There may be no name yet for the new women’s professional soccer league here in the United States, but there is plenty of information coming out about the nameless league over the last week.
First is that there will be eight teams which includes Sky Blue FC. Joining the New Jersey club are former WPS teams the Boston Breakers, Western New York Flash, and Chicago Red Stars. There will also be clubs in Kansas City and Washington DC. Also MLS Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson has confirmed there will be a Portland, Oregon team owned by himself. Lastly, there will be a team in Seattle, not the W-League Sounders, but rather an independently owned team by Seattle PR executive Bill Predmore.
This is a good sign, eight teams is what the USSF requires for division 1 status, as well as three time zones, which also is covered with this league’s clubs and ownership groups. But, even better, the United States Soccer Federation will run the league’s front office, and will cover the salaries of up to 24 U.S. National Team players. Also, the Canadian Soccer Association will cover the salaries of up to 16 Canadian National Team players, and Mexico will cover up to 12 of its National Team players’ salaries. That’s 52 top flight players whose salaries will be paid for by their governing bodies. Imagine being able to have Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, and Melissa Tancredi on your roster, and have a net zero cost for those players.
As far as the names and logos of the non-former WPS teams, all that is known at this moment is that the Washington team will more than likely return to the name of the Freedom, and Kansas City will be called FC Kansas City.
The season will start in late March or early April 2013, and conclude in October. Each team will play 22 regular season games.
Two other ownership groups were denied entry into the league’s initial season, one in Los Angeles, and another in Connecticut. I’m a bit surprised by the denial of the Connecticut bid, they had put together a name, The Connecticut Courage, and had a home facility set to go at Dillon Stadium in Hartford. That is more than any of the listed teams have done. But, the potential owner of this team has indicated he will apply for expansion into the league in 2014.
So get ready Sky Blue fans, after a long year in the cold, your team will be back on the pitch in the Spring. Although we have no idea yet where they will be playing those games.