New Womens Soccer League to Start in 2013


Sunil Gulati
Photo: Scott Marsh

Portland and Seattle are among the cities selected for franchises in the new women’s professional soccer league.

Following today’s press teleconference, here will be major changes to the way women’s football is run in North America.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati has announced the creation of a new North American woman’s soccer league to include eight sides.

In a conference call this morning, he was joined by joined by Victor Montagliani President of the Canadian Soccer Association, Denis Deliz of the Federation of Mexican Football and Michael Stoller in Boston representing the team owners.

The league will begin in March 2013.

CSA VP Dan Flynn met with the owners yesterday. He said they will fund 16 Canadian internationals for the league amongst the 8 clubs.

Deliz expressed his gratitude to all and said he was ‘very excited to join the project’. Stoller said the teams were ‘absolutely fully  prepared to launch this league in spring 2013’, calling it a ‘truly sustainable model’.

There will be 24 players per team, which will be funded by US Soccer.

Both Canada and Mexico will be funding ‘a substantial number of national team players’ according to Gulati

Hope Solo in action for the USA

There will be Cascadian involvement.

Portland and Seattle will all have teams and three other bids were rejected to prune the eleven to eight.

Unlike in Seattle, the professional team will be affiliated with the Portland Timbers although the actual name of the side is yet to be confirmed.

The other cities are Chicago, Boston, Kansas City, Washington D.C., New Jersey and upstate New York.

A new side owned by entrepreneur Bill Predmore will play in Seattle following US Soccer’s rejection of the Sounders Womens’ application.

The side will be able to call on players contracted to the USSF such as Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe.

The Sounders Women will continue in the W – League with their home games at Starfire.

He released this statement today.

Merrit Paulson, owner of the Portland Timbers, released this statement about his involvement in the new women’s franchise:

“We are pleased to partner with U.S. Soccer to bring a new women’s professional team to Portland and to do our part to make a top-flight women’s league possible in our country. 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.

Building on today’s news, soccer fans can look forward to many exciting announcements in the coming weeks and months leading up to the club’s inaugural season, including team name, logo and uniforms; schedule and ticket information; and a host of prominent roster announcements.”


In a Q & A afterwards, the following details emerged:

They don’t have a name for the league. USSF is funding up to 24 players. CSA up to 16 players. FMF will fund a minimum of 12. US Soccer will pay for the costs of all the Front Offices.

They will play matches in smaller stadiums, not Toyota Park in Chicago for instance. Player costs are reduced. More in kind services and more interns will keep costs down.

Commitment is ‘long term’ but that is not a financial commitment. The national team players have indicated a commitment to the league. Players’ preferences and teams will be matched, followed by a draft.

Outside and independent accounting firm helped select sides.

Portland was appealing because of the Timbers fanbase, and interest from the Paulson family. A Portland Timbers spokesman said however no name had been chosen for the team.

Also See:

New Seattle Womens Team Releases Statement

Sounders FC Women to Continue



About Author

Steve is the founder and owner of Prost Amerika. He covered the expansion of MLS soccer in Cascadia at first hand. As Editor in Chief of, he was accredited at the 2014 World Cup Final. He is the former President of the North American Soccer Reporters Association/ Originally from Glasgow, he is a supporter of the Great Glasgow Alternative, Partick Thistle.


  1. Although the women’s Sounder’s team isn’t technically part of the same organization as the men’s team they at least have the same name.

    I have trouble seeing where this league will succeed where others have failed.

    In my dreams every MLS team would just have an affiliated women’s team.

  2. I should add that the reason I don’t see this as truly sustainable is that I don’t believe that USSF will support the league in this way for very long.