Posted at: 12/11/2012 5:53 PM
Will the third time be the charm for a U.S. women's professional soccer league? A new eight-team league, which includes the Western New York Flash, will start up this spring.
The new league will include players like Pittsford's Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan. But where they will play is still being decided. The league will have plenty of star power thanks to the Olympics and the increased financial backing.
The U.S. Women's Soccer Team led by our own Abby Wambach packed Sahlen's Stadium to capacity this summer. Their Olympic victory tour after winning gold has a lot to do with why a new women's professional league will be up and running by the spring. The previous two leagues, failed due to money.
That's why the U.S. Soccer Federation is financially backing top level talent like Wambach. In order for the national team to compete in the Olympics and World Cup, they need to work.
Pat Ercoli, Sahlen's Stadium General Manager, said, “The three federations were getting involved. The U.S., Canada and Mexico. They will play those national players $60,000 per player.
College soccer provides a player pipeline, but it does not create world class players immediately. A well-funded pro league with high quality players is necessary.
Ercoli said, “Three players will be on each team. American, Canadian and a Mexican player. There will be six to seven players from those federations.
Sahlen's Stadium General Manager Pat Ercoli says about 200 season tickets have been renewed after only going on sale last week. The Flash ownership is committed to winning. They've won three championships in three different leagues in the past three years, which is why they earned the right to have a team in the new league.
Ercoli says Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan may play for west coast teams, closer to where they live, but Canadian star Christine Sinclair could return to the Flash.
Ercoli said, “Vancouver is where Alex lives, but Sinclair is a major player in the league, so that would be great.”
Sinclair gave the U.S. Women a run during the Olympics.
Ercoli says it comes down to money and the Sahlen's ownership wants a winner. So it's unclear if that would include Abby or Alex on the payroll. To be determined. But with an eight city league, Wambach will be back in Rochester competiting. Having a better business model not only helps the league, but future World Cup and Olympic teams.