U.S. Soccer to fund new women's soccer league

After a number of failed attempts, women’s professional soccer is getting another chance in the United States with a new twist to how it will be funded. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2012 — After a number of failed attempts, women’s professional soccer is getting another chance in the United States with a new twist to how it will be funded.

It was announced on Wednesday that a new women’s professional soccer league will kick off in March 2013 supported by the U.S., Canadian and Mexican soccer federations. Each federation will fund national team players to participate in the league. U.S. Soccer will fund up to 24 players; the Canadian Soccer Association will sponsor 16; and the Federation of Mexican Football will send support no less than 12 players to compete.

“If we see the federations as the government, we are subsidizing the private sector here to try to make this sustainable and the investments by the private sector smaller,” said U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati.

The new league will feature eight teams based in Seattle, Portland, Boston, New Jersey, Western New York, Washington D.C, Chicago and Kansas City.

Teams will play a 22-game season from March to September/October.

The last women’s pro-league - Women’s Professional Soccer - folded in May after three seasons. Before that, the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), boosted by the likes of  Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain, survived from 2000-2003 before folding with losses of over $100 million.

“We are trying to find an economical model that is sustainable,” Gulati said.

U.S. Soccer will finance the front office of the league.

Eleven teams bid to join the league but only eight were chosen.

The U.S. women’s team won the Gold Medal at the Olympics in London this year. In 2011 they were runners up to Japan at the Women’s world Cup.

John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon


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John Haydon

John Haydon has covered soccer for The Washington Times for two decades. He has reported on international soccer events in Germany, South Korea and Spain. John hails from Birmingham, England and has lived in the Washington D.C. region for over twenty years.  

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