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SBD/August 10, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
New Women's Professional Soccer League Announces Plans For '13 Start
Published August 10, 2012
TOUGH ROW TO HOE: In S.F., Bruce Jenkins writes there is “every reason to believe that pro leagues are forever doomed in America.” The nation “fell in love with Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and the rest of the 1999 World Cup winners, launching the impetus for the Women's United Soccer Association in 2001, but that league folded after three seasons.” As recently as “last summer, there were high hopes for Women's Professional Soccer,” but the WPS folded in May. There is “no way any league could replicate the priceless atmosphere of the Olympics or World Cup.” When the “very best players are representing their country, it stirs a passion that spreads beyond the hard-core soccer community into the homes of people barely familiar with the sport.” It is “a given, no questions asked, that a U.S. pro league would be a scaled-down version with, more often than not, only a few thousand fans in the seats.” Jenkins: “That doesn't mean it's a waste of time. On the contrary, there must be an American pro league, just to lengthen the careers of established stars, create opportunities for the next generation and keep that partisanship aflame for kids around the country” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/10).