After talk in mid-July about the possibility of a new professional women’s soccer league starting up in 2013, there is some movement, although small, in the information being released about this league.
What has been released so far is that the Chicago Red Stars, Sky Blue FC, the Boston Breakers, and a yet to be named Seattle team are all part of this new league. Besides those named commitments, there is a claim that at least four other teams, not yet released, are in process of finalizing their participation in this league, which also has no name of its own.
“All these teams are committed to playing with and against each other starting in 2013 and to working out the final details to allow a sustainable professional league for women’s soccer in the U.S.,” said Michael Stoller, Boston Breakers’ Managing Partner.
Although the league is only talking about eight teams being ready for a 2013 season so far, there is still hope a few others will join.
“This is an inclusive, not an exclusive, effort,” according to Arnim Whisler, owner of the Chicago Red Stars. “If teams want to join and can meet the minimum standards then we welcome them. This league is for the players that want to play and be on the [United States Women's National Team] radar, the fans that continue to support us despite our false starts in the past, and the teams that are committed to elite women’s soccer.”
Once again, those involved in this effort to start up a new league have stressed they will be thoughtful about this league and expectations will be smaller and more realistic than the past attempts at creating a sustainable professional league for women’s soccer.
While there is still a trickle of information coming out, Bill Predmore, owner of the Seattle franchise, says, “After the lines of communication have been opened by the new league, further announcements could be fast and furious.” Predmore promised that, “Everyone wants to move aggressively on this. We know time is of the essence.”
However, Predmore cautions,” We’re going to take our time with it and make sure we get it right.”
I second that. Let’s hope third time is the charm. The excitement is out there right now thanks to the Olympic Soccer tournament. Now this group of owners and this new league have to use that excitement, along with smart promotion and workable budgets, to finally bring a strong professional women’s league which will stand the test of time.