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AfXI’s NWSL offseason survival guide

Whether you need distractions or ways to get a fix— we’ve got you covered

2019 NWSL Championship

The NWSL offseason just started but it’s already been: A Ride.

In the first two weeks we’ve had the announcement of new financial rules, some player movement via the re-entry wire, and the apparent departure of the league MVP. A lot’s happened already, and there’s no doubt that more changes are on the horizon.

But it’s going to be a long offseason. There will be stretches of time where nothing happens. April seems quite far off indeed. We can survive the long winter, but we’ll have to stick together.

To that end, here are some tips and suggestions for surviving the NWSL offseason.

Stay On Top Of Breaking News

While there is something to be said for disengaging entirely for a couple months, the fact of the matter is that if you’re reading this, you’re probably a huge fan of NWSL. The prospect of finding something else to do with your life may seem quite daunting.

Thankfully, as we’ve seen in the two weeks since the Championship Final, the league doesn’t slow down much in the offseason. Between expansion, trades, players moving abroad, the college draft, sponsorship announcements, and so much more, NWSL fans will have plenty to keep themselves busy over the next four or five months. Players will start reporting for preseason training before you know it. In the interim, keep checking in on your favorite WoSo news outlets (ahem) and stay up to date on whatever happens in the offseason.

Follow The W-League

Of course, if you need the rush of matchday weekends and you don’t mind upending your sleep schedule a little, you’ll be able to catch some of your favorite NWSL players heading down under for the offseason.

W-League teams are already making roster announcements, and a handful of NWSL players are making the trip to Australia to keep their skills sharp. (Having a few months of bonus Southern Hemisphere Summer is no doubt a plus.) If you just desperately need a fix, the W-League may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Follow Liga MX Femenil

Mexico’s top women’s division is a lot of fun and will definitely help get your WoSo fix during the NWSL offseason.

The Apertura half of the season is racing toward its conclusion, with Monterrey and UANL looking like the teams to beat. This is a great time to jump in and see what Mexican WoSo is all about.

(And be sure to follow our friends at FMF State Of Mind for comprehensive coverage of the Liga MX Femenil season.)

Get Into Another Sport

There are so many to choose from! Women’s hockey! Figure skating! Curling! WNBA players go overseas in the winter, so maybe try the EuroLeague.

There’s also some men’s sports, if you’re into that sort of thing. I heard Julie Ertz’ husband does something like that.

Learn To Knit/Crochet

There’s another reason why the NWSL offseason is so rough— it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, which means it’s cold and dark

Between the lower temperatures and the emotional pain and alienation of your favorite teams not playing, you’ll need something to keep you occupied AND warm. Making a nice fuzzy scarf for yourself and/or your loved ones could go a long way toward surviving the offseason.

Or you can just get into flame wars on ravelry over yarn suppliers. That’s warming too.

Visit A Winter Farmers Market

Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find one within comfortable driving distance. But if there’s one near you, it could be just the thing you need to stave off despair.

Wander around the stalls and take in the sights and smells. Talk to vendors about sustainable food practices. Pet some good dogs. Buy some fresh winter vegetables and throw them into a pot at home for soup.

Simple comforts will mean all the difference.

Head Off In Search Of Ancient Artifacts

The NWSL offseason isn’t that long, but it’s long enough. Which means it’s a great time for tackling a big project you’ve had on your to-do list for a while.

No, I’m not talking about repainting your bedroom or taking up sculpture. I’m talking about tracking down the long lost Sceptre Of Magdala. This ancient and powerful talisman was thought to have been lost during the Crusades in the 12th century, but there are whispers that its resting place has been located in a series of caves just west of the Sea of Galilee. But even if the rumors are true— and that’s a BIG if— getting inside the caves and finding it is a dangerous and grueling task. It would take someone with a stout heart, quick wits, an encyclopedic knowledge of Byzantine history, and extraordinary courage to navigate the caves and find the Sceptre.

Perhaps that adventurer is you.

Embrace The Holiday Season

The offseason can mean spending time with friends and family we might not get to see much from April to October. For some, that makes the winter months a cursed time. But it can also be a chance to connect with humans outside of Stan Twitter. If family gatherings are a safe and affirming place for you, the upcoming winter holidays provide an opportunity to reset and recharge.

Get Into Fights On The Internet

Or maybe wholesome personal connections aren’t your thing. Perhaps your family and friends just aren’t as into WoSo as you are and the lack of shared experience is too great a barrier. Either way, someone on Twitter is undoubtedly having opinions about your favorite player or team. Wrong opinions.

Cry

Look, I won’t mince words here. The offseason is hard. It’s ok to feel things about it.

Do what you have to do to process these big and complicated feelings. Curl into a ball and cry. Bury your face into a pillow and scream. Pull up a YouTube video of Sam Kerr scoring a goal for the Red Stars and demand to know how she could just LEAVE like this. Obsessively check to see how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds are left until the 2020 season kicks off.

Your feelings are valid.