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SOCCER: Sounders Women release statement about possible move to pro league
The Seattle Sounders Women soccer team played a huge role in the United States' gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. The Sounders provided starters Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux to the American team.
The foursome came to the Sounders Women after Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) permanently suspended operations in May. The league’s owners had lost several million dollars during its three-year run.
The end of WPS marked the second time in nine years that a women’s professional league has failed despite the popularity of the U.S. women’s national team. In 2003, the Women’s United Soccer Association collapsed despite $100 million of investments.
But there is a new professional women’s league is in the works, with plans to begin play in as many as eight U.S. cities next spring.
Knowing this, the Seattle Sounders Women issued a long statement this week about the possibility of a team being located in Seattle.
"The Seattle Sounders Women, coming off an incredibly successful 12th season as a franchise in the USL W-League, will absolutely return to the pitch for a 2013 campaign," the statement said. "We are aware of the possibility to move to a different league or evolve with our current league. At this point, the Sounders Women are open to all options and evaluating what is best for women’s soccer in the United States as well as what is best for the Sounders Women and our unparalleled fans.
Whether we are dealing with our own league or outside interests, women's pro soccer deserves a fair shot at surviving. What survival means is a dogged restraint to costs in such a way that can compel future franchise growth nationwide. Our league and owners must agree on realistic player salaries and franchise fees and conjoin them with knowledgeable soccer people and business infrastructure.
The Sounders Women encourage our fans and all supporters of women’s soccer to be patient in order to ensure a stable, sustainable, and prosperous model is chosen for the women’s game in the U.S. so previous unsuccessful models are not repeated."