Women’s Professional Soccer has suspended operations for the 2012 season, sources confirmed early Monday morning. WPS struggled through another turbulent off-season that saw the league drop from six teams to five – an all-time low – after terminating the ill-tempered Dan Borislow’s magicJack team from the league.
That led to a fight for survival with the U.S. Soccer Federation, which eventually decided to sanction WPS as a top-tier women’s soccer league for 2012, on the condition that WPS grow to six teams by 2013 and eight teams by 2014. Less than two months after that decision, WPS will not even play in 2012.
The plan is to come back in 2013 – presumably with at least those six teams that U.S. Soccer will require as a minimum – but a year of darkness for a league whose sport just peaked at the 2011 Women’s World Cup last summer could be the end of women’s pro soccer for the foreseeable future.
Much of the decision to suspend operations for 2012 has been attributed to the on-going legal battle with Borislow. After his team was terminated, he opened up a legal battle against WPS for reinstatement. Borislow and WPS settled on having magicJack play a series of exhibition games for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, a compromise that further shattered the legitimacy of WPS as it tried to move out of Borislow’s shadow.
Charles Boehm has some more details over at National Soccer Wire. WPS is expected to release a statement at 1 p.m.