SBD/September 18, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

USSF President Gulati Meets With Potential Investors Regarding New Women's Pro League

Gulati says the new league may be 8-10 teams, could include Canada markets
U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati yesterday said that there is still a "chance" there will be a new women's soccer league in the U.S. "as soon as next spring," according to Andrew Das of the N.Y. TIMES. Gulati yesterday met at MLS HQs with "a group invested in becoming investor-operators in a new women’s league." The group included "a variety of parties representing U.S. Soccer, former WPS owners, the United Soccer Leagues, the Canadian Soccer Association and newcomers who were not part of previous failed leagues." Some MLS owners "have also been involved in the talks." Gulati said that the discussions "at this point are about a league of eight to 10 teams, 'with a team or teams in Canada.'" Das wrote the "preference is to begin play next year in a spring-summer-early fall league, though that could be optimistic." Gulati said that the USSF "would be more involved in creating the league than it had been in the past, but that a new financial formula -- pro? semi-pro? a hybrid? -- was the biggest stumbling block to moving forward." Das: "The inclusion of Canada’s national association in the discussions is intriguing since -- as the host of the 2015 Women’s World Cup -- it has much to gain from a high level league that would include teams on Canadian soil (NYTIMES.com, 9/17). In L.A., Nick Green writes, "The consistent level of fan support a professional women's league needs to survive just doesn't exist." Even with "all the financial backers in place," the soccer culture needed to support the women's game "isn't there" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/18).
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