By Charles Boehm
More than three months after several ownership groups announced their intention to take part in a new professional women’s soccer league starting next spring, the U.S. Soccer Federation and its partners are finally set to announce further details about the still-unnamed league.
Multiple sources have confirmed to Soccer Wire that an email containing important information about the new enterprise has been sent out to members of the U.S. Women’s National Team pool this week.
The email explains the involvement of the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, Western New York Flash and Sky Blue FC (N.J.), all former members of the defunct Women’s Pro Soccer league, as well as four clubs in Kansas City, Portland, Ore., Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Despite a rapidly shrinking time window within which to prepare, a spring 2013 launch is still planned.
This octet of teams is the product of months of maneuvering and negotiations by their ownership groups, U.S. Soccer and other women’s soccer stakeholders. The latter group includes the national team players themselves, whose contracts are being structured to include both international and league duty – a unique arrangement which has apparently contributed to the delays in the new league’s rollout.
Other political issues and legal hurdles, such as those rumored to be swirling around regarding the United Soccer Leagues’ W-League and former WPS owner Dan Borislow, seem to have been resolved. It remains to be seen if and how USWNT players – who are expected be paid at least in part by the federation – will be allocated around the new league.
U.S. Soccer’s Board of Directors usually holds a fall meeting based on or around MLS Cup. This year that championship match will be played on Dec. 1 in the home stadium of the higher-seeded team, which this season will be either Seattle, Los Angeles or Washington, D.C.
An official announcement of further details about the new league is expected at or before that meeting, though it could be released as early as this week.