Garber thinks half of MLS teams will get into NWSL

The Equalizer Staff April 21, 2016 170
Don Garber sees MLS teams getting more involved in NWSL. (Photo; USDA Today)

Don Garber sees MLS teams getting more involved in NWSL. (Photo: USA Today)

MLS commissioner Don Garber says he thinks that the league will soon see half of its members operating women’s teams as part of their club. Garber added that there is no league-level initiative to be involved in the women’s game, a point he has made previously.

“I think you’ll see, very soon, half of our clubs launching and managing women’s teams. When and how and what the specifics are, I don’t know,” he said in a media roundtable on Thursday.

MLS currently boasts 20 teams. That number will expand to at least 21 and likely 22 in 2017.

Garber said that the inclusion of women’s teams in MLS clubs is part of elevating the status of soccer as a whole in the U.S.

“Our goal is to raise the overall perception of professional soccer in this country–both men’s and women’s, our leagues and others,” he said. “I think as the women’s game gets more and more popular, it just makes sense for teams that have the infrastructure to add NWSL teams.”

[MORE: Houston to host 2016 NWSL Championship]

Three of the 10 NWSL teams are run by MLS franchises: Houston, Portland and Orlando. Houston has the Dynamo in MLS and Dash in NWSL; Portland has the Timbers in MLS and Thorns in NWSL. The addition of the Orlando Pride for the 2016 season — run by the same group which runs Orlando City SC — brought NWSL to 10 teams in its fourth season.

NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush recently said the league is talking to about a dozen prospective expansion teams. MLS side Real Salt Lake is one which has very publicly explored the idea of acquiring an NWSL team.

Plush has said over the past six months, including last week ahead of the NWSL season, that the league would like to expand with two teams in the same season in the next round of expansion.

  • Movement

    NWSL is the next big league of all sports for either gender in American sports.
    The fad is just starting to catch on, and more tickets will be sold as time ticks on.
    More eyeballs are watching online, and the league will soon become a monster.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm5JqXYxgv8

    • gambler

      How much money would you bet on that? 🙂

      • guest

        looks like someone started the weekend early.

        • JL

          This is nothing new with Movement. He likes to make outlandish (and at times inappropriate) statements to get attention.

    • CED

      Your delusion is noted. NWSL will be a less successful WNBA in stature.

      Garber’s comments is the thinking that NWSL will be like how European Clubs run their womens soccer clubs. The very rich men’s teams take the small hit of a couple million loss to run a womens side b/c they think the added promotion value is worth it MLS clubs may up for it especially with the pittens in salary cap in NWSL and they have very little added cost b/c they have pre -existing infrastructure from the mens side. NWSL clubs are not going to be profitable unless you can draw Portland like attendance and only a few locations besides them, if any, have that capability. .

      • Steglitz49

        It will be interesting to see how many go along and watch the FA women’s Cup final in less than a month’s time. It will give an indication of where WoSo is going in its toughest market.

      • Craigaroo

        As JL says below, Movement likes to say some outlandish things but your comments are hardly better. The women’s soccer league has a chance to become a significant sport; we really don’t know. How many people had crystal balls telling them the US women’s national team would regularly get crowds of 15 to 20,000 and be able to draw TV audiences in the millions for the World Cup? Did yours? How many crystal balls were out there predicting women’s mixed martial arts would become big business? The UFC’s Dana White said just a few years back that women would never be in the UFC.but this is why he’s a smart guy and a rich guy, too; he was able to change his mind. When the last league was folding and most people thought it was the death knell for professional women’s soccer, how many crystal balls predicted a new league would start up within a year and that four years later all the founding teams would still be around?

        • CED

          The false notions always given,

          1)USWNT is not NWSL. If NWSL drew WNT crouds the salary cap wouldn’t be around 285K, need USSF to pay 1.5 million in salary, etc..

          2)WNT attendance is sporadic and unstable. 2015 was an anomalous high just like 1999 had anomalous high crowds that went away. WNT 2014 average attendance was 10600, 2013,2012 both around 16K 2011 was 11600, 2005-2010 ranged from 4k-9k which was a huge drop from 2003,2004 of 18 and 14K.

          3)The Wcup tv falacy argument. People will watch an event every 4 years for nationalism, it does not translate to other periods. 35+ million will watch Michael Phelps win in Olympics and a US Championship meet or World Champ in the other years draws next to nobody.

          4)The other leagues failed b/c it actually had to be run under real economics of WoSo. USSF is back stopping NWSL and still only 1 team makes money. USSF is paying 1.5 million in salary while the 9 teams paid 2.38M in salary(265K x 9). That means about 40% of labor costs are paid by USSF. Btw, the wages for non NT players are horrible. Of course the WNT doesn’t care as it’s all about them. USSG should just give the 1.5 million salary (150K/team) subsidy to teams to use as they like and thus make it so more players benefit than the coddled WNT looking only to line their pockets. Btw, only a couple of WNT only played in more than 10 NWSL games. They purposely didn’t return to teams after Wcup. misses games for VT, and the ultimate insult to NWSL is Krieger skipping the league semi for a wedding.

          • Craigaroo

            First, nowhere did I say NWSL + USWNT. Obviously it’s not. Strawman argument. Second, USWNT attendance is showing a secular upward trend in the last 4 years, not a “sporadic, unstable” one. Of course it is higher in World Cup & Olympic years but in the 2011-2015 cycle, attendance in the “off-years” of 2013/14 was higher than the World Cup year (2007) of the previous cycle, the first time that’s happened since the “prehistoric” age before 1999. Third, you are flat wrong with your so-called World Cup fallacy – league attendance rose after both 2011 and 2015 World Cups. Of course there are people who tune in only for the 4-year event — no one is suggesting otherwise (except you and your pet strawman again) — but the World Cup has provided a significant boost to attendance in the league, completely counter to your claim.
            // I may follow with more because I think you’re a hopeless anti-women’s sports troll who’s behind the times with diminishing justification for your prejudice.

          • Craigaroo

            Last chart I could find from Kenn Tomasch (goes to sometime in 2014, a pre-World Cup “off year”. Notice last cycle was first time the average attendance in the Olympics year actually exceeded the World Cup year before it, instead of dropping it went up. Notice the “off years” 2013/2014, while below the World Cup & Olympics just before them, were above the World Cup/Olympics of the previous cycle.

          • Lorehead

            That’s a nice graph. Attendance per match is also only only part of the picture, so let’s give some context for it.

            The three pre-2011 peaks were the ’99 World Cup, the ’03 World Cup and the ’96 Olympics, all hosted in the United States. The breakout year was ’99; the ’04 and ’08 Olympics didn’t really move the chart much. Attendance per home friendly was significantly higher in the World Cup year of ’07 than in ’04 or ’08, two years when we won the Olympics. However, there were many fewer friendlies that year.

            If we leave out the competitive matches (The US hasn’t hosted any major ones since ’03.) and look at the friendlies, the popularity of the USWNT really started taking off again during the ’11 World Cup, and then grew again when the USWNT won in ’12 and ’15. Today, US Soccer not only gets better attendance per home friendly, it hosts a lot more of them than it used to and charges more per ticket.

          • Craigaroo

            Fourth, do you know how much red ink Phil Anshcutz ran up backstopping MLS for the first 10 years of its existence? Somewhere north of 100 million. (Maybe quite a bit more but that’s the minimum figure I’ve heard reported). All the leagues in the US we now call major leagues lost money when they started. Very few lost zero teams in the first few years of their existence. It’s called an investment and the amount of investment in NWSL is pretty modest compared to most of the major sports in US history (cf MLS again for a recent example). And we haven’t even started talking about the taxpayer-funded stadiums which have helped boost the economics of the NFL, NBA, and major league baseball.

          • CED

            Please continue your crying and excuses. Its hilarious how you ra ra goofbals for this mickey mouse league get you panties in a bunch when simple facts are stated. Btw, here’s a simple fact womens team sports leagues don’t succeed. WNBA around 20 years and still has poor attendance that has actually declined from the 1st 5 years. Womens team sports are endless money pits in the US sports market.

          • Craigaroo

            I don’t have to cry & make excuses for a league that saw none (none,, as in ZERO) of its teams fold in the first 3 years and added two. None of us are denying that women’s team sports face serious challenges and a long uphill battle to prosper — at least none of us who are serious, which may leave out the occasional silly goose like “Movement”. But fans of the sport have every right to stick up for it against someone like you who they don’t know from Adam — and certainly can’t tell apart from the blockheads who have told us over the years that no one will watch women’s sports — whether it’s women’s MMA, or women’s tennis, or women Olympic marathon runners or women figure skaters (besides their own country’s medal contenders) Or the women’s world Cup and Olympic soccer. Or the national team in non World Cup or Olympics years. Or a professional team like the Portland Thorns.

          • Lorehead

            In fairness to him, he doesn’t pretend that the Thorns couldn’t be generating more revenue than most of the BroSo teams in the country and making a much bigger profit. After all, they have higher attendance, comparable ticket prices, a salary bill dozens of times lower and a stadium that’s already paid for. Only Steglitz is that deep in denial.

            CED just doesn’t accept that the Orlando Pride, which have already sold 7,000 season tickets, the same number as the Thorns in their first, profitable, season, could be profitable too.

          • CED

            LOL..NOt folding is the lowest bar possible. But, it does tell the standard of the league. The attendance of the league is horrible. M7 of the 9 teams draw less than 42K/season.

            Sorry to break it to you but people don’t walk womens sports by tennis with consistently to make it really viable. WNBA attendance has declines fron inception from 10K to 7500. Womens specific MMA is Invicta and it draws pittens. UFC is women pig backing off a mens organization and doesn’t have an all womens card to test the draw like Invicta

          • Craigaroo

            You don’t know anything about the history of sports leagues in the USA then or you’re too intellectually dishonest to acknowledge it.

          • CED

            LOL. You just don’t like the history of womens sports leagues in USA. People don’t watch or go enough to make them very successful. Sorry facts hurt and you can never refute a single facts. You’re guided by ra ra emotion so you must ignore the economic facts of women sports.

          • Craigaroo

            I like the fact that history, the history of women’s sports, is being made. NOW. Even over the weekend as this argument has taken place here at Equalizer.

    • John

      They said the same thing about WUSA. Where is it now?

  • Paul Klee

    If there are Women’s leagues in 2024?

    • Tikitaka

      If financially sustainable organizations (i.e. MLS clubs, investors with deep pockets, etc) come on board there’s no reason a women’s league wouldn’t be around for years to come.

      • Paul Klee

        No it’s the way the laws regarding gender determination are headed. My concern right now is that in the US and Europe the law seems to be headed in a direction that allows for self determination rather than any biological/hormonal basis of one’s gender. Right now the US national teams per USSF and FIFA don’t allow for transgender players. Same for the NWSL. Unless the law can catch up I can foresee men (claiming that they are female) demanding on the threat of legal action to play at the highest levels of WoSo. And the women’s leagues and federations being compelled to acquiesce.

        • guest

          LOL U mean dudes will get themselves snipped for the privilege of earning $6,200 per year in the NWSL? Oh, man, thanks for the laugh! Keep em coming, helps us get thru the day.

          • Paul Klee

            No but if the NWSL becomes more successful by 2024 the pay will be more members of the USWNT make a good living. Besides they would not have to get themselves “snipped”as you so crudely put it or go through hormone treatment all they would have to do is assert that they are female. Remember it is self determination of one’s gender that makes you that gender. At least that is where the law seems headed.

          • guest

            Sorry I can’t keep up with current trends. Back in the day you’d have get a snip and tuck, but nowadays I guess you only have to declare your womanhood! I am woman hear me roar (and I want to play for the Dash)!

          • Paul Klee

            Yup, I hope not but it is seemingly headed that way.

          • Guesting

            Might it have been more appropriate to use Pride instead of Dash?

        • TsovLoj

          I’m deeply skeptical that this will be an issue.

          • Paul Klee

            Well despite your skepticism unless there is a legal definition of gender identification that goes beyond simple self determination I don’t see how female only sports teams can exist.

