Women's Soccer USA

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

September 10, 2008

WPS

There it was, on the official Women's Professional Soccer Web site, a link for those interested in investing in a San Diego franchise for the inaugural 2009 season.
And that defines the state of a San Diego franchise in the reincarnation of the women's pro soccer league, drifting somewhere in cyberspace, still alive but rudderless and uncertain. Literally, up in the air.
As recently as last July, when the WPS owners held meetings in San Diego to coincide with the U.S. women's national team game against Brazil, Commissioner Tonya Antonucci said “it looks like it can get done for 2009.” The link on the WPS site noted that “the group expects to finalize formal entry into WPS in August of 2008.”
Platini Soaf, a well-known local youth coach and the man trying to assemble the money people, had identified two Los Angeles-based investors who were seeking ownership partners in San Diego. Then a local group formed with a reported $1 million of seed money. Things appeared to moving along.
“I was already scouting players, talking to some players from different countries, seeing if San Diego (based) players wanted to play for their hometown team,” said Soaf, who was to be head coach. “We were very close. We thought it was going to happen. Then it just totally shut down.”
Members of the San Diego group have declined comment, and the names of the L.A. investors were never made public. Soaf described the primary issue as how much money the L.A. investors would put up and how much ownership control they'd retain. When the two sides couldn't come to terms, Soaf said, the deal unraveled barely a week before the league's Sept. 1 deadline.
Maybe 2010, maybe later, maybe never. No one currently holds the rights to the San Diego market, and Soaf said the L.A. and San Diego groups are moving forward independently.

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