By Scott French
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The Gulf Coast Texans can't imagine a better opportunity to cap a perfect season: They're at home, with their community behind them; at full strength, unlike the other contenders; and full of confidence after taking down all nine opponents leading to this weekend's Women's Premier Soccer League championship.
The Texans, who will serve as host of the WPSL final four, are so close to a trophy they can taste it -- but they fully realize it's not going to be simple. They face another unbeaten side, Salt Lake United, in the second game of Saturday's semifinal doubleheader at Ashton Brosnaham Stadium, and if they can conquer that challenge, one of two longstanding powerhouses -- Aztec MA or Oklahoma FC -- will await in Sunday's final.
“It might be a once-in-10-years opportunity to be the host of of something liken this, a national women's league's final four,” said David Kemp, head coach of the Texans and director of coaching for the Pensacola youth club with which the team is affiliated. “It's great for the community to come out and see some of the best players in the country. We want to do a great job for the league and show respect for the other teams. Hopefully, we'll be the best host they've had for a tournament like this.”
The Texans (9-0-0) might be the team to beat in a tightly matched quartet. They've got an explosive attack, led by Jamaicans Shakira Duncan and Tina Murray, play solid defense and have solved every puzzle facing them in their second WPSL campaign.
Gulf Coast and Salt Lake United (8-0-2) meet at 6:30 p.m. CT, right after Aztec MA (9-1-1) and Oklahoma FC (11-1-2) tangle in the 4 p.m. opener. The winner meet Sunday at 1 p.m. All games will be streamed live at http://sinclairsportsnetwork.com/2012%20WPSL%20Championships.htm.
“To have our fans out there is going to give us a boost