New women's soccer league to debut in 2013

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati (REUTERS)

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati (REUTERS)

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 12:13 PM ET

CHICAGO - Sunil Gulati, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, announced Wednesday that a new women's professional soccer league will launch in 2013.

Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) folded this season, leaving a domestic void in the in the professional club soccer landscape for the U.S. women's national team.

But Gulati announced that a new league, kicking off early to mid-April of 2013, will have eight clubs based in the following locations: Boston, New Jersey, Western New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle and Portland. The league was capped at eight teams to avoid dilution of the talent pool.

"We need a sustainable model. Less hype and better performance," Gulati said. "True hype will come if we have performance."

The U.S. Soccer Federation will absorb the costs of running the front office, and players will be dispersed by the yet-to-be-named league based on player preferences as well as the use of some form of a draft.

"We'll use like-kind services and more interns and those kind of things to keep our back-office costs down and still have all the requirements of fielding a professional standard operating model," said Boston Breakers owner Michael Stoller.

Merritt Paulson, owner of the Major League Soccer franchise Portland Timbers, has stated that he will be involved in the Portland women's team in some capacity, sparking rumors of a potential Lady Timbers team.

"The Timbers are, and always will be, steadfastly committed to growing the sport of soccer in our region at all levels, and championing a new women's league and operating a team here in Soccer City, USA, will be an important part of that growth," Paulson said in a club statement.

There was no word of additional involvement of MLS owners in the other seven cities.

Additionally, the Canadian Soccer Association plans to fund up to 16 Canadians playing in the league in the buildup to the 2015 World Cup in Canada.


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