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Women’s Professional Soccer: Where the stars will play

The Women’s Professional Soccer League announced its allocation of members of the U.S. women’s national team on Tuesday, establishing a foundation for the seven-team league set to kick off next spring.

U.S. Olympic team star Hope Solo and U.S. national team striker Abby Wambach were among the 21 players assigned to the seven teams. Here is a rundown of who went where:

  • Bay Area– Nicole Barnhart, Rachel Buehler, Leslie Osborne
  • Boston Breakers– Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Heather Mitts
  • Chicago Red Stars– Carli Lloyd, Kate Markgraf, Lindsey Tarpley
  • Los Angeles– Shannon Box, Stephanie Cox, Aly Wagner
  • Sky Blue FC (NJ)– Natasha Kai, Heather O’Reilly, Christie Rampone
  • St. Louis– Lori Chalupney, Tina Ellertson, Hope Solo
  • Washington Freedom– Ali Krieger, Abby Wambach, Cat Whitehall

What do you think of the allocations? Which team do you think scored the strongest group? The weakest?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. its too bad about Bay Area too…some good players in Sinclair Osbourne and Arakawa of japan…but i refuse to support Formiga, she is by far one of the dirtiest players i have ever seen mens side or womens side. not to mention she complains about EVERYTHING, and according to her she never fouls…learn to play the game like it was meant to

  2. id prefer to keep the Brazil recruits to a minimum, we dont want the wps to turn into a dive fest now.

    St Luis looks strong defensively with Chalupney and Ellertson and Solo in the net is never a bad thing.

    I wonder if Chalupney will maintain her defense position or go back up into the midfield, id leave her defense as she contributes an incredibly amount on the attack for the WNT as a defender, and shes extremely hard to beat back there.

    Offensive wise i disagree with sky blue beeing the top…Natash Kai as a center foward…big wow she lost her starting place with the WNT quickly do to not finishing, or really creating much at the front.

    Washington with Abby and Cat will be tough to beat, LA got Marta…once again not really a fan, she becomes way to emotional when losing and loses her concentration

  3. @brazilian spice,

    The league can’t afford those salaries. I’m not sure what they’re making wherever those players are now, but they won’t make that here, not a chance

    The league will struggle to survive unless they operate on a MUCH better financial model than did the WUSA, and paying outrageous salaries for these players is a sure fire way to start on a bad note. My guess is revenues for the various teams will be abysmal for the first few years. That means somebody is ponying up some major cash to float this thing. I would love to know what’s going on behind the scenes.

  4. The International Draft should be telling on 9/22. Apparently Marta is asking for a yearly salary of $400,000, a house and an SUV. Christiane is also reportedly asking for a $400,000 salary for the year.

    How can the league afford to pay these players almost half a million dollars each and remain in existence?

  5. KingSnake,

    Not sure what that means. All I know is that the NBA is popular but without the support of of the NBA the WNBA would have folded years ago.

    MLS is on very sound financial footing, but no one is exactly raking in the fans. And I doubt the MLS will subsidize the WUSA.

    Oh and the fact that this failed RECENTLY.

    Its a fair question, sorry if you are a fan of the league–but my question still is fair, no need for your sarcasm.

  6. Why do people think MLS will survive? It won’t. Neither will MLS. Neither will MLB, the NFL, or any other league. All things are temporary and eventually go away …

  7. Peter Wilt? Go Chicago. I was at a match once, in Milwaukee, and he actually came up to me and introduced himself, and we chatted for several minutes. Friendly guy, and not in a fake used-car-salesman way. He can’t possibly have enough success. Too bad there are not more like him in pro sports …

  8. St. Louis hand’s down will have the best defense in the league with Ellertson and Solo, both of whom played together at the UW. Ellertson is easily the fastest player in the women’s game (but for a pregnancy, would have been a starter on the national team). Solo was nowhere close to “form” in the Olympics and is still trying to get herself back on track after the debacle at that was the WC. Best goalie in the world when she’s on her game (which is most of the time). Chalupny? Couldn’t ask for a better leader–good skills, strong shot, great vision.

  9. I’m glad it’s back, but don’t realistically know how this new league is going to survive. The teams are going with a different approach like playing at smaller venues, but you have to figure that the operating costs are going to exceed the profits. They are carrying rosters of 21 players and up to 5 international players which has to elevate the costs even more. The league will have to pay these international players a decent wage. They are also going to have to travel across the country which is not cheap this day and age. Think about how much extra they will have to pay to check all the equipment bags!

    Regarding the allocation process, why would they do it this way and not have a draft? Don’t professional sports leagues have drafts??? I think Sky Blue got the best three players and L.A. got the worst of it.

    I am a dedicated football fan and a female, but would much rather watch the EPL, Serie A, La Liga, or even the MLS. I don’t like to sound skeptical, but I just don’t think the product is there on the field. I wouldn’t actually pay to go to a WPS match.

