Expansion: 2020, 2021, 2022

Discussion in 'NWSL Expansion' started by WoSoFan, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Hmm... Only preliminary discussions right now. That could still mean a 2021 launch, but I'd doubt it happens that soon.
     
  2. toad455

    toad455 Member+

    Nov 28, 2005
    If Cincinnati gets its stuff together before Atlanta, we could see Cincinnati join in 2021 and Atlanta gets pushed to 2022.
     
  3. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    #29 SiberianThunderT, Oct 31, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    More on expansion in the latest SBNation article:
    https://www.sbnation.com/2019/10/31/20940640/nwsl-expansion-salary-cap-plans-2020-world-cup
    I was hoping the "2020, 2021, 2022" statement from Duffy earlier meant 1 team per year (which would leave 2021 at 11 teams, but would keep NWSL expanding at the proven-sustainable pace that MLS has kept for nearly a decade and a half). Unfortunately, it does in fact sound like the league is eyeing 14 teams by 2022 instead of 12 teams. It make some sense, since even if you look at 14, there's apparently more interest than slots: if LOU and SAC get us up to 11 teams, that's only 3 available slots, while we have interest from CIN, AUS(??), ATL, and LAFC, plus other men's teams apparently starting to cursorily look at the league.

    = = = = =

    On a slightly unrelated note, I think that if we're looking at 14 teams soon, I hope that the expansion to 10 next year brings about a change in the playoff format that would work for 10 or 14 (or maybe even 16) teams, so we can keep a sustained structure for several years. I'd love to see six teams qualify, top two get a bye to the SFs, still single elimination throughout. I know we've seen 4/10 before, but it just doesn't feel like enough to me. Especially since a 4-team playoff is rather stale and short unless you want to ladder it like WPS did, and that has its own problems.
     
  4. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    I think they really want 14 in short order and probably as many as 20 as soon as possible.

    Budweiser has grabbed the moral high ground and is using it to great effect. In normal circumstances, the NWSL sponsorship would be a money loser, but they're able to appeal to Woke culture and the grab onto the WWC after burners.

    Part of the reason that the league has struggled for national sponsorships before and why nobody has yet followed Budweiser is that the league's profile and geographic footprint is microscopic.

    More teams more metropolitan areas covered. I suspect you'll see every effort to get a team in LA and closer to NYC. But the league can't force a market to take a team, it will take ownership groups.

    And it looks like the issue with funding and the legacy owners that depend on USSF salary stipends is finally coming to a head.
     
  5. toad455

    toad455 Member+

    Nov 28, 2005
    I think they hit 14 by 2022. Take a breather during 2023 and expand again for 2024 (16 teams). They should cap at 16 just in terms of available talent. Solidify any current teams and reevaluate after the 2027 WWC.
     
  6. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    I mean, there's no "I think" about it any more with the new article spelling out the 1+2+2 plan. That's what I was admitting in my previous post. The only way it doesn't happen is if ownership groups back out.
    People have tried to make this argument concerning MLS expansion for yeeeeaaaars; as the league grows, more money comes in, and the talent fleshes out accordingly. Unless you shock the system with, say, 50% growth or more in just a year or two, you're not going to see a lack of talent. Not to mention that the USA has a surplus of talent on the women's side compared to the rest of the world, more so than MLS does on the men's side.
     
  7. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    I think the talent pool is deeper than most around here think. Especially if the NWSL is paying viable wages. There are 300 NCAA D1 women's soccer programs pumping out a couple thousand players per year, most of whom have gone through a decade of elite club and scholastic training. While the vast majority aren't pro-quality, there are plenty of players that opt for better paying careers over the current uncertainties of being on an NWSL practice squad. Slightly higher wages will go a long way to helping player retention for non-on-the-field losses.

    On top of that, there are hundreds of international soccer players of enough quality that for whom steady lodging, and a salary that they are definitely paid, that might seem modest by American standards that would be willing to come ply their trade here.

    Myself and many others said the same thing as MLS went from 12 teams in 2006 to 24 in 2019, and two more next year. If anything the quality of play on the field has gone up.

    There's nothing to guarantee that the level of play in the NWSL will maintain itself, but the NWSL has many advantages over MLS. Relative to the rest of the world, it has little competition for paying living wages, and it's also league-wide far and wide the best league in the world. The Women's UCL doesn't carry the same appeal that keeps some men's players in Europe for the men's version.
     
  8. toad455

    toad455 Member+

    Nov 28, 2005
    Obviously, if enough owners(especially MLS-owned) are willing to step up, then there's no limit on expansion. Austin keeps getting mentioned. Minnesota was mentioned when they got their MLS team but things have gone quiet. Looking into past 16 teams, I wonder who else would be interested? Does Hartford emerge again? Minnesota? St. Louis? Kansas City? Boston(under New England Rev ownership)?
     
  9. WoSoFan

    WoSoFan Member

    Dec 23, 2017
    I think if the MLS clubs in Minnesota, St. Louis, and Kansas City are interested they will get serious consideration. However, Hartford would probably be required to do what Louisville City FC is doing, build their own soccer specific stadium. The Revolution would probably need to do the same thing as well.
     
  10. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Not new news, but just to add to the picture: the Republic apparently funded the Storm's playoff travel this past July, as well as have played doubleheaders together:
    https://www.sacrepublicfc.com/news_article/show/1034358
    https://www.sacrepublicfc.com/news_article/show/1032709
    So the two teams have already worked together in the past, which I guess means there isn't necessarily any conflict of information if you think the Republic or the Storm are the "ones" joining NWSL. I just want some fresh news to confirm it all. X-D
     
  11. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    One of the Storm players has started the hashtag #StormToNWSL and it's getting a little bit of traction... Nothing from a source with clout that I've noticed yet, though. I'd still be surprised if someone on the team started such a hashtag without knowing something, though.

    On another note, I saw a(n unsubstantiated) report on Twitter that the Republic owners are poised to purchase the Storm trademark soon - but it hasn't happened yet. As such, I wouldn't expect an announcement of anything within the next week or two at least, maybe longer.
     
  12. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    It seems that the CA Storm trademark (which had apparently previously lapsed??) was re-filed today. Movement is happening!
     
  13. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Proof Louisville FC - yikes
    and the team denies it has anything to do with Bourbon or Whiskey.

    That's like when the 1996 Kansas City Wiz denied any connection to the Wizard of Oz after they had already started marketing a t-shirt with a cauldron and flying monkeys.
     
    toad455 and SiberianThunderT repped this.
  14. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Or like when the Orlando Pride weren't allowed to say their name had anything to do with lions (even if that one was just because of the Adidas/Nike branding issue).
     
  15. toad455

    toad455 Member+

    Nov 28, 2005
    So the Sacramento team will be called the California Storm. Just a matter of when it gets announced.

     
  16. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    *A-HEM*
     

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