San Jose CyberRays

San Jose CyberRays was a professional soccer team that played in the Women's United Soccer Association. The team played at Spartan Stadium on the South Campus of San José State University in San Jose, California. Stars included U.S. National Team star Brandi Chastain, WUSA Goalkeeper of the Year LaKeysia Beene, and leading scorer Julie Murray. Other memorable CyberRays were Brazilians Sissi and Katia, Tisha Venturini (from the U.S. National Team), and "ironwoman" Thori Bryan, who played every minute of the first season. They were coached by Ian Sawyers, who received WUSA Coach of the Year honors in 2001.

San Jose CyberRays
SanJoseCyberRays 100.jpg
Full nameSan Jose CyberRays
Nickname(s)Bay Area CyberRays; CyberRays
Founded2001
StadiumSpartan Stadium
Capacity30,456
OwnerWUSA
LeagueWomen's United Soccer Association
20036th

HistoryEdit

EstablishmentEdit

The CyberRays were founded in 2000 as a member of the Women's United Soccer Association, the first professional women's soccer league in the United States. The league featured many of the stars from the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.[1][2] The team featured United States women's national team players and league founding players Brandi Chastain, Tisha Venturini and LaKeysia Beene.[3]

Year-by-yearEdit

Year League Regular Season Playoffs Avg. Attendance Total Attendance
2001 WUSA 2nd place 1st place 7,692 76,922
2002 WUSA 5th place did not qualify 7,167 78,836
2003 WUSA 6th place did not qualify 6,791 67,912

[4]

Inaugural seasonEdit

The team won the WUSA title (known as the Founders Cup) for the league's inaugural season in 2001. The CyberRays triumphed over the Atlanta Beat, in a 4–2 shootout after double overtime of a 3–3 game. It was the only year in the country's history that both a women's and men's professional soccer team won championship titles in the same city.[5]

2002Edit

In 2002 the team changed its name from the Bay Area CyberRays to the San Jose CyberRays, and also gave their roster a facelift, allowing Murray to retire and trading for Pretinha from the Washington Freedom, who along with Katia and Sissi, gave the new attack a decidedly Brazilian flavor. The bold changes didn't have the desired effect, however, and the team finished out of the playoffs. One bright spot was the emergence of Katia, who scored 15 goals and broke Tiffeny Milbrett's record for most points in a season.

2003Edit

The CyberRays had high hopes for 2003, but an anemic offense (worst in the league in goals scored) hurt the team all year. The team remained in contention until the end of the season, but finished out of the playoffs for a second straight year.

But even bigger problems were brewing in the background, as the WUSA continued to struggle financially. The CyberRays folded on September 15, 2003, when the league announced it was suspending operations.

[6][7]

PlayersEdit

2003 rosterEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Squad correct as of August 15, 2003.[8]

No. Pos. Player Nation
14 DF Dianne Alagich   Australia
16 MF Katie Antongiovanni   United States
11 MF Katie Barnes   United States
13 MF Betsy Barr   United States
1 GK LaKeysia Beene   United States
4 FW Christina Bell   United States
2 DF Thori Bryan   United States
6 DF Brandi Chastain   United States
22 FW Mandy Clemens   United States
3 MF Ann Cook   United States
17 DF Amanda Cromwell   United States
12 DF Michelle French   United States
20 GK Dawn Greathouse   United States
9 FW Katia   Brazil
5 DF Kelly Lindsey   United States
18 FW Kim Patrick   United States
7 FW Pretinha   Brazil
8 DF Keri Sanchez   United States
10 MF Sissi   Brazil
15 MF Tisha Venturini   United States

StadiumEdit

The CyberRays played at Spartan Stadium on the South Campus of San Jose State University in San Jose, California.[9] The stadium was used for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup and was also the home of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer from 1996 to 2005. At the time, the stadium featured a grass pitch and up to 30,456 capacity.[10]

BroadcastingEdit

In 2002, games were broadcast on television via PAX TV.[11] California Bears assistant coach Jennifer Thomas provided color commentary while KCBS Radio sports announcer Hal Ramey was the play-by-play announcer.[12] A number of league games were broadcast on Turner Sports and CNN/Sports Illustrated.[13]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "After long wait, WUSA finally here; Kickoff: Women's soccer league set for debut in United States". Telegraph – Herald (Dubuque)  – via HighBeam (subscription required). Associated Press. April 14, 2001. Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Alexander, Rachel (April 14, 2001). "A Step Toward an Even Playing Field; Long-Sought Dream Finally Becomes a Reality When the WUSA Kicks Off Today". The Washington Post (subscription required). Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Nordin, Kendra (April 13, 2001). "Women stars have league of their own". The Christian Science Monitor (subscription required). Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Attendance Project: WUSA". Attendance Project. Retrieved October 29, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Kassouf, Jeff (October 19, 2011). "Classics: Bay Area CyberRays top Atlanta Beat in first-ever Founders Cup". Equalizer Soccer. Retrieved October 29, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 6, 2008. Retrieved September 3, 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "NWSL Seattle Reign FC". Women's United Soccer Association. Archived from the original on August 15, 2003. Retrieved October 29, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "CyberRays To Play Next Year at Spartan Stadium; Name Change?". Sports Business Daily. September 6, 2001. Retrieved October 29, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Spartan Stadium". San Jose State University. Retrieved October 29, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ McTaggart, Brian (April 10, 2002). "Notebook: CyberRays to defend inaugural WUSA title". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 29, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Thomas Named As Color Commentator for CyberRays". University of California Berkeley. March 29, 2002. Retrieved October 29, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Tedesco, Richard (April 16, 2000). "WUSA scores Turner pact". Broadcasting Cable. Retrieved October 29, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit