Sep 3, 2010

It was only March of last year that Women’s Professional Soccer began play, some six years after the Women’s United Soccer Association had folded.

Now? The WPS may not be in danger of folding, but they have reached the point where reorganization became necessary.

This week, in an effort to cut costs, the WPS laid off its chief operating officer and eliminated all of its national marketing employees.  You’d think that laying off your COO and eliminating any thoughts at national marketing (the owners decided to concentrate on local marketing) would lead to doubts about league viability.  But apparently, even Mary Harvey, the now ex-COO of Women’s Professional Soccer, thinks otherwise.

“I am optimistic that there is a place in the global sports landscape for this product.  The global growth rates of women’s soccer point to it, and we have established a world class league here in the United States.”

The WPS hired Melanie Fitzgerald as WPS’s manager of league operations to replace Harvey.

Harvey’s optimism aside, the WPS has certainly seen some struggles in its second year of existence.  Two teams — St. Louis and Los Angeles — now cease to exist, leaving the WPS with seven teams.

It was just this time last year that the WPS had the English Football Association worried; they were diligently working on creating a womens super league to keep English women playing soccer on their side of the pond.

Now, regardless of the optimism of those involved with the league, long term viability has to be questioned…right?

“Everyone is looking at us and saying, ‘Will they make it?’ Yes we will,’” Thomas Hofstetter, who owns the New York club Sky Blue FC, told SportsBusiness Journal. “We’re focused on stuff that will do well for us as a league, and that’s expansion, ticket sales and sponsorship. We’re doing well on all those fronts.”

Well, for now, I guess we’ll give the league the benefit of the doubt, and wait it out.

information from the San Francisco Business Times was used

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