Louisville Announced As Ninth NWSL City; More Could Follow
Louisville's NWSL expansion club was "formally confirmed" yesterday, and when the team begins play in '21, the league will "likely have doubled in size" since its six-team inception in '13, according to a front-page piece by Tim Sullivan of the Louisville COURIER JOURNAL. Louisville's team, which is "not yet named," will be the league's 10th, and "at least two more additions are anticipated" by '21. The U.S. Soccer Federation "pays the salaries" of the USWNT members who compete in the NWSL, a cost that "ranges between $67,500 and $72,500 per player." In July, the federation estimated that "including management and marketing services," it has invested approximately $18M in the league. NWSL President Amanda Duffy, who was formerly President of USL club Louisville City FC, declined to address USSF's financial contributions to the league." She said, "There's an ongoing discussion ... about how our relationship will evolve." Louisville City Chair John Neace, who also chairs the NWSL ownership group, said that he has not received any "specific assurances concerning U.S. Soccer's ongoing commitment in the NWSL." For Neace and his partners, the NWSL investment is a "risk largely mitigated by the additional playing dates the team will provide in sharing Lynn Family Stadium" with Louisville City (Louisville COURIER JOURNAL, 10/23).
MORE TO COME? In Louisville, Robert Rimpson writes though the "success of its new pro team is not guaranteed," if Louisville can win an NWSL title, it "could become an extremely attractive site for another professional league" (Louisville COURIER JOURNAL, 10/23). SI.com's Avi Creditor noted NWSL currently "stands at nine clubs, but more expansion is in the offing." Sacramento is "in advanced talks to feature a women's team as well, starting next year." Atlanta also has been "touted as a potential city for the NWSL" (SI.com, 10/22).