Counsel) was one of two sophomores to receive the honor, while senior midfielder Alex Doll (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) and junior midfielders Ashley Spivey (McDonogh) were also named. The players will be honored at the annual All-America Luncheon, to be held at the Hilton Baltimore Hotel on Jan. 15 as part of the 2011 NSCAA Convention.
NSCAA Boys team: Three area players were named to the NSCAA Boys High School All-America Team. Junior goalkeeper Andrew Harris (Gilman), junior midfielder Jalen Robinson (Mount St. Joseph) and junior forward Mike Gamble (McDonogh) received the honor. They also will be honored at the Jan. 15 luncheon.
Frederick Stars win group at Mid-Atlantic Showcase
The Frederick Stars, coached by Bill Sardella, captured the championship for the 2011 age bracket at the fifth annual Mid-Atlantic Showcase girls lacrosse tournament. Sardella was pleased with the caliber of competition and the number of college coaches that traveled to Owings Mills for the two-day event. "It was an excellent tournament in every respect. Tremendous facilities at McDonogh High, diverse and challenging competition, top-notch officiating and a ton of college coaches," Sardella said. "We really enjoy everything about this tournament and will definitely be back again next year." A total of 158 teams competed in six divisions, and 217 coaches representing 139 colleges showed up. This year's event also saw a dramatic upturn in participation as the addition of a second venue — New Town High School — enabled organizers to remove numerous teams from the waiting list.
Washington Mystics: The team announced that assistant coach Marianne Stanley will return to the bench for the 2011 season. Stanley coached the Mystics in 2002 and 2003, winning WNBA Coach of the Year honors in 2002 and leading the team to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Washington Capitals: The team will host its 11th annual toy drive next Saturday when the Colorado Avalanche visit Verizon Center. Fans are encouraged to take a new, unwrapped toy to the F Street entrance of the arena, where players' wives will be assisting Marines to collect donated toys starting at 5:30 p.m. The first 2,000 fans arriving with a toy will receive a free poster featuring Capitals forward Brooks Laich.
—From Sun staff and news services