How badly does U.S. Soccer want the women's professional game to survive? It is risking its own money to make it happen.
Following the demise of the Women's United Soccer Association and Women's Professional Soccer over the last decade, U.S. Soccer announced the launch of a new eight-team league Wednesday. Operations and funding that includes the salaries of 24 U.S. national team players -- on a small-scale budget -- will come from the sport's governing body in the United States, along with similar help from the Canadian and Mexican soccer federations.
"The real story is that we are trying to create an economic model that is sustainable," U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said.
U.S. Soccer believes it has a better chance of success over the long term than allowing chaos in which leagues form, overspend, overstretch and shut down every few years.
The District will have a franchise, along with Seattle, Portland, Boston, Western New York, New Jersey, Kansas City and Chicago. Play will begin in March 2013.
- Craig Stouffer