An eight-team professional women's soccer league will launch in March of 2013, U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday.
The new league, yet to be named, will feature teams in Seattle, Portland, Boston, Western New York, New Jersey, Kansas City, Chicago and Washington D.C., according to Soccer By Ives' Jose M. Romero. It will receive additional funding from the Canadian Soccer Association and FMF, Mexico's soccer federation.
U.S. Soccer will fund salaries/participation for 24 players, CSA up to 16 and FMF at least 12. The new league will be run on a smaller scale with the idea being sustainability.The New York Times' Jack Bell reports that "discussions are underway with several potential national sponsors and a television partner," but most details still need to be worked out.
It stands to reason that U.S. national team players will be part of the new league, as well as those from Canada and Mexico. This is the third major attempt at a pro soccer league for women in the U.S., after WPS folded earlier this year and WUSA folded after three years in 2003.
In Seattle, two women’s soccer teams are set to co-exist with the new league and the Sounders Women, which plays in the United Soccer Leagues W-League.