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The Largest National Women’s Soccer League in the World is Committed to Women’s Soccer
Women’s Premiere Soccer League (WPSL) Supports Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) During Suspension of 2012 Season
By: WPSL News
When the WPSL was formed 15 years ago, the founders committed themselves to providing the opportunity for female soccer players to play and develop at a highly competitive level. Since that beginning, the WPSL has successfully grown from a small West Coast-based soccer league to the largest women’s soccer league in the world. With over 70 clubs preparing for the 2012 WPSL’s amateur 2012 season, that commitment to women’s soccer is as strong as ever.
With more than 23 years in women’s soccer, Zanelli realizes that a professional level league is needed in America and encourages all to support the WPS and its five teams during the suspension. Zanelli says, “Our country and our top female players deserve the WPS and need a high quality professional league to support our U.S. Women’s National Team. It is important that our professional level players have games to play and maintain their skills.”
The top names of the U.S. Women’s National Team have played on WPSL teams. These include Abby Wambach and Shannon Boxx with Ajax America and Julie Foudy and Brandy Chastain with California Storm. In fact, it was while playing with Storm that Chastain reinvented herself as a defender and returned to the National Team to great triumph.
Over the years, hundreds of dedicated athletes have played in the WPSL, with many going on to professional careers. Just in the past three years, 65 former league standouts have had the opportunity to move on to professional careers at the highest level of American women’s soccer. Last year, at the elite college level, 30 current and former WPSL players were named to the NSCAA National All-American Teams.
The WPSL has pledged its support for WPS and has offered to provide whatever assistance it can to ensure that professional women’s soccer can return to action in the near future. “We are reaching out to WPS to see what we can do to help,” said WPSL Commissioner Jerry Zanelli.
Arnim Whisler, owner of the Chicago Red Stars, knows personally about the WPSL’s level of commitment to the game. After beginning as one of the founding members of WPS, the Red Stars suffered financial setbacks at the end of the 2010 season. “When the Chicago Red Stars had their financial struggles at the end of 2010 season,” said Whisler, “the WPSL could not have been more accommodating to helping us work through the situation and return to play.” In 2011 the Red Stars successfully competed in the WPSL Midwest-North division.
“Over our 15 years we have been 100% committed to women’s soccer,” Commissioner Zanelli explained. “We think it’s vital that we continue to have these top-flight teams play in the 2012 season. I know the owners of the WPS teams are very disappointed at what has happened. It’s up to everyone who is involved in women’s soccer to find ways to keep the players active and continue their good work for the sport.”
With all of the recent success of women’s soccer in America, the news this week that Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) had chosen to suspend operations for the 2012 season came as a huge shock and surprise to the soccer community. The decision by the Board of Governors to take this season off to deal with ongoing legal and financial issues was a difficult one to make, but one that all involved agreed was necessary. The goal of the WPS at this time is to resolve the current situations and return to the pitch for a 2013 season.
As the WPS continues to work toward resolving the issues that resulted in the decision to suspend the season, WPSL will be there in whatever way it can. “The WPSL is committed to doing everything possible to help the WPS make it through these trying times,” said Zanelli.
About the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL):
The Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) is the largest national Women’s Soccer League in the world. With more than 70-plus women’s soccer teams, the WPSL is the leading amateur soccer league in America. The league is sanctioned by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) as an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). The WPSL's mission is to provide opportunities to further the women’s soccer game for the aspiring professional, international-
Media Note: WPSL Commissioner Jerry Zanelli is available for interviews upon request
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The Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) is the largest national Women’s Soccer League in the world. With more than 70-plus women’s soccer teams, the WPSL is the leading amateur soccer league in America.