Author Topic: Women's league links launch to World Cup  (Read 754 times)

Offline David

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Women's league links launch to World Cup
« on: July 12, 2007, 08:51:14 AM »
Nine months before its expected launch, the U.S. women's soccer league is working out the details: an eighth city, a final list of investors in Chicago, the process for assigning players and its name.

For now, the name to know is the Women's Soccer Initiative Inc., a non-profit organization that will create the league under the direction of CEO Tonya Antonucci.

"I certainly hope that we will have something to announce within the next four weeks," Antonucci says.

PLAYERS STAY IN GAME: Freedom, Sky Blue, national teamers await new league

"With the Women's World Cup coming up in the fall, we're targeting that as an important time period to showcase the launch," says Peter Wilt, the longtime president of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire who is gathering investors in Chicago. He expects his team's investment syndicate to be complete within a month, just in time to catch the public relations wave.

The teams are also making progress finding venues, Antonucci says.

•Los Angeles and Chicago are set to share venues with local MLS teams. The Los Angeles investor is Anschutz Entertainment Group, a major MLS investor and the Galaxy's owner.

•Dallas is close to a deal to share FC Dallas' Pizza Hut Park.

•The two teams operating in the W-League, Jersey Sky Blue and Washington Freedom, eventually might share venues with MLS counterparts. The Freedom, with WUSA co-founder and Discovery Channel magnate John Hendricks, might keep playing in the suburban Maryland SoccerPlex in the interim.

•The Boston Breakers, a WUSA team revived with original president Joe Cummings in charge, are looking at Harvard and other venues.

•The St. Louis team is close to a deal with Anheuser-Busch Center. Investor Jeff Cooper also has been pursuing an MLS team.

The eighth team is a bit of a mystery by design. The owner is listed as "Soccer Initiative, LLC" and doesn't plan to reveal a public face until it finds a home. "They're laying low while they do what they need to do to get themselves ready," Antonucci says.

"The goal continues to be to launch with eight teams. We are cautiously optimistic that we can do that in 2008."

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/worldcup/2007-07-11-wosoccer-worldcup_N.htm