        • Lord Otter-Blotter

          I assume this issue is more likely to affect youth and college sports organizations and than pro leagues. But I imagine that, in a team sport where 22 players take the field at once, a league might just allow transwomen to play and hope for the best, figuring that there would probably never be enough of them to truly unbalance the league’s competition.

          Otherwise, I suppose we’d have to find a way to define parameters for leagues based not on gender but on physical characteristics that are more directly relevant to sports — weight:height ratios, fitness numbers (assuming people wouldn’t deliberately under-perform to fit under the limits), maybe testosterone levels or something.

          It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out, but even the most progressive person probably will agree that there needs to be a line somewhere to keep cis women from being put at a disadvantage.

          • Paul Klee

            You’re Right it could mess up Title IX. An extreme scenario would be half the members of a college football team claim they are female. Reducing the requirement to balance a huge football roster by giving more scholarships slots to various Women’s sports.

          • Lord Otter-Blotter

            Not really what I was getting at. I’ve admittedly never read much about how Title IX laws are administered, but I’d imagine that it’s more about men’s programs and women’s programs than it is about individual players. Football would obviously fall into the category of men’s programs, despite the occasional female player.

          • Paul Klee

            Title XI basically says if enrollment of men and women is equal in the general student population the number of athletic scholarships has to be equal. That’s why a university with a huge football program is likely to have more female sports programs.

        • Lorehead

          That’s not really how it works, but some people who have Strong Opinions even though they don’t know any actual trans people think it does and are freaking themselves out over it. For this purpose, I would go with hormone replacement therapy as the requirement, since that’s a step nobody goes through on a lark and it would take away a trans woman’s athletic advantages over a cis woman anyway, except maybe height.

          If we need some kind of simple rule that classifies everyone as male or female, well, that’s a problem, because there isn’t one. That’s why the Olympics never found a definition of “female” that worked, and eventually just stopped testing.

          • Paul Klee

            The people that I know that are “freaking out” over it are not concerned all that much over actual trans persons but over people (read obnoxious men and boys) using gender self-determination as loophole to gain access to areas that would put women and girls in a situation where they would feel varing degrees of discomfort. But that’s a political discussion that I’m not having here.

          • Lorehead

            Right, and that freak out is based on a very insulting misconception. Also, it’s actual trans people they’re legislating against.

          • Paul Klee

            What “insulting misconception” is that?

          • Lorehead

            Basically, as you say, the fear that men are going to maliciously declare themselves female as a way to harass women has nothing to do with actual trans people. That’s not how the medical profession diagnoses people as trans. It also has never happened, and would already have been illegal if it did. And there isn’t any such thing as a “common sense” biological definition of male or female anyway: propose one, and I’ll give you some real-world examples of an intersex condition that break it.

            But this is being used as a pretext to pass a bunch of laws across the South that don’t even pretend to have anything to do with the original scenario, but harm and demean a lot of other people who happen to be unpopular. For example, making it illegal for a trans man who’s had hormone replacement and surgery to use an empty, single-occupancy bathroom with a lock, or for someone with AIS to use any bathroom at all. And making it legal to fire gay people for being gay in cities that voted to prohibit that.

          • Paul Klee

            Huh, what is the “insulting misconception”? The misconceptions are all on your part. At least 4 in your statement. For starters your statement ” making it legal to fire gay people for being gay…..” Is not reality based in any way.

          • Lorehead

            You are misinformed. The North Carolina bill made it legal to fire gay people for being gay in the cities that had passed laws against it, such as Charlotte. That was so extreme, even many Republicans don’t support it, but it was in the bill.

            The insulting misconception here is your belief that men maliciously declare themselves to be trans in order to attack women. That’s never happened, but it’s being used as a pretext to pass bills that hurt a lot of innocent people.

          • Paul Klee

            See that’s a misconception. Even as poorly as that Bill was written it just said that you can’t sue in state court for job discrimination. Any kind of discrimination including sexual orientation, age, religion…. Meaning that you would bring your job discrimination complaint to the Feds (EEOC). In no way whatsoever does that bill say it’s LEGAL to fire gays for being gay.

          • Lorehead

            No, they cannot. There is no federal law against firing gay people for being gay, either. There’s one that’s been repeatedly proposed, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, but it’s never passed. Currently, even though it would have enough Republican votes to pass both the House and the Senate, and the President supports it, Speaker Paul Ryan is refusing to allow it to come up for a vote in the House. This is for the same reason nothing ever passes any more: a bloc of about forty intransigent House Republicans have threatened to bring down Ryan if he makes any kind of deal with the Democrats, about anything.

            Some cities in North Carolina did pass laws against it, and the anti-trans bill repealed all of them. It is now legal to fire gay people for being gay everywhere in North Carolina. The bill also took a swing at other targets of opportunity, such as banning increases in the minimum wage.

          • Paul Klee

            The EEOC in fact disagrees with you in Baldwin vs Dept of Transportation the EEOC asserts that sexual orientation based discrimination is already against the law and is therefore illegal.

          • Lorehead

            This one’s complicated. The EEOC has claimed that sexual harassment laws apply to gay people, the federal courts have not yet ruled on whether or not they agree, and it would still theoretically be legal to fire gay people for being gay if you could do it without creating a hostile work environment (although I admit that’s not very likely).

            I originally brought that up as an example of how the North Carolina legislature was using the bathroom myth as a pretext to attack a bunch of people it hated. If you don’t consider that a good example, there are several others. The bill repealed all local anti-discrimination laws, so it legalized firing trans people for being trans, too, and it also lowered all local minimum wages that were above the state’s. It really has more to do with how the North Carolina Republicans, since they came to power in 2011, have been taking away the power of cities to do stuff they don’t like.

          • Paul Klee

            All I said was that there will be an obnoxious man/boy that will enter a woman’s/girl’s changing area not to do harm but just to cause discomfort. This has happened already in Washington state nothing happened to the man and complaints by woman were rejected with authorities saying the person was within their rights under the law.

          • Lorehead

            Incorrect. The police were not called. The Washington State Human Rights Commission released a statement that that kind of stunt is not protected under their anti-discrimination law.

          • Paul Klee

            Duh that’s the point the swimming pool authorities couldn’t do anything to the man because he was acting within the law and whatever the WSHRC says about it being protected it is in fact protected by the law.

          • Lorehead

            First, it’s not true that the swimming pool authorities couldn’t do anything about him. The agency to which he would putatively have gone with his civil-rights complaint have said that he’s not trans, so they would have rejected his complaint had he made one, which he didn’t. When he said the law was on his side, he was lying. Similarly, to address your original fear that got us onto this topic, cis men can’t get on women’s sports teams.

            Second, the reason this guy got away with it was that people believed the myth that the law was on his side, and didn’t call the police. I won’t claim to know what went through one lunatic’s head, but the only people saying people should go ahead and do it were immature right-wing trolls on the Internet. So that incident only happened because people believed the myth. What that proves is that the myth is harmful and people should stop spreading it.

            Third, since actual trans people (as you’ve said) don’t do that, a law which attacks them by making it legal to fire them and illegal for them to use public restrooms at all is an irrational response.

          • Steglitz49

            Did you know that Kenny Dalgleish is regularly hauled over the coals because he does not drink alcohol?

            If Kenny did not smoke it would be seen as a good thing but because he does not drink, this fine man is seen by some as a kind of pervert.

    • STT

      I don’t think that’s really a fair question to ask – at this point in time – since the league is clearly healthier than it’s ever been and shows no signs of financial problems. Adding MLS teams (or other good owners) will only make it even healthier in that respect, too.

      • Guesting

        With all the problems they have had with independent owners regarding facilities, location, marketing and their overall expertise in general, what would constitute a good other owner, especially if you had to make a choice between one of them and a MLS club owner.

        • STT

          You mean the independent owners like DC, who’ve had the best small SSS in the country and have been near or at break-even each year, like Seattle, who have already put money into Memorial and are looking in to adding more while also slowly expanding how much of its seating they open, like Chicago, who’ve upgraded into a large SSS with a sweet deal, like WNY, who have stayed in the same stadium for six years now as improvements have been added, or like KC, who with all the others above have always acted very professionally?

          The perceived “problems” of independent owners have been highly overblown, IMO. You many want to point at NJ or BOS, but they’re not representative.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. DC have always impressed me. That very first opening season was an eye-opener. The fans stayed loyal.

          • Guesting

            I didn’t say they weren’t carrying their weight, but seeing what they have had to go through, with what they have to work with, the MLS clubs, to me, would be the best choice.

            While you are right about what Washington has done, where do they go from here? To grow you need a larger facility at some point. What kind of game plan do they have to deal with it. They and Sky Blue and Boston don’t really have a MLS facility they can utilize for right now. If “Supply and Demand” come into play, I would think at some point they will probably be pursued by other MLS teams, less inclined to wait for a future expansion team.

            I have a lot of admiration for the ownership in Chicago, in their taking the big step to play all their games in a MLS stadium, something I would have liked to have seen KC do as well. But that being said, will they be able to make it profitable in the long run. Granted Chicago got a sweet deal on rent and the free parking and that will help, but will they be able to draw enough, to make it profitable. While not having the overhead and marketing the MLS clubs can provide, they also don’t get the revenue that is generated by the food and drink concessions that all the MLS teams derive from their stadiums. KC actually out drew 8022 to Houston’s 7440, but probably did not fair as well with revenue as Houston did because of their concessions. All the more reason they will have to draw more then someone like Houston, to make it profitable. So it is still a wait and see in their case for both these teams.

            In the case of Seattle, there is still a lot that has to be done to the stadium to make it more appealing for the fan experience. Trying to match-up to the all the amenities that you would get from a MLS stadium, would be a costly undertaking for such an old stadium. They at least managed to improve things a bit for some of the fans by opening a beer garden.

            There is still major challenges ahead for the independent owners. For some, if not all, the biggest problem is the dependency on youth teams and their parents for a majority of their attendance numbers. Their running around yelling, with no interest in the game at all, tends to alienate the true fan, and any of those seeing a game for the first time. I have heard that from some of the Sky Blue and Washington fans, and may be a problem for some of the other teams as well. Changing this for them may be easier said then done, but it needs to be done.
            The one question I ask, is if Portland had not been involved from the beginning, where would the league be today?

          • mockmook

            If Houston and Orlando (instead of NJ and Boston) had been in the original 8 teams, where would the league be now?

  • Tom F

    for a change of pace, here’s the full game replay between two of England’s best clubs, Arsenal & Chelsea
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sMjh32QMhg

    though both teams are loaded with talent, Chelsea got more chemistry & balance

    • Terry Lash

      Thanks.

    • Ethan

      I’m glad that Chelsea won, but that first goal should have never happened. I was so impressed by Arsenal’s goalkeeper after her ridiculous save against Asllani. Unfortunately, she didn’t do as well on Kirby’s first goal.

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        It wasn’t her best moment, she made a good stop from Drew Spence later on though.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      Really feel Arsenal should have started either Smith, Oshoala or Natalia. They had 3 very lightweight forwards who couldn’t hold the ball up in Chelsea’s half, it was just too easy for Bright and Flaherty. Rafferty did a good job keeping Carter quiet, Drew Spence had a good game too, as well as Kirby getting the goals.

      Another defensive error for Arsenal, and another for Jemma Rose. She was great last year but I’m wondering whether Pedro will switch her out before the cup final as he has German international Josephine Henning sat on his bench. Rose has only just turned 24 so has plenty of time to bounce back, I’m still thinking she’ll be one of the best defenders in the country in a few years.

      Ji was quiet, and Carney didn’t have much luck cutting in off the wing, so I guess you have to credit Arsenal’s midfield for that. Was the worst I’ve ever seen Vicky Losada play though, she’s usually quality but I can see why she got pulled out. Nobbs was good, really feel she’s hit another level since coming back from the injury she got at the world cup.

      After losing that and the Manchester City game Arsenal will be desperate to win the FA Cup. Let’s hope Taylor is fit for it!

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      • Tom F

        Arsenal started the mid, van den Donk as striker, even though they had plenty of actual fwds on their roster. They also played the ‘not ready for prime time’ Wiliamson over Jansson.
        But the battle seemed to really was won at midfield, Part of me likes Chapman for her physical/aggressive style, Another part feels that she’s kinda of a dirty player, getting away with as much as possible without getting a red. I’m surprised didn’t use her vs the US last time around since hat’s the kind of player that usual gives the American team the most trouble.
        That the other DM, Spence, was able to roam so freely into the attack(even though she didn’t look particularly fast), showed just how much Chelsea took control of the midfield.
        It’s almost like Coach Pedro didn’t want to show his cards, and waiting for the Cup final to play his full cards. But ten why I take an important league game loss?

    • Chak Khan

      ARS will be here to play against one of our NWSL teams sometime this year, correct?

      • JL

        They’re playing the Reign in late May.

      • Steglitz49

        Arsenal or the Gunners, please.

    • Lord Otter-Blotter

      Seen very few WSL games on YouTube, thanks for sharing!

  • Steglitz49

    When Patek Philippe and Victoria Secrets sponsor them, we know that the NWSL — and the FAWSL — has arrived.

  • Gary Diver

    What is the significance of the article picture? Does TAG Heuer sponsor NWSL? Does it sponsor MLS?

    • SpiritFan00

      It’s probably there because there aren’t that many picture of Don Garber with a NWSL player.

    • Don B.

      Tag Heuer is the new official timekeeper for MLS and US Soccer. They also provide the referee watches and the substitution boards. Morgan has a deal with them as spokesperson.

  • Gary Diver

    Both USWNT and USSF could do a much better job in supporting NWSL. And NWSL could be a much better job in marketing itself.

    Probably less that 10% of Americans ever know that NWSL exists, which is ridiculous considering the popularity of USWNT. At all of the SBC games there was a brief promo at halftime for NWSL that started out by saying “you may not know it, but there is a professional women soccer league where you can watch your favorite players play each week.” Why is it so hard to get the message out? Women soccer doesn’t sell itself. Somebody is not making a strong enough effort to get the ball rolling.

    • Esk22

      You have to realize that USSF is limited in what it can do. The reason is it is a non-profit whose main mission to develop the game of soccer in the United States. They do it through youth programs, coaching clinics, and support of the NT’s. They are supporting the NWSL is limited ways because: The NWSL is a FOR PROFIT enterprise with millionaire owners.
      So they are providing back office support that piggybacks off their Chicago offices, they can help make introductions to their sponsors, they can advertise their foundation or programs, and support the salaries of the WNT. The problem is when they divert too much money to support a for profit enterprise, you have to wonder if they are achieving their mission or harming it by diverting funds to other programs.
      The main responsibility for marketing for the league has to be the league itself and the owners need to make that investment. The USSF can only do so much. I think the thought was the USSF support would wane after helping get the NWSL on its feet, not to be a permanent subsidy, and certainly not to fund their growth.

  • AlexH

    This makes a lot of sense. MLS teams want to generate revenue for their stadiums and during the Summer when they cant tear out the field and the NWSL fits the bill. I hope that they first acquire weak NWSL teams before expanding though.

    • My2cents

      I think they will do both. Let’s face it, they all can’t come in at the same time, so those that don’t want to wait years down the road, may find it more suitable to acquire one of the existing teams.

    • Guesting

      The sooner you can add a couple more MLS clubs for expansion the better. Orlando is a good example of that. This is an aggressive ownership that has put a lot of time, effort, and money into marketing the Pride. By doing so, they have managed to sell over 20,000 tickets and are on their way to beating Portland’s record of 21,144, they set against Seattle, and this is in their first home game opener. Amazing accomplishment. This is the kind of ownership you want to see, not owners that lack the knowhow and the money to promote their team. The sooner they can get more of them on board, the better it will be for the league. Last year Plush stated the league would like to expand to 14 teams by 2020. I would be surprised if they didn’t take the opportunity to expand in 2017 with all that has been going on. This last addition of Orlando making an immediate impact as an expansion team has garnered a lot of attention for the league, and they need to capitalize on it now.

    • CED

      NWSL teams will lose money, your entire theory is wrong. Btw, considering the stupid logic WNT is using in their EEOC case a MLS team that owns NWSL should be paying the same salary to both.

      • guest

        Isn’t the whole EEOC complaint premised on the fact that the USWNT are public employees? If the NWSL can’t make money, then how do you explain the Thorns?

        • CED

          The basis of their bogus complaint has nothing to do with public employees or not, it’s based on same employer, claiming doing the same job(which is not really true). They complaint is bogus on a host of fronts.

          • TsovLoj

            If Orlando’s attendance holds, they won’t be the only outlier for long. If they can demonstrate that lightning can strike twice, NWSL will have plenty of MLS suitors.

          • CED

            Whether MLS teams get NWSL team is not b/c of notion to make profit. It will be like home Euro Clubs subsidize the losses of womens sides for PR value. Most MLS clubs have academy system and or U -system teams under their banner, NWSL is viewed as an extension. They are not going to do it b/c of the notion it will be a profit center, they will hope to break even and if lucky make tiny sums so not to have to actually subsidize it. Euro cubs lose millions on womens side but don’t care b/c the clubs are worth astronomical sums

          • Guesting

            It is not with the notion of losing money either, or a lot of them, for PR value, would have been lining up right from the beginning until now. Sure it might be good for PR, but it also an opportunity to utilize their stadiums and their resources to generate more income for the club. So I doubt they have any intention of copying the Euro Clubs who are willing to just subsidize the women’s teams for the PR.

          • Gary Diver

            It is not clear to me why European clubs “throw away” tons of money on women soccer. Apparently the attendance at European women club games is not very good and the women teams lose tons of money. From a “soccer-as-business” viewpoint, I can’t see why the men teams care. And when people say “PR”, I don’t know what they are talking about. What is to be gain by the men.

            It seem nobody really knows and everybody is just guessing why men subsidize women in Europe. It can’t be because they want to appear altruistic or are doing it because of the kindness of their hearts. And it can’t be because they are getting money for value. What is it? What is in it for them? Is it a sense of paternalistic guilty – they are going to take care of their little sisters who can’t take care of themselves?

          • Kyle

            The women teams in Europe do not play in the men’s stadiums. Do not use there facilities. Bayern Munich would never share it’s 80,000 stadium with the women who draw 1,000 fans. How are they losing money. Women play in a crappy stadium somewhere that is not used in Germany.

          • John

            They wear a uniform that says Bayern Munich on it that’s all they share. Same goes for all the Europe teams. Play in vacant stadiums and with 1,000 at most fans watching. That includes PSG, etc

          • Steglitz49

            The men’s teams defrays the infra- and superstructure, iows pay the bills — just like MLS affiliated teams.

          • Lorehead

            Even CED doesn’t pretend that the Thorns couldn’t be making a profit because men’s teams subsidizing women’s teams is some inalterable fact of nature.

          • CED

            European clubs use training fields with bleachers or some have mini stadiums where their youth teams play. The cost is that they still pay the players, coaches, training staff, travel, etc…and Euro womens game have poor attendance, so little revenue. The sponsors are for the entire club in general and few are womens specific so little added revenue that way. The Lady Bundes gets just over 1K per game/avg last time I looked and they are considered 1 of the best leagues that dominates the womens C-league most years.

          • Lorehead

            Well, keep in mind that most men’s teams in the world lose money too. The typical owner is a big football fan who really likes being in control of the local football club and getting to hobnob with all the people whose social circle he gets to join.

          • Steglitz49

            Please see my reply to CED elsewhere.

            I contend that CED makes many valid points but s/he also overreaches from time to time. Unfortunately for WoSo, Lorehead is also inconsistent in his understanding of fundamental points. They are both blinkered as to their failings though Lorehead seems to be learning from his mistakes.

          • Craigaroo

            You’re talking out of school again, Steggers. (grrrr!) CED doesn’t make any valid points that we fans of the sport don’t make ourselves, here or at BigSoccer. We’re a bunch of worryworts, or hadn’t you noticed?

          • Gary Diver

            Wouldn’t it be a grand show if the US Senate could hold hearings with subpoena power to follow the soccer money trail. CED likes to argue the economics of soccer but he nor anybody else knows the tenth of it. And I suspect the truth would be more shocking than anybody can imagine.

            Compared to soccer, professional cycling is small potatoes, but the money trail there ends up in stinky places. My guess is that soccer is a cesspool of sweetheart deals, money laundering, pay-offs, and creative accounting. In connection with WoSo, it is to the advantage of the money powers in soccer to keep the status quo including keeping WoSo in its place. Money talks.

          • Steglitz49

            The Senate should start by holding hearings on the Supreme Court nominee and then vote.

            After that they can focus on soccer money trails and trials.

          • CED

            They aren’t going to be generating more net income unless you’re drawing Portland 16K crowds. Btw, something nobody else has done as Portland is a soccer hotbed. If you draw like the rest of the league you’re losing money. Houston draws 60K year and still lost money. Btw, every time you use the stadium it adds cost and if the ticket sales /concessions might not cover at NWSL low attendance numbers. Yes, clubs want to utilize stadiums if they own them when MLS team not playing but the better way to do that is often renting it out for usage and just charging a fee .

          • Craigaroo

            First of all Portland was making money with average attendance at 13,000+ in 2013 and 2014. Enough that it exceeded Merritt Paulson’s original best-case scenario and it allowed him to agree to some revenue-sharing. So the breakeven point isn’t 16K or even 13K. Of course overhead varies a lot with the stadiums, but it’s quite possible the breakeven in a typical MLS stadium is less than 10,000.

          • CED

            You people are so defensive it’s hilarious. The simple fact is 1 team makes money, that 1 team accounts for 156K of the 454K league attendance.

          • Lorehead

            You’re still in denial of the simple fact that at least two and probably three other teams in the league break even?

          • CED

            NO denial. I’m still waiting for the report on someone making money besides portland..Hint, it doesn’t exist.

          • Lorehead

            Sure, crazy person! From The Washington Post:

            The Spirit averaged 4,084 at Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County, a 22.5 percent rise over 2014. Team owner Bill Lynch, a Virginia-based software executive, needs to average 4,000 to break even.

          • CED

            You clearly know nothing about sports not all of the 4084 weren’t paying customers. That’s the way sports works the announced attendance and paying customer attendance very and even more so in lower leagues like NWSL who give away a ton of tickets. Second, I waiting for all the headlines you people keep failing to produce showing somebody made an actual profit besides Portland. Where’s the Spirit headlines. Could it be what they said breaks even in 2014 is not longer the case in 2015, 2016? Of course it is! The desperation of you clowns is hilarious and so pathetic.

          • STT

            First: Lynch didn’t say 4,000 paying customers. He just said 4,000. Unless there’s a statement otherwise, that number could very easily be accounting for how many are actually paid. For example, in 2013 he said 3,000 needed to break even. I fully expect that jump to be accounting for the payment gap.

            Second, if you like your “facts” so much, you still need to produce some yourself saying that teams aside from Portland AREN’T breaking even.

          • CED

            AGAIN TO ANY OF YOU Ra RA CHEERLEADING CLOWNS..SHOW AN ACTUAL REPORT OF THEM MAKING MONEY. A 100% DEFINITIVE ARTICLE LIKE PORTLAND HAS AND NOT YOU GUESSING AND COUNTING ON OBTUSE STATEMENTS YEARS BACK. YOU CAN’T B/C THEY DON’T. IF THEY DID THEY WOULD BE RUNNING TO THE PRESS TO YELL IT B/C THE NWSL WOULD WANT THE PUBLICITY

          • STT

            “Years back”? Sorry, everything I’m talking about has been said in the past six months.

            Also, Portland’s profits have only been mention in similar news articles – and NOT touted by NWSL directly. NWSL has never “run to the press” for anything, even Portland.

            Nice all caps, btw, really convincing.

          • CED

            If any club was actually making money they would running to the press like Portland. They aren’t b/c they aren’t making money. You can keep pretending they are in you desperate attempt to defend the horrible economics of the NWSL.

