Women's Soccer USA

Coverage of women's soccer in the US. If it's not here...it's not important...

February 28, 2007

This will be the best women's league in the world

The St. Louis group is headed by Jeff Cooper, the East Alton attorney who has been working to bring an MLS team to St. Louis and recently tried to buy that league's Salt Lake City club.
"We're building on what the old WUSA was able to put in place and looking forward to adding to that," Cooper said. "That league made some mistakes that everybody realizes. This is a much more realistic league that will start out smaller and grow into a major league, rather than trying to start as a major league. … This will be the best women's league in the world."

February 27, 2007

It's back!

Ownership groups representing franchises in six major U.S. cities have signed letters of intent to become charter members of the Women’s Soccer Initiative, Inc.’s effort to launch a new professional women’s soccer league.

WSII CEO Tonya Antonucci announced the signings today and said the league anticipates a Spring 2008 launch, timed to capitalize on interest built during the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China in September.

The six announced charter teams will be led by the following investors:
Territory: Greater Los Angeles, CA
John Hendricks, Freedom Soccer LLC
Territory: Washington D.C.
Jeff Cooper, St. Louis United Soccer LLC
Territory: St. Louis, MO
Soccer Initiative, LLC
Territory: TBD, pending its final decision to select a market
Jack Hanks and Brent Coralli, Dallas Franchise Group
Territory: Greater Dallas area, TX
WGLSI, LLC and an additional investor TBD
Territory: Chicago and Bridgeview, IL

The league is three-quarters of the way to reaching its goal of 8 charter teams and has plans for expansion in 2009.

A critical step
“This is an important benchmark in the process to bring high-level professional women’s soccer back to North America,” Antonucci said. “We have taken both the lessons and the successes of the WUSA and applied them to create a business model that makes good economic sense,” she added.

The new league is built on a traditional franchise model and will play its games in stadiums designed specifically for soccer. This will give the teams opportunities to generate and retain more revenue and better showcase the sport, Antonucci explained.
In creating the league, WSII will also build partnerships with established soccer and sports marketing organizations. The league is currently in negotiations with Major League Soccer’s marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing, to represent its national sponsorship and marketing assets.

“The new business model significantly reduces overhead while taking advantage of efficiencies and synergies with existing MLS club owners and other professional sports teams,” Antonucci said.
AEG Sports President Shawn Hunter said, “Having initial franchises owned and operated by organizations with not only strong ties to professional soccer but with established internal marketing, sales, promotional and operational infrastructures is a critical and significant component to launching a league that can have immediate credibility and success.”
St. Louis investor Jeff Cooper said the timing of the league is ideal. “There’s a tremendous upswing in women’s collegiate soccer, particularly in our market,” Cooper said. “Combined with the coming bump in media coverage and public interest during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, this just makes sense. It’s a good proposition for all involved.”
“AEG is strongly committed to professional women's soccer,” AEG’s Hunter explained. “We believe that the combination of experience and resources the initial partnership group brings to the league, along with the dedicated fan base that exists for professional women's soccer, will create not only a successful launch but a league that will be financially viable and extremely popular.”

Representatives from all six markets have signed official Letters of Intent to launch the women’s professional soccer league in 2008, and have made financial commitments toward that goal. The WSII estimates financial requirements to maintain and operate a franchise to be between $1.5 and $2.5 million per year.

“In addition to the cities we are announcing today, we are also in talks with investor groups about additional markets,” Antonucci said. “We are also building our list of expansion cities, and we encourage interested investors to contact us.”

About the WSII
The WSII is a non-profit organization backed by grants from the U.S. Soccer Federation and U.S. Soccer Foundation. The organization was founded to build a new business plan to relaunch women’s professional soccer in the United States.

Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame

The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced today that U.S. Women's National Team stars, two-time Olympic Gold Medalists, and two-time World Cup Champions Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy have been elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in the Player Category.

February 26, 2007

Ready for 2008 kick-off

www.sportsbusinessdaily.com reports that Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Washington and a sixth team to be named will begin play next year in a professional league yet to be named.

February 25, 2007

Antonucci to issue press release Tuesday!

WSII' Tonya Antonucci will reportedly announce Tuesday that a 6-team women's professional league will kick-off in 2008.

February 23, 2007

WUSA set to return?

A series of key meetings, between the USSF and WSSI' Tonya Antonucci, is taking place this weekend in Los Angeles.

February 22, 2007

U-21s lose twice in Mexico

USA U-21 0, Mexico 1
USA U-21 2, Mexico 4

Fotopoulos Retires

Danielle Fotopoulos, a member of the historic 1999 Women’s World Cup Team for the United States, has retired from international soccer.
The 5-foot-11 striker steps away from the game having earned 35 caps for the USA while scoring 16 goals, which ranks her 17th on the all-time U.S. scoring list.

February 16, 2007

Wilt Attempts to Bring Women's Soccer to Chicago

A women's professional soccer franchise may be coming Chicago's way in 2008, and former Fire President and General Manager Peter Wilt is leading the charge.
Wilt and the Illinois Women's Soccer League announced today that they are seeking a franchise in a new major professional women's soccer league to kickoff in Spring 2008. The group, Chicago Pro Women's Soccer, is still assembling an ownership group, but is in the process of finalizing a lease agreement to play its home games at Toyota Park.
Wilt, who is continuing his efforts to bring an MLS team to Milwaukee, announced that part of the ownership group includes Gary Weaver and Shek Borkowski who co-own FC Indiana of the WPSL. However, the group is still seeking a lead investor. “If we can secure the lead investor, I believe Chicago will be the premier team in the world's premier professional women’s soccer league,” Wilt said.

February 14, 2007

Former University of Cincinnati player killed

Former University of Cincinnati player Vanessa Quinn was killed in Utah on Monday.

February 08, 2007

Walsh to coach Penn State

Two weeks after losing Paula Wilkins, Penn State named Erica Walsh as its coach of the women's soccer program.
Walsh will arrive in State College after one season as the head coach at Harvard as well two years as the head coach of the U.S. under-17 national team, with which she will remain.

February 06, 2007

Jil Oakes rejected by Swedish club

Linköping FC will not offer trialist Jill Oakes a contract. "She is not what we needs and wants", says sport director Bengt Ekholm.