SBD/December 17, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Members Wary About Launch Of New Pro League

Two previous American-based women’s soccer leagues “have failed over the past decade, so there is understandable wariness on the highly popular” U. S. women’s national team about the concept of launching another pro league, according to Mike Berardino of the N.Y. TIMES. USWNT MF Megan Rapinoe said, “There’s a lot we don’t know so far, so it’s hard to say what we expect out of it. I think having a league and having an opportunity to play consistently, if it’s sustainable and it’s something that’s good for not only this team but the next 100 players, would be good. We need to know a lot more.” When asked what “has to happen this time to make the concept work,” F Abby Wambach said, “I don’t know that answer. I guess we’ll have to wait and find out. I have no idea.” Even with U.S. Soccer Federation “taking the administrative lead in the new league and vowing to subsidize the salaries of up to 24 players from the national team, Wambach remains circumspect.” Wambach: “Honestly, it’s happened two times. It’s risen and fallen two times. Those two times I was wrong.” Still, Berardino notes “whatever the fate of the new league, the popularity of the current American team clearly remains strong” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/17). Wambach said that most national-team players are “committed to the league,” but G Hope Solo, known “for independence, isn’t one.” Solo said, “I personally haven’t made up my mind if I’m going to play in the league or not. It’s to be determined how professional the league really is. I hope it stays because the next time we come out with a league, it better not collapse again. It better be here to stay” (PALM BEACH POST, 12/15).

THE NAME GAME: The new women's professional soccer league to be backed by the USSF on Saturday announced it will be called the National Women's Soccer League. The NWSL also unveiled its new logo, which is red, white and blue and "includes the silhouette of a female soccer player about to strike the ball." The new league begins play in '13 (AP, 12/15). The league consists of eight teams: Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Sky Blue FC, Washington Spirit, Western New York Flash and Seattle, which "has yet to announce a name" (GOAL.com, 12/15).
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