Nov 23, 2012, 3:44 PM EST
As the last incarnation of women’s professional soccer planted seed, the notion gained momentum that MLS should lend a partnering hand.
With those front offices in place (“How handy!”) and with an increasing number of stadiums that needed dates filled, it just seemed to make sense.
Only, it didn’t. Make sense that is. Not for MLS clubs.
Major League Soccer officials were loath to say so publicly, of course. So it was something of a dirty little secret among MLS deciders, but they had little incentive to assist the women’s professional soccer cause.
It’s not that they didn’t want to support women’s professional soccer or didn’t want to see it succeed. Nothing of the sort, in fact.
They simply were not in a position to lend a supportive hand.
Men’s professional soccer dwelled (and mostly still does) in a red ink state. Budgets and staffs were stretched already, never mind adding a whole new team to sell, promote, market, etc.
Besides, their fan bases were sparse enough in some cases; cannibalizing it or diluting it through a greater number of matches seemed a dicey gambit, at best.
That’s why WPS and MLS never linked up – even when it seemed to make so much sense from the outside.
But this is soccer, and this is the United States, which all means these things are in constant evolution. Generally speaking, when it comes to the business of our domestic game, things are moving in a position direction.
So this news that the Portland Timbers don’t just want to be involved with the next incarnation of women’s professional soccer, but that owner Merritt Paulson is eager to get stomping in this new gig, really does represent a significant development.
Here is Paulson’s statement on the matter, from the club:
The Timbers are, and always will be, steadfastly committed to growing the sport of soccer in our region at all levels, and championing a new women’s league and operating a team here in Soccer City, USA, will be an important part of that growth.
“Building on today’s news, soccer fans can look forward to many exciting announcements in the coming weeks and months leading up to the club’s inaugural season, including team name, logo and uniforms; schedule and ticket information; and a host of prominent roster announcements.”
The Timbers are in a different situation, clearly. Like Seattle and perhaps a couple of other clubs, Instead of looking for newer, better, more effective ways to sell the soccer they already have, the Timbers need more soccer to sell.
Dec 11, 2013, 4:47 PM EST
Brazilian star’s hat trick helps Barcelona rout Celtic, claim first in Group H.
Dec 11, 2013, 4:43 PM EST
One good club from Group F was bound to be odd team out on Wednesday as Champions League group play finished with a high-wire tension.
Dec 11, 2013, 3:32 PM EST
There’s more to “coaching discussions” right now in domestic soccer than those four MLS openings:
Dec 11, 2013, 2:31 PM EST
He keeps performing for “club” … but when it will translate to performance for “country?”
Dec 11, 2013, 2:15 PM EST
Hull chairman Assem Allam is ready to risk backlash with choice comments and a formal application for name change.
Dec 11, 2013, 1:45 PM EST
From East Coast goalkeeper to West Coast coach in under five hours.
Dec 11, 2013, 1:28 PM EST
Which venues will the USA be playing in next summer? We take an in-depth look at them, right here:
Dec 11, 2013, 1:12 PM EST
Next stop: politicians. David Beckham’s bid for a stadium in Miami is moving ahead.
Dec 11, 2013, 12:34 PM EST
New York City FC is on the verge of getting a palace in the Bronx.
Dec 11, 2013, 12:09 PM EST
What? Roy Keane back down from a fight? Sir Alex and Keano still bitter after all these years.
Dec 11, 2013, 11:33 AM EST
Dwyer suggested a transfer abroad was imminent, but has backtracked.
Dec 11, 2013, 10:54 AM EST
Longtime Revs keeper and Boston Marathon bombing hero retires with 75 clean sheets and 110 wins.
Dec 11, 2013, 10:15 AM EST
Former Inter star sends Juve down to the Europa League with help from Didier Drogba.
Dec 11, 2013, 10:00 AM EST
Who’s hot and who’s not? Check out how the sides stack up after a double dose of action last week:
Dec 11, 2013, 9:50 AM EST
Any takers on these three countries as potential upset-springers in Brazil?
Dec 11, 2013, 8:52 AM EST
Could Newcastle set a standard in offering exclusive access to paying media members?
Dec 11, 2013, 8:31 AM EST
Has Wayne Rooney rejected contract talks with Manchester United? Can a suitor pry Vincent Kompany from City? All this and more in Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup.
Dec 11, 2013, 7:41 AM EST
Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini and goal scorer James Milner apparently in dark over UEFA Champions League tiebreaking rules.
Dec 10, 2013, 11:20 PM EST
Relax – the LA Galaxy and U.S. national team’s all-time leading scorer isn’t going anywhere:
Dec 10, 2013, 10:31 PM EST
So the New York Red Bulls’ top organizational man says wants Henry to consider another year after 2014, eh?
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