Guest Feature by Charlie Naimo:
The Red Stars and Pali Blues Juggle

Naimo and Resolution Sports President John Archibald celebrate a second consecutive W-League title in 2009.





From Resolution Sports President John Archibald:
Little known fact, but a phone call with Charlie Naimo over three years ago was one of the first steps in what would eventually lead to the creation of Resolution Sports. I had begun working with a new friend by the name of Jim Gooley with a professional indoor soccer franchise called the New Jersey Ironmen, and Jim had lined me up to speak with Charlie about the Pali Blues Soccer Club, a new organization in the USL W-League which he had been hired to coach. Fast forward three years, Charlie and the Pali Blues have placed a pair of Gold Medals on my wall and have never lost a game. Meanwhile, Charlie has also been one of the most impactful figures in Women's Professional Soccer, first leading the Los Angeles Sol to the league championship game as its General Manager in 2009 and now as the Technical Director of the Chicago Red Stars. In light of his chaotic schedule, I asked Charlie if he would add yet another item to his weekly agenda and step in a guest writer for Resolution Sports. Much like any challenge he ever gets asked to face, he quickly took it on without question.

In his first post with us, Charlie talks about managing all of his responsibilities, and he gives us a little glimpse behind the scenes of it all.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - Early A.M.
It is great to be back in WPS. Over the first 10 days on the new job, the phone may as well have been attached to my ear. With St. Louis closing shop, there were some opportunities to make our team better immediately, and we did. We added one of the most dynamic players in the U.S. in Nikki Washington. Nikki is getting closer and closer to getting her first game and will be a huge impact by the time the playoffs arrive... And we WILL be in the playoffs. We also added a very versatile player in Anita Asante. Many people don't know that Anita was a MF before she was asked to play at the back and did a great job. Her first minutes as a Red Star this past weekend were in the MF. Last, we were very fortunate to add Elise Webber as a DP, and she did a great job coming off the bench in her first game when Nat Spilger was injured in her collision with Mami Yamaguchi. On top of the great player additions, we also added an awesome Manager (coach). Ironically, Omid Namazi is why I am even in Cali and became part of the Sol - long story. Since the Sol was no longer around and I was available, Marcia McDermott figured out a great role for me, and as fate would have it, the first thing we had to do was find that perfect fit to lead the team... Sure enough, Omid was that guy. I am very confident in the changes we have made to this point. We are undefeated in the first 3 games, and in all honestly, could have a full 9 points. This includes a great come from behind draw AT second place Washington and a win over first place Bay Area. We are letting things settle a bit now, but the hands will always be on the pulse of what is happening.

Pali is going well, but it has been a tough stretch. The honeymoon phase is over, and now the challenges of a season have set in. After playing great soccer in the first 2 games, we struggled on our first road swing. We had to come from behind to beat CO Force and needed a 91st minute goal to tie CO Rush. Tonight, we played the U23 NT with a split squad, and the projected starting team was flatter than Columbus thought the earth was. The bright spot was our younger players that played in the second 45, they were fearless. After the game, the staff rewarded 3 of those players by bumping them onto the full roster and added them to our next trip. It is sad, but unfortunately some players lost their jobs tonight. There is one thing in our life that we are in control of everyday, and that is our effort- players that do not maximize in this category and learn to suck it up have no place in the team. Even on a bad day, you control your effort. If you can't tell, I am extremely disappointed we had to spend 2 hours reorganizing our team because of lack of effort, but I am happy for the players that played themselves in. Good for them.

We are excited to see the best of tonight link up on Thursday and hopefully put together our best performance of the season. On Saturday, we welcome Mariah, Lauren and Alex into the group. They will have an immediate impact on things.

Today was a tiring day- as a coach, one I would like to quickly forget, but that won't happen because there is obviously bad news to deliver to the players we dropped and other that have played themselves onto the fence. Drama may be on its way, but I think we have a great captain and a staff that is willing to have open discussion with players. As long as players take responsibility, like the staff tries to, we will get through it. I am tired and must get to bed.



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