Discussion in 'USA Women: News and Analysis' started by Frank Cunha, Sep 16, 2003.
I agree with the intent of this thread but not necesarily with its specific message. What needs to be saved is women's professional soccer, not the WUSA.
Womens professional soccer is a great sport we love.
The WUSA is a business with a failed business model and the wrong leadership. Born out of the US's victory at the last world cup, a number of investors believed they could piggy-back on that victory and make $. As it turned out and as most fans and the players knew it aint that easy. You have to be prepared for the storms we encounter in life. The WUSA players understood this and took pay cuts to keep the league afloat. The ownership did not and bailed out when they encountered initial losses. (Which are about the amount of money NIKe is paying Lebraun James-a substantial but not enormous amount).
While I share their committment to the game I must question the reported quotes attributed to several of the USWNT players (who I greatly admire) to the effect that a successful World Cup could revive the WUSA. What is needed instead is a new model that would feature, lower salaries and players working part-time, regional leagues to cut travel expenses, working with MLS and A league teams in partnership and doing double-headers to cut expenses. Positioning yourself for the long term so that you can convert female players into female spectators.
In a perfect world there would've been a greater initial acceptance of the WUSA. But unfortunately we live in a world that contains a disdain for female team sports athletes and xenophobia directed against soccer. Therefore we must plan accordingly.
In solidarity with all soccer lovers,
Motto- Women's Soccer-This is just the begining.
While I expect many of the 'Eternals' to retire, I hope the younger, upcoming players seek to further their careers in the W-League, which does have some TV exposure via Fox Sport World. Players such as Aly Wagner and Abby Wambach would infuse the league with quality and bring it up a level or two.
Life will be more difficult than in WUSA, but it can be a life in soccer. A-League teams such as Rochester and Charleston enjoy a respected position in their communities, have loyal followings and exisiting or building sss to call their own. The W-League could be a part of the same picture.
By the 10th year of MLS, it may be in a position to begin an auxillary league. That may sound hateful to some WUSA supporters, but it could be a more realistic venture than the past three years proved to be.
Evidently, a number of players are already looking to Norway, Denmark and elsewhere to continue professional careers. The biggest names will be able to do this, but for many newcomers, the W-League looks like the next best thing.
This is the most brilliant, direct, and well-thought piece I've read on these boards in 3 days.
In solidarity with Perry Stein,