          • STT

            First, if you know anything about NWSL, no one runs to the presses for anything. Even Portland has never bragged – only responded to outside reports. And the Portland media is more soccer-crazy than other markets, which explains the coverage. (Heck, even in MLS, where at least a third of teams are profitable, no one has ever gone trumpeting that information out)

            Second, there have been plenty of news articles over the Spirit’s history saying they near profitable – that’s nothing new. Now, after the 2015 season, we see one that suggests they’ve crossed the threshold. Even if they are 2% under instead of 2% over, that’s not “horrible economics” at all, especially in the sports world. (Again, even in MLS, most teams are losing money still. Much more money, I might add, than NWSL teams.)

            All you’ve been doing is blowing hot air without backing it up. Sorry if you aren’t convincing anyone.

          • CED

            Actually you’re wrong as expected. When MLS first few teams went to profitability they touted it to show the viability of the league. it would be happening in NWSL if it existed. Since so many failed WoSO USA leagues showing viable economics is even more important. Even though the only way they can ever get to profitability is paying slave wages and the USSF paying 35% of the leagues total salary.

            Many MLS teams losing money year to year is no big deal b/c the value of the teams. Initial franchises were bought in 1996 for 5 million, to get a new franchise now is 100million+. The franchise fee is going up again to 115+ for the new cities interested So any owner has that 100+ minimum value b/c any new franchise which several cities want have that value. Any current owner could sell their franchise and relocate for at least that minimum value and many franchises have higher values. The lowest valued team is Colorado at 105mil . Many NBA teams lose money as well as MLB, and 2015 1 NFL team lost money. They really aren’t that worried b/c the team value is massive if sold and the values go up all the time even for the cellar teams. That value is essentially a massive jackpot at the end of the rainbow all owners know they have. Look at the Clippers, they were garbage most of the least 30 years and lost money consistently. However the teams value was very high It was bought for 12 million in early 80’s and sold for 2 billion. The Nets lost 6 million last year but they don’t care much b/c the team value is 1.7 billion and its value increases by 13% while losing money that year.

          • STT

            I’ve been following MLS since 2007. There were maybe one or two teams profitable then, so if I missed those, oh well. I haven’t seen or heard anything from MLS itself about the number of teams becoming profitable since then. So no, MLS has not touted anything.

            Also, I need proof on that 35% number. I’d believe it if you’re just talking about the player salaries, but each team has way more costs than just player salaries.

            Finally, if you REALLY want to go the “losses don’t matter since the value is going up” route – do you honestly think that isn’t the case in NWSL either right now? The league has expanded twice, the salary caps are increasing, and there were networks fighting for a TV deal. Those are all sure signs of a fast rise in value. MLS teams are knocking at the door, and not just for PR. They’re seeing the rise in value (and profitability from the current MLS-backed teams) and want in.

          • CED

            Yes, when you don’t like facts..it’s moving the goal posts.

            Networks fighting for a tv deal? LOL.. NWSL was begging for anyone of note to give them a deal b/c nobody wants to bump their existing programming in the time slots. NWSL plays mostly saturday/sunday which is valued time in sports tv. NWSL managed only to get FS1 to do 3 games at the end of the season and the 3 playoff games. Hardly fighting.

            Expansion doesn’t mean value is necessarily rising. There were more cities applying than franchises to start. Btw, please tell the original franchise fee and the new franchise fee? That would tell if value increased and if so how much.. Like everything with NWSL it;s not known b/c they seem to be embarrassed by the financials. That’s why they don’t tell what each player is paid unlike other sports leagues in the US. They know but are embarrasses b/c they have a salary cap so they have to track the pay to prevent violations.

          • STT

            “Yes, when you don’t like facts..it’s moving the goal posts.”
            Considering you’re the only one who’s been moving goalposts, you basically just said you don’t like the facts. I’ve always responded directly to everything you presented with my own information. Every time one of us counters you, you change the subject.

            And yes, Fox was not the only network to bid for NWSL games. Equalizer even had an article about it, if you missed that. I never said the networks were fighting over much. But the demand, if small, is there and growing. That was the point. NWSL was not begging anyone.

            Expansion, especially with multiple MLS teams wanting in, means there’s more demand than supply. So even if it’s not made public, yes, by economic definition, the value is increasing. If you think Orlando paid less than Houston did to get in, you’re delusional.

            The lack of publicity is not, as you want to imply, a guarantee that the economics are in the downward direction. Yes, the salaries (and likely the expansion fees) are small. That doesn’t mean they’re not growing. IIRC MLS didn’t publish player salaries in its early years either. Heck, even the EPL doesn’t publish salaries, or at least didn’t as of last season (I don’t follow England all the closely)

          • CED

            Keep believing your delusion. Whatever makes you WoSo victim brigade believ their delsuions Just like you delusion their was a fight for NWSL tv deal. 4/20 past but you seem to be lighting up today.

          • STT

            And you can stay in your own little dark cloud of denial. We here are anything but victims – we’re seeing the growth that’s actually there.

          • CED

            You’re delusion id funny if it weren’t so pathetic. Btw, please tell us all what Houston and Orlando paid. Oh wait…wait…you have no clue b/c they are embarrasses to show any financials. Everyone however does know what every MLS team paid for their franchise from day one. More demand than supply…So since like 15 cities proposed for the initial teams those should have been really expensive to get the original 8. If they were they would not be embarrassed to relaase the cost of those or new franchises. Just like they are embarrassed to release salaries. Btw, the salaries of each team and player are available. .ie..the lowest paid player on Chelsea is Blackamn at 1000 pounds a week, the highest is Hazard at 200,000 pounds a week.

          • STT

            11 cities bid for the original 8 slots, FYI, and 2 clearly weren’t going to get in (just like the 2014 Atlanta expansion effort didn’t) because they didn’t have enough money to support a team. Since then, multiple MLS, NASL, and USL teams have expressed interest, just two of which have been accepted thus far.

