NWSL exec Cheryl Bailey talks opening weekend, expansion
The National Women’s Soccer League celebrated its inaugural matches over the weekend as the new league kicked off in promising fashion at four locations across the United States.
While it’s only the first step on the long, difficult road to survival, sustainability and success, the first round of the 2013 season gave the young league and its fans something to hang their hopes on.
That was a point emphasized by NWSL executive director Cheryl Bailey as she spoke to Equalizer Soccer’s Meg Linehan after Sunday’s 1-1 draw between the Boston Breakers and Washington Spirit at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass.
“What’s been great about the two games I’ve been to — just the enthusiasm, the crowds,” said Bailey, who also attended Saturday’s match between Portland Thorns FC and FC Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan. “Both that game and this game were sellouts, which speaks volumes.
“First is to get the benchmark — where are we? …That’s really what these first couple of weeks are going to be.”
Bailey also responded — albeit cautiously — to rumors that Canadian cities are interested in becoming future expansion sites for the fledgling league.