NWSL Preparing For New Era As USSF Role In League Changes
The NWSL is "preparing for what could be a pivotal year" in '20, as the U.S. Soccer Federation's "formal operating agreement with the league will end at the conclusion" of this year, according to Jamie Goldberg of the Portland OREGONIAN. Through that agreement, USSF has "essentially served as part of the league's front office," and has poured $18M into the NWSL since '13. USSF's support "isn't expected to completely go away after this season, but the federation's role in the NWSL will change." With the federation "expected to take on less of a role in the day-to-day operations of the NWSL, league office staff and club owners should have more autonomy in making decisions and dictating the direction of the league." But the change could also "require a bigger investment from the league office and club owners." The number of employees at the league office will also "need to grow as the NWSL gains more operational autonomy." NWSL President Amanda Duffy said that the league "currently has 10 to 15 full-time employees working between the league office and NWSL Media." USSF "can't step away from the NWSL entirely without putting the league at risk." The NWSL has "achieved moderate stability because of the tremendous financial investment and support" from USSF. While USSF is "still engaged in conversations with the NWSL on what role it will play moving forward, the federation is expected to continue to support the league financially and logistically in some form" (Portland OREGONIAN, 9/4).