The top-tier Women’s Professional Soccer is folding, the league announced Friday.
WPS had been suspending its operations for the 2012 season during a legal battle with former owner Dan Borislow, but that lawsuit was settled Friday and announced in conjunction with the news that operations will be suspended permanently. The Board of Governors will begin the process of dissolving the league.
WPS, which had hoped to return in 2013 despite its financial struggles, lasted three seasons — equal to its predecessor, WUSA.
Several of the WPS’s top stars have already joined lower-league teams in the semi-pro WPSL and W-League of the United Soccer Leagues, many of them in Seattle (Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Sydney Leroux, Stephanie Cox) with the Sounders Women. Most players in the W-League, however, aren’t paid and the league only runs through mid-July.
The WPSL and USL could be launching potential top-tier leagues in the future.
“We sincerely regret having to take this course of action,” said T. Fitz Johnson, Atlanta Beat owner and Chairman of the Board, in a news 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,” said Thomas Hofstetter, CEO and president of Sky Blue Women’s Soccer, Inc., in the release. “We are extremely grateful to our sponsors, the talented players and dedicated fans that made this league so special. They, along with our teams, have invested an incredible amount of resources for the benefit of the women who played in WPS and the young players who aspire to play professionally someday.”
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I’m not sure this comes as a huge surprise anymore, but what are your thoughts?