Women's World Cup Year Could Help Boost Interest In NWSL
The "heightened focus and interest" around women's soccer this year due to the FIFA Women's World Cup taking place in June is something NWSL Managing Dir of Operations Amanda Duffy "hopes to capitalize on while she continues to lead the growth" of the league, according to Alicia DelGallo of PRO SOCCER USA. More than half of the league's games this season "will be on the backside of the World Cup, which concludes July 7, and the schedule will allow for more Saturday-night games." Duffy said, "As players that are coming out of NWSL will be playing in the Women's World Cup ... we feel like we're going to have a strong showing and there will be a lot of conversation and attention that will be put specifically on NWSL for that reason." Duffy added that she has seen "increased interest in the league from various potential partners" for '19. DelGallo noted the NWSL has a "plan for expansion, but anyone who expected new teams to join the league immediately will have to wait." Duffy said that the "timeline for expansion" is '20, and that the league is "focused on finding smart expansion markets with the infrastructure to support and lift the quality of the league." She also said that she "expects NWSL to continue working closely with MLS and USL." Duffy: "We see that there are MLS teams, MLS markets that would be a real benefit to our geographic footprint, and there are some USL markets that would be a great addition to our geographic footprint. ... Some markets where there's some crossover there that could make some sense" (PROSOCCERUSA.com, 1/9).
INCREASE TO ROSTERS, SALARY CAP: In Portland, Jamie Goldberg noted the NWSL has "increased its roster size and salary cap" for the '19 season. Rosters will "expand to a minimum of 20 players and a maximum of 22 players." The salary cap will be $421,500, as the "minimum player salary will rise to $16,538, while the maximum salary will rise to $46,200." The league is adding "four supplemental roster spots" for teams that will be comprised of players making the league minimum and "will not count against the salary cap" (OREGONLIVE.com, 1/10).