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American Soccer

USL wastes opportunity to develop women’s pro league



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.


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, .


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  1. John Maszka

    April 4, 2009 at 2:55 pm


    I’m doing research on terrorism, and I’ve put together a pre-survey questionnaire that I’m circulating in order to get feedback on what a non-biased (non-western, non-white) survey might look like. The final survey will go out later this year.

    The survey can be accessed at

    Would you post it, and possibly circulate it? I’m very interested in incorporating the views of women, non-whites, and people living outside of America and Western Europe.

    I’d appreciate it.

    Take care,

    John Maszka

  2. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    April 4, 2009 at 11:37 am

    I agree, and also would state USL has wasted countless other opportunities. The New York move is a good one, but with two USL teams performing so well in CONCACAF where has the league’s PR been, and why do they simply accept the fact the majority of soccer writers in the US act as if MLS is a big time international league and that USL doesn’t even exist? Then when USL teams beat MLS teams in the US Open Cup every year excuses start to flow from the media more than MLS itself.

    The level of play is quite good in USL. I’ve spoken to a few foreign journalists who actually enjoy the quality of play better than MLS. But the flip side is the number of teams playing on turf, playing in american football stadiums and the lack of promotion from the league.

    USL has issues and my hunch from sniffing around are that something big is going to happen within the league in the next year or two as a reaction to losing Portland and Vancouver and the failure to seize the moment with the CONCACAF success.

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