  10. If Hamm’s Beer doesn’t step up and sponsor Sky Blue FC, they are missing a great product tie in. Most of the young ones will not get this but the old timers will love it.

  11. “Can a league survive with only 7 teams?”

    – 3 more teams will be added in 2010: Atlanta, Dallas, and Philly.

    There will be a future draft, and allotment of international stars I believe (i.e. Marta).

    FYI: St. Louis will just be know as St. Louis. No FC, United, or nick-name. And they will be coached by the former Women’s Brazilian National Team coach. I wonder how much they had to pay him to move from Brazil to St. Louis?

    Chicago hired Peter Wilt as their President and CEO, and their coach, Hayes, was very successful with Arsenal Ladies of the Women’s EPL.

  12. I don’t think we are ready for a women’s league. I see the same fate as with the WUSA.


  13. i’d just like to say that i think it’s awesome that lori chalupny was allocated to st. louis. it’s her hometown, she had a great high school career, and i think that since MLS has yet to put a franchise here (though it is now in the works and such), having a women’s pro team that includes a local player will definitely provide a draw.

    just think about all the MLS players that have ties to st. louis:




    brad davis

    (brandon manzonelli)

    mcbride (he did actually play college ball here)

    i think my point is that it’s awesome marketing to have hometown folks on the team. and i just wish MLS got here first.

    oh, and i’m definitely going to a game!

  14. So this is just USWNT players…what about all the other players in the world or are the US girls the only ones to sign with the league so far?

  15. As for the Chicago Red Stars, I hear the name was chosen from a final four which also included:

    CSKA Chicago

    Dynamo Chicago

    Lokomotiv Chicago

  16. I attended women’s A-League matches here in Phoenix when we still had a team, and the quality of soccer was quite good. Certainly better than the lump it, rush, hack of your normal MLS match. I’d certainly pay to go see these women if they put a team here.

  17. I would absolutely go see the games without my daughter. As a soccer fan, I love to see soccer at all levels, all the way down to pathetic over-30 indoor games. Besides, the women tend to have very aggresive and technical games and rely on transitions and counter attacks more than the men do. The fact that they are physically limited makes their games much more attractive to me because it’s not all about who can boot the ball the farthest down the field.

    BTW, no post about women’s soccer is complete without mentioning how smokin-hot Heather Mitts is.

  18. NJ with the most potent attack – should be a goal scoring machine. DC did well too as long as Whitehall and Wambach come back from serious injuries. I think that LA and SF came out the weakest. Otherwise, pretty even so will depend on the rest of the team.

    Think NJ is playing at Rutgers so let’s go!

  19. “Be honest. Unless you had a daughter or niece to bring, would any of you guys out there pay to see a game?”

    Indeed I will. If it is well priced, I will attend games. I will, at least, be an active follower of the Breakers and the league.

  20. The Bay Area develops a lot of great soccer talent and the girls are probably equal here in that respect – it will be really great for them to have a local professional woman’s team in terms of inspiration.

    I imagine innumerable local girl players will provide good attendance, and some of that will rub off on their social network. My son has mentioned he is going to go watch a game being played by one the girl ODP players he knows – it is not a stretch to see how this could extend to going to see the WPS play.

    Local players, if included in the team, could make the games a lot more relevant and interesting in our strong soccer community. The “local-ness” can be as big a draw as the absolute quality.

    BTW, the local area needs two teams, so that we have a rivalry. cheers

  21. I’ve already promised my girlfriend we’d go check out the L.A. team a couple of times. What are the chances that players like Marta and Prinz will join the league? More importantly, I think this league needs as many Swedes as possible.

  22. Anybody remember this quote from erstwhile WUSA president Lynn Morgan: “If they wanted to do a [center] fold, we wouldn’t be opposed to something that would show off our players.” No wonder the league collapsed, when the woman in charge has that much repect for her players …

  23. I don’t know enough about the players or the league to comment. But is the intention here WUSA:NASL::WPS:MLS ? Has this new league fixed whatever the problem was with the prior one? Can a league survive with only 7 teams?

  24. I think Boston got a bad “break” (sorry, had to do it). They got two aging players. One, Lilly, has at best 1 or 2 years of competitiveness remaining. Hucles isn’t so bad at 30, but again maybe a 4-5 year prospect. The good thing Hucles brings is scoring potential from WELL outside, something that a lot of female players don’t possess. Mitts is a solid pick-up on the defensive side of the ball.

    The Freedom get a great scorer in Wambach, as long as her recovery proceeds well. However, they will have to be careful not to build a “long-ball” offense around her, a mistake the WNT is finally learning from.

    As for the rest, I think they each got their allotment of good players and so-so players.

  25. While I personally will not have any time to watch the league, I do think it will find an audience. At least the business model is not the open lunacy the WUSA indulged in. Misc. observation: One does have to wonder about the full-on Soviet era nickname attached to the Chicago club.


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