Sept. 5, 2008
TAMPA, Fla. – Florida State Volunteer Assistant Lydia Vandenbergh headed south this week as she was one of 128 players invited to compete in the W-League Combine, September 4-7 down in Tampa, Fla. General managers and coaches from the Women’s Professional Soccer League, which begins play in April 2009, will also be on hand scouting players to join one of seven teams in its inaugural season.
The Women’s Professional Soccer League is the highest level of women’s professional soccer in North America. Formed in September 2007 as the result of the efforts of the Women’s Soccer Initiative, Inc., WPS consists of seven teams across the country.
The markets for the 2009 season are Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. WPS will expand to Atlanta, Dallas and Philadelphia in 2010 and will continue to explore additional potential franchises for 2010 and beyond.
Vandenbergh played nine seasons in the W-League with the Asheville Splash (2000-04) and the Charlotte Eagles (2005-08). She was a member of the Eagles’ squad that advanced to the league semifinals in 2006. This past year, Vandenbergh was named to the W-League Team of the Week during the tenth week of the season.
She also played on the professional circuit in Brazil for two seasons. In 2006, Vandenbergh was a member of Santos Futebol Clube in Santos, Sao Paulo, while playing a year for Cotia Futsal Clube in 2007.
A graduate of Clemson University, Vandenbergh was a three-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll. She participated in the NCAA Tournament in each of her four seasons with the Tigers leading Clemson to three straight years of finishing in the top 25. Vandenbergh appeared in 80 games over her career making 65 starts. She ended her college career starting 60 consecutive matches for the Tigers, a streak dating back to the beginning of her sophomore campaign in 2003. Vandenbergh finished her Tiger career with 24 points on five goals and 14 assists.
Vandenbergh, a native of Pisgah Forest, N.C., is in her first season as a volunteer assistant at Florida State.