John Langel watched the U.S. women's hockey team's thrilling Olympic gold medal win over Canada from the same room in his home where he watched the U.S. women's soccer team win the 1999 World Cup final.

It might have been a coincidence. It also might have been a good luck charm.

The veteran Philadelphia-based attorney spent many years representing the U.S. women's soccer team, and last year represented the U.S. hockey team in its labor dispute against USA Hockey. Now Langel and those players have another win to savor.

"The hockey women's journey was similar to the soccer women's journey," said Mr. Langel. "And while the hockey women were going through it, the soccer women embraced them, supported them, guided them, talked to them."

"Like soccer, Americans love winners and champions. But similar to soccer, we had failed leagues and learned that for a successful league, you need national governing body support."

"You would hope that with the lessons learned through soccer, that you could learn similar lessons. You've got to just find out what the right model is. It took soccer three times, and 12 years, 13 years, post-'99."

"It comes at a time when there is a greater appreciation for women and girls, and a greater sensitivity to trying to do things," he said. "I think that these women, like the '99 women, are dynamic and intelligent and passionate." 

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John Langel

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