Women's Soccer

New women's pro league continues to take shape


With just a few months remaining before the National Women’s Soccer League is set to kick off, the league is coming together with numerous off the field announcements. Coaching hires and the unveiling of clubs names and logos have dominated the recent headlines for the league during the past week.

The busiest team over the past few days has been the Seattle Reign FC. Owner Bill Predmore unveiled the name and crest on Wednesday and on Friday the club announced that Laura Harvey will be the Reign’s first head coach.

Harvey has coached Arsenal Ladies for the past three seasons and brings very impressive resume to the Reign FC. During her time at Arsenal Ladies, she has guided the club to three consecutive domestic titles and in 2011 added a treble to her name, by winning the FA Women’s Super League, Continental Cup and FA Cup.

At the clubs name and crest unveiling event on Wednesday, Predmore explained that the name was chosen to pay homage to a previous pro club in Seattle. This is similar to the way the MLS Sounders name was picked. This time without the drama and outcry of fans.

In 2007, the new ownership group omitted the name Sounders in the original fan voting. Fans in the community were outraged at this which forced the ownership group to include a write in choice. Close to 50% of the votes were in favor of the Sounders, which then became the clubs official name.

The roots of the name “Reign” can be traced back to the Seattle Reign. The first pro women’s basketball team in Seattle that played in the now defunct American Basketball League from 1996-1998.

The Reigns main rival has also been keeping busy as Thorns FC have announced that Cindy Parlow Cone will become the new head coach.

Parlow Cone was capped 158 times for the USWNT from 1996-2006, and was on the USWNT squad that won gold with the 1999 World Cup.

After retiring in 2006 from international competition, due to suffering from  post-concussion syndrome, she joined the her Alma mater, University of North Carolina, as a assistant coach. During her time there, UNC won national championships in 2009 and 2012.

The Mexican Football Federation has increased their commitment of 12 subsidized players to 16. This will give every club 7 allocated National Team players.

The league will also hold their inaugural draft on on Friday, January 18th. The draft will be 4 rounds in total with the selection order determined by random draw. The draft will also be conducted in a “snake” format. The team that is drawn as the first pick in the first round will have the last pick in the second round. That means the team that has the last pick in the first round will have the first pick in the second round.

The only players that can qualify for this draft will be ones that completed their college eligibility during 2012. The U.S., Mexican and Canadian National Team players will be distributed to clubs at a date yet to be determined.

Any player that does not qualify for this draft or National Team slot will become a free agent. The league has yet to announce when these players will be able to sign.

What do you think of these recent developments? Do you like the Reign name, crest and coaching hire? Think Cindy Parlow Cone is a smart hire for Thorns FC?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Dan

    Anyone know how this league is set up differently than the previous women’s leagues? Does this league have a better chance of surviving financially?


    • Dillon

      Yes. You should read the numerous articles that have been written about those subjects on this website.


  • Wendell Gee

    “Male US soccer fans feel it’s critical that everyone knows they aren’t interested in women’s soccer.”


  • Gobletto

    It’s great to see things coming together for this league. The additional funding from the Mexican federation is a bonus and poaching Arsenal’s coach is a fine move.

    I just have one question for many of the early posters: if you don’t care about women’s soccer, why read the article? I for one, do care and I don’t appreciate the needless, snide comments offered instead of responding to the article.


  • slowleftarm

    Maybe I’m more secure in my masculinity than some of the other posters on this article but I enjoy the women’s game and hope the new league is a success. Anything that helps grow the sport in this country is a positive.


    • Really?

      when you’re finished patting yourself on the back for being such a civil rights activist, could you tell me how a womens league, that has failed time and time again will raise the profile of the game here? How does the womens league put american youngsters in the top leagues?


