Recently, the world marveled at the athleticism featured at the 2011 Women’s World Cup of Soccer. For soccer fans in the United States, hearts were broken when the USA Women’s Soccer Team was defeated in penalty kicks after extra time by the Japanese National Team. World Financial Group (WFG) Corporate Headquarters employee, Leony Earwood, avidly watched the Women’s World Cup — an avid fan of the sport, Leony has played the sport for past 30 years.
Leony, who works in securities registration, started playing in Virginia in a men’s league. There, she was instrumental in getting a women’s soccer league started as interest in the sport grew. “I would go to colleges and find anybody who wanted to play. When I left Virginia, the league expanded to twelve teams,” she says. The league includes more than 100 players, including one man who joined “because the league’s rules did not state ‘no men’”. With her team in Virginia, Leony played against other teams in Ireland, England, France and Germany.
Today, this athletic WFG employee can be found playing midfield and forward on two teams. Her local team, the Flames, plays in the surrounding area of Atlanta, Ga. Her tournament team, the Georgia Select, play in soccer tournaments against other U.S. teams as well as teams from around the world. At a tournament last year, Leony had the privilege to play against a women’s team from South Africa, and was even recruited to play in that country.
This July, Leony and the Georgia Select team played in the United States Adult Soccer Association Veteran’s Cup in Sanford, Florida, which featured 60 teams of both genders consisting of players aged 30-65. After three days of tournament play, Leony’s team advanced all the way to the finals, but, unfortunately, her team was not the tournament’s victor. “They scored three more goals than we did,” she tells WFG Sports.
Regardless, Leony is excited to continue playing soccer and sees a bright future for the sport. “Although the USA lost the Women’s World Cup, the team will be playing in the 2012 Summer Games in London. Also, I believe women’s soccer is going far and the teams are getting better.”
If you’re interested in joining an adult soccer league, you can visit the website of the United States Adult Soccer Association at www.usasa.com. To learn more about World Financial Group, visit www.worldfinancialgroup.com.