Above: USL W-League action featuring the Los Angeles Legends vs. the Vancouver Whitecaps
The unpredictability of the USL continues. With the signing of the New York team for the 2010 season, it pushes forward. Maybe they have a better business plan for pro soccer than the critics give them credit for. Do they feel their Division 1 & 2 budget-minded leagues can outlast and ultimately uproot MLS to become the center point for professional soccer in the U.S.?
One thing is for sure though, they blew it when it comes to women’s pro soccer. They had so many of the necessary parts in place, they could have easily put a league together to travel with its D1 league.
On its website, the USL brags in one article, claiming 92 players from opening day rosters for the new Women’s Professional Soccer league originally played in the W-League of USL. www.uslsoccer.com/home/317461.html
It appears odd to see one enterprise congratulating its competition, business doesn’t normally work this way. There is a subtle difference though between leagues which might make the unusual article almost make sense. The W-League is a semi-pro or amateur league in which players can maintain their collegiate status, it doesn’t promote itself as a fully integrated professional league.
But, both leagues share one key element which defines success to them. They both seek to be family-fun affordable entertainment. This is a crucial item of interest because it shows how USL executives might have missed an opportunity.
In order for Soccer to carry forward as a spectator force with sports fans, it must find all the niches, work all the angles, and make unforgettable nights of entertainment. Two games for the price of one seems achievable.
By having a women’s pro league, USL could have an edge when it comes to promotion. A women’s pro league could become an asset in terms of profits too.
So, should USL executives have taken all the legitimate talent from its W-League and formed a pro women’s league?
If interested, read Pushing Women’s Pro Soccer in the Right Direction to see more on this topic, www.majorleaguesoccertalk.com/pushing-womens-pro-soccer-in-the-right-direction/630 .