New professional women's soccer league to launch in US
Thursday, 22 November 2012
November 22 - After two previous failed attempts, another professional women's soccer league will be launched in the United States next spring.
The currently unnamed eight-team league will comprise teams in Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, New Jersey, Portland, Seattle, western New York and Washington.
Unlike the men's game, women's football has been a trailblazer in the United States – especially when it comes to the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games.
Yet it still can't find a way of sustaining a viable business model and competing with established sports in a packed calendar.
The Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) folded in 2003 after three seasons, failing to capitalise on the massive success of the 1999 World Cup on home soil.
This year, also after three seasons, Women's Professional Soccer couldn't sustain itself and collapsed with heavy losses.
According to the latest reports, all eight teams in the new league will still be privately owned, but the national federation will pay for the salaries of all national team players on each roster.
Canada and Mexico will do likewise for their players in the league.
"We are subsidising the private sector here to try to make it sustainable, to try to make the investments necessary by the private sector smaller," US Soccer President Sunil Gulati said.
To try to save money, Gulati said the teams might sign fewer overseas stars.
Plus they will play in smaller stadiums with lower operating costs, while some players could be semi-pro.
"What we need is a sustainable model: less hype, better performance," Gulati said.
"The hype will come if we have the performance."