WPS is expanding to 10 teams in 2010 (how fitting) and the three cities who are getting the new squads are Atlanta, Dallas and Philly. The Atlanta team does not have a name yet, but their old WUSA team was called “the Beat” so they may go with that. Ditto for Philly, who used to be known as “the Charge”. The Dallas team will be known as “the Sting”.
The WPS suits are committed to responsible growth and the long-term stability of the league, as evidenced by their difficult decision to push back the expected start of the league in 2008 to 2009 to avoid conflicts with the 2008 Summer Olympics. WPS is going for a “grassroots” approach, and I think their business model is a darn good one.
Each team has a budget of $2.5 million to spend this year, and hopefully that number will rise as the league becomes more popular. With deals in place with PUMA and FSC, WPS looks poised to push its way into profitability and the American sports conscience. I hope it can, as it would be a terrible shame to see another league fail in the US.
As for the logo above, I am a big fan. The silhouette is that of Mia Hamm, who will never actually play in the WPS. She was a driving force behind popularizing soccer in America though, so it is fitting the league bosses decided to honor her. The choice of Hamm for the logo shows WPS wants to pay homage to the past. But, I know those in charge of the league are preparing for the future. Let’s all celebrate the return of top flight women’s soccer to America, and let’s all support this new league. It could be the best women’s professional league in any sport in the entire world.
But it needs us to get it there.