New U.S. women's league in works
Several former Women's Professional Soccer league teams could form part of a new U.S. women's league that would begin play in the spring of 2013, it was announced Thursday.
The yet-to-be-named pro league would feature at least eight teams, including three former WPS teams -- the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars and New Jersey Sky Blue FC -- as well as a newly formed team in Seattle and another West Coast club, according to a statement released by the Breakers on Thursday.
"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.," Michael Stoller, managing partner of the Breakers, said in the statement. "We want to emphasize this is not a competitor to any of the existing leagues, but rather this is a significant step up in the competitive level and professional standards, and we expect to establish a natural relationship to allow teams to enter this new league and perhaps to fall back (self-relegate) to their prior league if they need a break from the higher spending and competitive requirements."
The WPS folded after three seasons following the cancellation of the 2012 season. The league's predecessor, WUSA, also lasted only three seasons, burning through more than $100 million in investments in the euphoric aftermath of a U.S. victory at the 1999 World Cup. American fans again watched the Women's World Cup in 2011, but it wasn't enough to save the WPS.
The 2012 WPS season was scrapped amid a legal dispute with an ousted owner. League officials had clashed with Dan Borislow of the South Florida franchise all last season and tried to terminate the club in October. The WPS reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with Borislow, who had sued the league.Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.