U.S. Soccer Holds Off On Sanctioning WPS, Gives Time to Find Sixth Team

U.S. Soccer has delayed its decision to sanction WPS for the 2012 season, and has granted the league time to find a sixth team.

U.S. Soccer Federation standards require that professional leagues have a minimum of eight teams. Each season WPS has obtained a waiver in order to secure sanctioning. On Sunday WPS’s waiver request for a fourth season was reviewed by the Professional League Task Force. Its recommendation was then passed to the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors.

U.S. Soccer sent the following statement:

No final decision was made by the Board. The WPS was provided additional time to determine the possibility of adding a sixth team.

As per the WPS Players Union, U.S. Soccer has given WPS 15 days to find a sixth team. WPS Players Union Executive Director Jennifer Hitchon also says, “WPS is trying to fast track a sixth team, but would not reveal the location of this potential team.”

In addition to Connecticut, Detroit has recently emerged as a possible expansion candidate.

WPS currently has five teams. On October 27 the league chose to terminate the magicJack franchise. On November 18 team owner Dan Borislow filed a lawsuit against WPS claiming it violated league protocol in its termination process.

8 thoughts on “U.S. Soccer Holds Off On Sanctioning WPS, Gives Time to Find Sixth Team

  1. Diane

    Hastily terminate a franchise which leads to a lawsuit. Don’t want to be hasty and add a sixth team which leads to possible non-sanction by USSF. Has to hastily look for 6th team. And if that’s not enough, tell me WPS won’t be beholding to USSF for the additional time or eventual sanction, if it happens.

  2. mmbop

    WPS is already beholden to the USSF for the waiver. Remember that they actually need eight teams, not six! At this point, Connecticut would make best sense. If only for the limits on travel as compared to Detroit. Ultimately, there needs to be more viable franchises located outside the northeast. But in this “emergency” stage, Detroit would seem a poor choice and creating a national league is a battle for another day.

    Personally I think we have seen the last WPS match, and that is an absolute shame.

    1. mmbop

      This is a little more involved and includes practical player eligibilty issues, but basically outside college and High School, all USA soccer is governed by USSF which is governed by CONCACAF which is governed by FIFA.

    2. Jenna Pel Post author

      Sorry for the late response. As the commenter below says, the USSF must sanction essentially all domestic leagues outside of high school and college.

      Players who are on the National Team/players who who plan to be on it that play in unsanctioned leagues could run into trouble with their national federations. That’s one of the biggest question marks surrounding this situation; what happens to the USWNT players?

  3. Rainer

    As a European who does not understand the complexity of rules in US soccer I would like to ask what happens if WPS is not sanctioned by USSF? Can they play or are they not allowed to do so if the Federation says no?

  4. john

    Turn out the lights-the party’s over. All aspiring USWNT players not in Pia’s fave 21 please report to Europe. Does anyone really want to pony up the money to join a dying league, that probably broke their own contract w/ majicJoke, and can’t honestly guarantee that all its teams have the wherewithal to last a season. Regardless of what happens womens soccer is still a great game and we all need to support it at every level we can. I’d love to be wrong, but I don’t think WPS survives this. USSF has to be sensitive to FIFA not being keen on “sanctioning” an undersized league. If they keep extending the deadline or give the 5 team WPS a pass then at some point FIFA is going to interject themselves in the situation.
    I’ve got a lotto ticket and the Freedom are 6 #s from coming back.


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