Lower-divison pro leagues

Discussion in 'US Women's Lower Divisions' started by SiberianThunderT, Feb 9, 2023.

  1. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    We know that the USL Super League was delayed a year (so 2024-25 instead of 2023-24) but otherwise seems on track, while UWS has tabled their plans for a D3 league. In their place, is sounds like WPSL is hoping to launch their own D3 league with at least 10 teams in 2024. As a remember, the D3 standards require at least 6 teams, all with stadiums of at least 1k and primary owners worth at least $5m
    https://www.wpslsoccer.com/news/202...rofessional-division-iii-womens-soccer-league

    With us inching ever closer to these leagues starting, (not to mention the spectre of WISL as well at D2,) I thought it might be time to create a separate thread for the pro league discussion separate from an amateur-league-discussion-thread (i.e. W-League and the base UWS and WPSL).
     
  2. msilverstein47

    msilverstein47 Member+

    Jan 11, 1999
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    WPSL final four has been set:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
  4. ytrs

    ytrs Member+

    Jan 24, 2018
    Or she cannot afford the NWSL entry fee, and/or they are not interested adding Philly.

    She acts as if she had a choice.
     
  5. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    That could certainly be true! (I find it hard to think NWSL doesn't want to be in Philly - it's the #4 media market in the country.)

    I do find it a bit odd that she's using the "no development path" as a reason/excuse... Sure, it's somewhat baked into the USL corporate structure, but there's nothing stopping NWSL teams from forming lower-division teams either.
     
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  6. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    BTW, the USL Super League got DI sanctioning, so there's something. The USSF standards got updated back in December and now there are DI, DII, and DIII pro league standards for women.

    USSF Standards .png

    Wikipedia has multiple potential lower leagues listed now, with the WISL at DII and then both UWS Pro and WPSL Pro at DIII. The only one of the bunch that looks like they'll get going anything soon is WPSL, but at least the potential DIII leagues are working off of an existing structure of amateur leagues with lots of teams in them.
     
  7. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    #7 SiberianThunderT, Mar 6, 2024
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2024
    I might've missed an update last Dec, especially with USLSL entering the picture, but those women's DI/DII/DIII pro league standards have existed in some form for years, since they were made back in the NASL/USL soccer war days (which was also around when NWSL was formed). I literally made both of those Wikipedia tables myself back when I was an active editor in early grad school (and I'm still technically the top author by characters added for the page despite not touching it for years, lol).
     
  8. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Interesting, as the reference for them got updated in December. I think they did tweak a few things from an earlier version I clipped out of there. It might just be some of the verbiage on the USSF site itself, or some of the smaller requirements not in the table.
     
  9. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Member+

    SSC Napoli
    Feb 16, 1999
    Club:
    Montreal Impact
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We're approaching 120 days out from the kickoff of the Super League. DFW doesn't even seem to have a stadium plan yet, let alone branding. Two others have no announced branding, but are co-owned with USL teams, so that's probably no big deal.

    No date for a draft, no player announcements, no union agreements, and no salary cap (and supposedly competitive with NWSL salaries).

    You can buy Spokane branded scarfs though, so they've got that going for them.
     
  10. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Well there won't be a draft and there won't be a salary cap, so no point in expecting those. Both of those are from the league intending to function more like UEFA leagues, i.e. not single-entity like MLS & NWSL are.

    The lack of player announcements and general team info is definitely concerning, but IMO not surprising. Considering this league is essentially piggybacking off of USLC, I'm sure everyone is coming in with the thought that things will definitely happen even if the full picture isn't complete, because the league doesn't absolutely have to stand on its own.

    Also, at least on the player side, I bet the teams are planning on playing into the upcoming international transfer window to fill out their rosters. Definitely risky to not be trying to get more rank-and-file players now, but again, it would not surprise me if that was their plan.
     
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  11. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    I spoke too soon - just did a quick Twitter search and it seems like Lexington at least is holding a player combine on April 14th.

    That's all I could find, though; no other teams seem active on the player front yet. (At least officially - Tampa Bay has "signed" Formiga for a TST appearance.)
     
  12. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Member+

    SSC Napoli
    Feb 16, 1999
    Club:
    Montreal Impact
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I looked around a bit at the news the last few months and I saw one article speculating that they had some provision for using academy players on their rosters. That could fill out a team fast, but it's going to look more like a W League team than an NWSL team. If they're going to wait for the summer window (July 18) to sign mid-level players, there's no way they can field professional looking squads in mid-August.
     
