In recent weeks we’ve watched the top tier program of women’s soccer in the United States, follow suit to its predecessor, and stall operations for the 2012 year. For some people out there in the soccer world this was not surprising, and for some media outlets [pause for station identification: ESPN] it was sadly, expected.
However, while many decided who to blame, point fingers at, and just exclaim through articles upon articles of random, borderline worthless jargon, I’m here to spread the bright light, bring about the good news, and encourage one to believe…
The beautiful game is alive and well.
On Monday the WPS came out and stated that the season for 2012 was not going to take place due to legal and partial financial obstacles.
The world wept.
But, like a family who just lost their house to a fire, a community reached out. The Women’s Premier Soccer League came out and stated that they would allow a ‘elite division’ for the remaining five teams to play in [they also stated that if all non-Magicjack teams agreed, then Magicjack would not be allowed into the league]. The elite division, from the current understanding, would allow players to get paid for their services as…well…players. The catch of course would be that the team would have to function under the ruling body of the WPSL and basically ‘play by their rules’.
For a moment, since so many of you reading this are from a European model system, and think:
WPSL in a sense just offered a new ‘division’ to the league:Elite.
Orange County Waves and Bay Side Breeze both made notes last year that they would like to develop a paid tier of play; WPSL supported that claim as well, not as immediate, but as potential.
Here it is.
So, we now could have two divisions within the WPSL; semi-pro and elite.
Quick! Hold that thought, it’s story time.
Last week I was blessed with the ability to see from long time best friend from Sweden [Jo]. Jo played soccer in the state for her four years in college, and you’ve heard me speak of her before. Just recently she signed a one year contract with a Division I team in Damallsvenskan, big deal for me, and her. Currently she’s also practicing with Gothenburg FC, which is the elite division of Damallsvenskan. She was explaining to me, while we were walking last week, about the structure of Damallsvenskan [remember, I’m from Missouri, I’m limited on structure]. She was explaining how Damallsvenskan actually has seven divisions. Six are considered semi-professional, tiers 1 through 6, with Damallsvenskan being the elite division. She went on to explain how if you’re playing Divisions 6 through 3, it’s for fun; you’re there to have fun. If you’re playing in Divisions 1-2, it’s hard, it’s competitive, you’re there to win with the hopes of moving up to Damallsvenskan.
So, I learned a lot from Jo. Including that many leagues are set up this way. The United States not being one of them, so far.
With the WPSL offering [not a promise] a elite division, it answers that question. It quickly creates two divisions, amateur and professional. That’s the beginning, now of course that also brings up the question of promotion/relegation which makes the United States Soccer Federation cringe. However, if this idea doesn’t affect the precious ‘bread winners’ of the national teams and Major League Soccer, I tend to believe that the USSF will wash their hands of the issue at hand and ‘let the kids play’.
This is part one of a rapidly growing WPSL experiment. Part one is to outline the possible future of the league, which thanks to a previous entry many months ago, I’m getting decent at predicting what is going to take place next in the world of the women’s beautiful game.
Side Note: Earlier this week ESPN came out with a potential, projection of WPS in the future . Personally, I'm staying safe with keeping my chips in with WPSL.
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