Women's Soccer Hopes Third Time's The Charm

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After donning the red, white, and blue at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Abby Wambach will now represent her hometown as a member of the Western New York Flash of the the new National Women's Soccer League. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
(Ben Curtis/AP)

When you announce the launch of a new professional league, you want to make sure the people you want headlining that league are aware of the adventure.

Back in mid-December, when the birth of the National Women's Soccer League was announced, a New York Times reporter asked U.S. National Team star Megan Rapinoe for her response.

"There's a lot we don't know," Rapinoe said. "It's hard to say what to expect out of it. What is the name of the league?" Rapinoe subsequently found work playing in France.

There's a lot a lot of us still don't know.

For example, when the games will occur. There's still no official schedule.

But all eight teams have names now, which was not the case when the league was first announced. Late last week the players  learned where they'd be playing, which gives them at least a couple of months to find housing near Boston, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, or one of the four other places that will serve as home for the new teams.

Like the Women's United Soccer Association, which is said to have lost $100 million before the lights went out in 2003, and Women's Professional Soccer, which closed up shop after the 2011 season, the National Women's Soccer League is said to have the requisite "group of dedicated owners," and the rosters will be stocked with lots of the world's best female soccer players.

Unlike its predecessors, the NWSL will get some financial support not only from U.S. Soccer, but from the corresponding governing bodies in Mexico and Canada. Each nation's best players have been allocated amongst the franchises hopeful that recent history won't repeat itself…or at least that it won't repeat itself so quickly.

Another thing that may have changed is the mindset of the U.S. players involved this time around. Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, and the rest of the women who created fans for women's soccer on their way to winning the World Cup in 1999 were all in when the first pro league launched. This time around, some of the stars have expressed what must be considered a healthy skepticism. Asked last month what has to happen to make a women's pro league work, Abby Wambach said, "I don't know. I guess we'll have to wait and find out."

This program aired on January 16, 2013.

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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