  13. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    I mean, as much as USLSL wants to present itself as an alternative to NWSL, I think just about everyone anticipates that it's gonna be D1 in name only. USLSL is expected to have salaries similar to USLC, and the fact that men's D2 sanctioning requirements are essentially the same as women's D1 requirements is the main reason why USLSL decided to apply for D1 status. Their salaries were comparable to NWSL two or three years ago when the first hints of USLSL were being thrown around, but NWSL has grown so much in the interim that I don't think there's any reasonable way that USLSL will ever catch up. I definitely think it's going to be a glorified W-League for at least the first two or three years until they can prove they have staying power, and even then I think NWSL will still be way ahead of them.
     
  14. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    We finally have the first USLSL players announced

    Tampa Bay has announced three former NWSL players, including two with NT experience (5 total caps between them): Erica Tymrak (USA, Orlando Pride), Jordan Lystro (CAN, Orlando Pride), and Domi Richardson (Gotham 2022, apparently didn't play anywhere last year)

    Carolina has also signed one player, Carolina native Vicky Bruce (no significant time/impact anywhere, she wandered around Europe and Australia at one club per year since college)

    Not surprised to see some semi-notable signings in Tampa, they have ambition (and will be playing in TST) but doesn't look like they're gonna be breaking the bank to bring in true D1-level talent
     
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  15. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Some tidbits from Goff's new WaPo piece about the DC USLSL team:

    In addition to sharing Audi Field with the Spirit, the team may also share the training facility in Leesburg, though if that pans out, the facility is expected to be expanded

    The article acknowledges that both leagues will be D1 in name but essentially tilts the comparison strongly to NWSL based on their existing capital clout

    Many Super League teams are targeting ex-NWSL players and Americans that are finishing up seasons in Europe right now

    The DC USLSL team was supposed to focus on playing at Segra when DCU was still collaborating strongly with Attain Sports, who run Loudoun United, but that fell through

    Frederic Brilliant, a former DCU defender and current assistant coach with the Utah Royals, is expected to take the DC USLSL head coaching gig

    No ETA for team branding aside from "soon".

    While the Super League Wikipedia page highlights nine planned expansion teams, (four in 2025, one in 2026, four TBA,) the article specifically mentions Indy, Jacksonville, and Phoenix as important markets without either MLS or NWSL at current time.
     
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  16. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
  17. blissett

    blissett Member+

    Aug 20, 2011
    Italy
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
  18. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    I feel like this will eventually end up as the D2 league, much like the Championship for men here, with USSF increasing the standards for D1 women's team ownership at some point.

    Right now we're seeing lots of former MLS talent filling out the ranks of the USL Championship, including several players who were good, productive players and had a few years as legit starters. It wouldn't surprise me if we're looking at the rosters of USL Super League teams in 10 years and saying the same things about former NWSL fringe players and good enough starters moving down to finish out their careers making solid money and getting to keep doing what they love.
     
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  19. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Honestly, with the whole fiasco around MLS and the Open Cup right now, I'd bet a reevaluation of the pro league standards is coming sooner rather than later
     
    TheJoeGreene repped this.
  20. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Yep, and if USSF doesn't get it together they're going to end up losing what's left of the minor influence and authority they have now.
     
  21. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Member+

    SSC Napoli
    Feb 16, 1999
    Club:
    Montreal Impact
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Did WISL officially go away or are they still intending to be a thing at some point?
     
  22. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    They applied last fall for DII sanctioning with six teams for this summer and a planned 11 teams in 2025
    https://wisleague.com/2023/09/09/wisl-sanctioning-qa/
    That's the newest piece of news on the WISL website. Considering that USLSL got its DI sanctioning and trumpeted it out, I'm wondering if WISL did not get its 2024 sanctioning...
     
  23. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    I'm not seeing any kind of official announcement yet, but Washington finally has a USLS name.

    Power FC
     
  24. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    "DC Power Football Club stands as the leading professional women’s soccer team in Washington D.C., committed to elevating women’s sports and nurturing a sense of community through exciting, top-tier soccer matches."

    Yikes, someone in the DCU ownership is trying as damn hard as possible to start a flame war with this one. Like, this team doesn't have a single player or a coach yet, how egotistic can you get? I think relations with the Spirit are about to go south VERY quickly.
     
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  25. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Frederic Brillant is listed as their coach.
     

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