      • Joe+G

        One piece of reality is that the top women’s leagues aren’t all that far away from this league in terms of quality. There isn’t much money in the women’s game in Europe, and while the coaching and facilities are (usually) better there, the leagues end up horribly lopsided because only a couple of teams take it seriously. 8-0 results are pretty common. Being in Europe as a woman isn’t that special unless you get that one Marta-like contract.


    • ed - houston

      Right on!! i used to coach a high school ladies team and those chicks could play. i enjoy watching college ladies play more than men’s NCAA teams. i had tickets to see WNT play here last week or so but gave them away, got a newborn, family 1st.


    • Gnarls

      Yes, that’s right. You’re more masculine and virile than the rest of us because you enjoy watching women’s professional soccer. Attaboy.


      • ed - houston

        lol, thanks!! but it’s more amateur ladies, i watch, than pro. i just wish the new league well and will watch from afar.


  • Alexandria

    LOL! at the typical card carrying Penis and Testical fan club hating on anything that doesn’t have one. The last woman’s league wouldn’t have folded if it wasn’t for Boris. The woman’s game will be fine they just need support from the fans just like MLS does. Soccer is soccer, the more people that get involved the more money the game can generate which is a win win for both sexes. But go ahead and keep hating, the Women have two stars above the crest.


    • Anton

      Blaming one person for an entire league folding, typical. If Borislow didn’t buy Washington, WPS would have folded a the year before. The league was a mess from the start, and I see no reason why this one will be any different, it’s starting way too fast.

      This is not me just being a card carrying Penis and Testical fan, it’s also me using common sense, they’ve failed twice, what makes you think this one will be different? The WNT is going into 2 off years, as in two years where everybody besides the fangirls will forget about them. Besides Portland and Seattle, it’s going to be tough for some of these other teams to get respectable attendance by riding the 2012 Olympic train in 2013-14, especially if SEA/POR get Solo, Morgan, Wambach and Rapinoe.

      Oh, the WNT have two stars above the crest? Cool. Now tell me what that has to do with anything? Unless you’re going to tell me you’re a Spain fan or something, then I’ll get it.


      • Joe+G

        This league could very well fail, but the huge difference is you have 3 federations paying salaries for their players. That means about 1/3 of the payroll (and the higher end of the payroll at that) is covered. They will have a salary cap and a limit on foreign players not supported by the feds.

        It will be a “just above semi-pro” league, a lot like the ones in Europe. The other option is to just admit defeat and not play at all. That means a lot of these players won’t have a chance to stay with the game and that hurts the depth of all 3 CONCACAF feds involved.


  • halfrican

    It’s funny that most of the people so critical of women’s soccer aren’t even in shape enough to play FIFA on their Xbox… This sport is actually quite entertaining, moreso than the activity that poses as a sport named baseball…


  • notmourinho

    MLS didn’t make money for most of it’s existence. If you look back a couple of years ago, most MLS teams were in the red. The league only made it because it had SUM Marketing and US Soccer propping it up financially. Yet people on this board think MLS is legitimate because it is a men’s league even though frankly the overall product rivals League One in England. Personally, I would rather watch the women’s pro league than MLS. Many of the WPS teams possessed the ball better, had better players comparatively (i.e. Marta is the female Messi), and played a more attractive brand of soccer than MLS teams. This new league is in US Soccer’s hands – if they want it to survive, it will survive. They should market it to soccer fans and market the game itself instead of the “role model” idea.


  • Amber

    Why are we bothering with a new league in this country? No one cares about this sport and it is far below the quality of other leagues. We have tried leagues like this before and the failed so we shouldn’t try again. I am sorry, did you think I was talking about NWSL, I was just recounting the arguments against starting MLS.


  • Dan

    I wish them success….but until females decide to go see a game rather than buy shoes at the mall, it will struggle for sponsors.
    Sadly, if they turned it into a “bikini league” or something just as crass people would show up…
    The WNT play harder and achieve more, because even with their record and championships….Alex Morgan paddling in a bikini gets more press than winning olympic gold
    No respect


Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer