By JOSE M. ROMERO
U.S. Soccer, with additional funding from the Canadian Soccer Association and FMF, Mexico’s soccer federation, announced the formation of a new women’s professional soccer league Wednesday that will begin play in March of 2013.
The league will have franchises in eight American cities, with U.S. Soccer serving as the front office for the as-yet nameless league. Those franchises, some being reincarnates of the former WPS, will be housed in Seattle, Portland, Boston, Western New York, New Jersey, Kansas City, Chicago and Washington D.C.
U.S. Soccer will fund salaries/participation for 24 players, CSA up to 16 and FMF at least 12. The new league will be run on a smaller scale with the idea being sustainability.
It stands to reason that U.S. national team players will be part of the new league, as well as those from Canada and Mexico. This is the third major attempt at a pro soccer league for women in the U.S., after WPS folded earlier this year and WUSA folded after three years in 2003.
In Seattle, two women’s soccer teams are set to co-exist with the new league and the Sounders Women, which plays in the United Soccer Leagues W-League.
Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson issued a statement on the new pro league and team in his town.
“The Timbers are, and always will be, steadfastly committed to growing the sport of soccer in our region at all levels, and championing a new women’s league and operating a team here in Soccer City, USA, will be an important part of that growth.
“Building on today’s news, soccer fans can look forward to many exciting announcements in the coming weeks and months leading up to the club’s inaugural season, including team name, logo and uniforms; schedule and ticket information; and a host of prominent roster announcements.”
What are your thought on the new women’s league? Will it make it this time? Does running it with national federations make sense and allow for sustainability? Share your thoughts below.