Coping With the Loss of Freedom
Like the players, Button said she enjoys her work but can't help but reminisce about the past few summers.
"You had gotten into a certain rhythm -- preseason is in March, April is our home opener," Button said. "As each of those milestones passed it was like missing a limb almost."
Button's job will end with the convention in late July, and her future plans are no more final than those of the WUSA. She'd like to go watch the Olympics in Greece, and she'd like to be involved with the league if it comes back. And if not?
"That's a good question," she said.
The uncertainty also follows the players. Silver Spring native Joanna Lohman, an all-American at Penn State last fall, was planning on joining the league this summer. Instead, she's in Los Angeles, planning to finish her course work next fall while waiting to see what league officials decide.
Stoecker would like to play again while still working as a consultant. Jacqui Little, who is 26, said she would definitely play at least one more season and then reassess her prospects. Skylar Little will be married in October and is thinking of buying a house in Southern California; she isn't sure whether she would return to a soccer career.
The players said they are looking forward to the upcoming reunions, but some share Skylar Little's indecision.
"Things change so quickly," said Beard, who now works out of Reico's Elkridge warehouse. "I played for three years, it was great, and I've kind of moved on to another chapter of my life -- the real world."
© 2004 The Washington Post Company