Three former WPS clubs — the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC — are among the clubs set for the launch of a new yet-to-be-named professional women’s soccer league that will start play in the spring of 2013. A newly formed team in Seattle is also among the founding members. Four other teams, including another team that will be located on the West Coast, are finalizing plans to join the league.
“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, the Breakers’ managing partner, said in a statement released early Thursday morning. “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 Breakers, whose roots date back to the WUSA, played in WPS until it folded in 2012, and they played this summer in the WPSL Elite along with the Red Stars.
The Seattle team’s ownership group is led by Bill Predmore, president of Seattle-based digital marketing agency POP.
“We are excited to bring the highest level of women’s soccer to Seattle,” said Predmore. “Seattle has a long history of enthusiastic support for professional soccer, which we hope will provide us with a strong base of fans for the new women’s club.”
The W-League’s Seattle Sounders Women — not owned by the MLS club of the same name — featured such U.S. stars as Hope Solo, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.
A new league will have to be approved from U.S. Soccer.
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