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WPS Folds After 3 Year Stint and Lots of Problems

2012 May 20
by Brian Quarstad

The WPS officially announced on Friday they have played their last game and the league has folded. The league had been rumored to be in trouble for the past two years after several teams folded in 2011. It’s the second professional women’s soccer league to fold. The WUSA ran from 2000-2003 before folding.

“We sincerely regret having to take this course of action,” said T. Fitz Johnson, chairman of the WPS Board of Governors and owner of the Atlanta Beat, one of five teams that remained at the end. The statement came in a release posted on the league’s Facebook page.

“We are proud of what WPS has accomplished, having attracted the highest quality players in the world to play in the best women’s league, as well as the progress women’s soccer has enjoyed over the past three years,” CEO and president of the New Jersey-based Sky Blue club Thomas Hofstetter said. “We are extremely grateful to our sponsors, the talented players and dedicated fans that made this league so special.”

The WPS owners also announced it had reached a private settlement with Dan Borislow.

In 2011, new Washington Freedom owner Dan Borislow promptly announced he would move his team to South Florida and change their name to magicJack, the company he founded.

Borislow immediately started challenging the WPS rules, some of them being US Soccer standards and other FIFA standards. Eventually the WPS dropped magicJack and Borislow. A law suit was filed by Borislow and a major media mess followed with accusations from both parties including players who even said Borislow asked them  to call him “daddy.”

After dropping the South Florida team it left the WPS with only 5 teams. US Soccer said they would not sanction the group and then changed their mind once the WPS owners stated they had enough support to get to 8 teams by 2013. But after the lawsuit by Borislow, the league withdrew for the 2012 season and stated they would come back for the 2013 season. The announcement on Friday puts an end to that plan.

No matter the issues involved with magicJack, the WPS had deeper seated problems than Borislow. For some time those who followed the league said the salaries were too high for the gate they were taking and spending habits were also too high, often spending more like MLS teams than D2 or D3 professional men’s teams in the US, who often had attendance figures that were much closer to WPS.

The WPS was the home to many of the world’s top women players. Many of those have gone on to play in other leagues with some going to Europe.

Most US-based players are currently now playing one of two pro/am leagues, the WPSL Elite League and the W League.

13 Responses
  1. Bart permalink
    May 20, 2012

    Borislow, being the asswipe that he is (yes, I will defend that one, and my opinion only) was able to choke WPS and kill another womans professional soccer league with his litigious actions. What a wonderful stroke of genius for “daddy”.

    With womans soccer being the only soccer US representative at the Olympics this year, this is more than a shame, it is a disgrace and Borislow and his bullying ways should never be part of soccer in this county again.

    Snakes, snipes and snake oil salesman appear in abundance with the masses. Thank you Mr. Borislow for being the “Daddy” that you wanted to be.

    Rumor does have it that USL is working on a woman’s pro league to substitute this, and I can only say, Hurrah to Papadakis and Holt for having the courage to even try this.

    Let’s hope Borislow will never be admitted as a team owner.

  2. May 20, 2012

    No rumor, Holt has confirmed it. A very hokey flash website has been up for a while now.

    “W-PRO is being developed to offer an economically viable and sustainable model for professional women’s soccer in the United States and Canada,” wrote Holt.

    “Distinguished by a business plan focused on team services, creative marketing, financial discipline and player development, W-PRO will establish an exciting, stable league platform for team owners, players, fans and sponsors. A formal announcement and additional details about W-PRO will occur in the coming months.”

  3. Yankiboy permalink
    May 21, 2012

    “We are proud of what WPS has accomplished…”
    -Thomas Hofstetter

    ^My eyes are still rolling, after reading this. I’m going to try not throw any more dirt on a dead body…

  4. Yankiboy permalink
    May 21, 2012

    Hey Bart, talk about how things can change change in less than seven months:

    Check out theis L.E. Eisenmenger interview with Amanda Duffy, one of the brightest lights over at the USL Headquarters.

    I really enjoy Eisenmenger’s work. Duffy stated c couple times that the USL didn’t have any intention–no matter what happened to the WPS–of opeating a womens’ division one league.

    Kinda looks like those intentions may have changed a little bit since the interview.

  5. Bart permalink
    May 21, 2012

    @ Yankiboy

    Given how much has happened over the last 7 months, I can see how USL’s position may have changed. Of course, and this is speculation, it could be that USSF made a call to USL to see if they could do something like this, as USL is the only current entity that has the ability to even attempt this.

  6. Danwolf permalink
    May 21, 2012

    Let the WPSL Elite and W-PRO war begin.

    Which league will earn the right to be Women’s D1. Or does MLS come in and form the WMLS. We shall see.

  7. May 21, 2012

    @Danwolf, Personally I think Ron Paul should start a new women’s league. They should call it the RPPWSLE. Ron Paul Pro Women’s Soccer League Elite. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? It just rolls off your tongue.

    You started it:

  8. Yankiboy permalink
    May 21, 2012

    @Bart: W-Pro should be Duffy’s baby. If someone approached me about having a club compete in W-Pro, that would have to be a lock or I would probably pass. I wouldn’t want any of the dudes over there outside of Holt having anything to do with my club. She’s probably the person that I respect the most in a manageent position over there outside of Holt.

  9. Danwolf permalink
    May 21, 2012

    Its all good Brian. Show the Ron Paul support.

    But yea, Its sad to see WPS go. From my understanding is that both (USL) W-Pro and (WPSL) WSPL Elite are vying for D1 status next year. I kinda interested to see what happens.

  10. May 21, 2012

    Someone else can cover that battle Dan. I think I’ve had enough of that.

  11. Bart permalink
    May 21, 2012


    I hear on top of being smart, Madame Duffy is a hottie! I agree, if USL does move forward with this, she is the most likely person to take the USL reigns on this.

    Can you imagine a person (manly that is) like Economides gonig into the locker room after the game? Lot’s of shrieks and fainting spells. Or more likely, he gets the bajeezus knocked out of him by some pretty strong athletes.

    WPSL Elite is not vying for D1 status, they want to keep the players occupied until a D1 is reestablished, unless I missed something on the horizon.

  12. May 21, 2012

    @Bart, If Economides went into the guys locker room there might be lots of shrieks and fainting spells. 😉

  13. tomASS permalink
    May 22, 2012

    Sounds like Dan Borislow is more of a magicJack-off

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