            Again, I don’t follow England all that closely. The last I had heard about their salary info was http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2553546/Premier-League-clubs-follow-MLS-publish-players-salaries-argues-report.html

          • Craigaroo

            We’ve won this battle. Women’s soccer, women’s sports, have won a great battle with this, the 4th year of the NWSL. Maybe tomorrow the ghost of Dan Borislow rises up and strikes us all dead but today we have won a great battle. (for LeCarre fans, you probably hear echoes of the General, Vladimir, from Smiley’s People) It’s useful, sometimes, to have discussions like this because it’s about history and about the individual choice on where they stand in history. And history is about change. People like CED, for God knows what reason, only care to defend the status quo, the unqualified successes with the big numbers to back them up, because things are what they are because they are. I guess. They have neither sympathy nor understanding, nor indeed respect, for change. I’ll stop here because if I go on I’ll start sounding like some wild-eyed Bolshevik like Zinoviev talking about our choice, as individuals, at this moment in history… (which would be a pretty silly thing for a card-carrying member of the Republican Party, like me, to do!)

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe WoSo has won it in the US though the evidence is not iron cast. Worse, WoSo is a long way from making it anywhere else. Granted, in some EU countries, the rich men’s clubs can carry a female section, which is a blessing.

            But if by WoSo you mean pro-soccer from women for women to women, that may not be possible in the near future.

            America has it best with its NCAA and Title IX though it seems to exclude girls from the wrong side of the railroad tracks. In that sense, WoSo looks like remaining an exclusive club and not a unifier.

          • Craigaroo

            You personally haven’t moved the goalposts regarding the folding of teams, but none of us were born yesterday. It’s always used against the women’s league. as it is against any new sports startup league, so it’s intellectually dishonest to not acknowledge it.
            // Sports economics is different from typical businesses. For one thing, as Lorehead has pointed out, profitability isn’t always the prime motivation for some owners. Of course, sustainability has to be even if profitability isn’t. There are owners of women’s teams who are happy to lose a sustainable amount of money on their teams just as there are owners of men’s teams who do the same. It’s fine to use profits as one measure of the viability of the league, but it isn’t the sole, or even the primary, measure of its economic viability.

          • CED

            LOL. So facts are you’re problem that WoSO leagues have failed multiple times and NWSL is essentially only around b/c USSF pays almost 35% of leagues salary. The league still has slave not even at the 500K cap of the least failed league. wages. Yes, facts you don’t like are a problem and intellectually troubling for your ilk.

          • Craigaroo

            Again, losing money is the norm for new sports leagues. It was true of baseball, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL which covers all the major sports in the US, doesn’t it? Facts, man. Which is why you look at how many teams are folding for evidence of sustainability. Also the USSF investment in the league makes sense because otherwise they’d have to consider the alternative of prolonged camps in order to try to develop players and maintain the US leading position in women’s soccer.

          • Steglitz49

            The US needs a pro-league to compete in the WC because of FIFA principles *. The NWSL meets that need for Mexico and Canada as well as the US.

            *) in as much as you can say that FIFA has principles but with a new hand on the tiller, a Swiss lawyer to boot, there is hope

          • Guest

            I appreciate your knowledge and valiant attempt to combat the troll CED but I think, as you put it, we well past the threshold for diminishing returns. It’s not that he doesn’t have an occasional valid point but that the vast majority of his “facts” are unsubstantiated assumptions while continuously creating straw man arguments because he/she thinks it makes him/her smart or intelligent coupled with a detestable condescending writing tone. It may just be best to ignore all of CED’s posts instead of satisfying his/her clear need for attention.

          • Craigaroo

            This sounds wise.

          • CED

            Yes, the bar is infinitely low..just don’t fold is success…LOL. The difference between other leagues ie..is that the value of the teams is huge so losses mean little. Jesus..fraking Barca loses money all the time but the team is worth 3.2 billion and it grows yearly. NWSL have little no value, so embarrassing low value they won’t say what a franchise costs or release an ounce of other financial info. Actually the USSF investment in the league is stupid in how they do it. Giving a ton of maney to people already in the pool just makes haves and have nots and has lead to the entitled nature of WNT that they try to lock out new talent. The entitles nature has lead to the notion that playing for NT is a primary job, it;s not. That thinking is however an indictment on the poor economics of WoSo. That mentality has lead to the labor dispute and their delusions of grandeur of their value. Btw, having camps would be cheaper for USSF and it’s not like they are bringing in many new NWSL people that weren’t in the pool from full NT or U system anyway.

          • Craigaroo

            You’re insisting on comparing with established leagues and teams with decades of history? And only the most successful ones at that? (Why not Leeds United for example?) I notice you don’t want to compare with the early years of baseball, NBA, NFL, and NHL. Intellectually dishonest. The league isn’t bleeding unsustainable buckets of money. Teams aren’t folding. The league is growing, not shrinking. So who cares except some dead-enders whose point of pride is they can tell their daughters and nieces 10 or 20 years from now how they fought the good fight to make sure no one believed they could have a league of their own…?!

          • CED

            You’re a clown. The early years of baseball..yes, 1903-1907 the 1st 4 years of MLB is relevant. How dumb are you? NHL 1917-1921 is relevant. B/c sports, tv, etc,, were the same Oh wait there was no tv ,etc,,,of nowadays. NFL and NBA had proven model, interest of pro bball and football they just sought to do it better. Apples to oranges.

          • Craigaroo

            Sure, with the saturation of the big money major sports soaking up most of the media time, it is relevant to compare the startup of the league with those early days. Beats comparing it to FC Barcelona. The story of sports leagues in their infancy is a story against the odds. You like proven winners where you don’t have to show an ounce of courage, creativity or vision; it’s all laid out for you. // But someone suggested we’ve reached point of diminishing returns in this discussion and they’re probably right.

          • CED

            Yes, the victimhood again. Wow what an idea media don’t wnat to “soak up time” on league that has 4K attendance. A sport in WoSO outside of every 4 years Wcup draws pittens in tv audience. imagine them being smart business people. It’s the dame reason they don’t spend much time on prof lacrosse either or other 3rd tier sports in the USA

          • Craigaroo

            MLS was down to 3 ownership groups in the early 2000s. Phil Anschutz (Uncle Phil as he was called) and Lamar Hunt owned multiple teams. These things take time. Deep pockets (and a vision) help a lot. It’s not unusual. It’s the norm. Look at the first couple decades of attendance at Fenway Park.//
            It’s a long uphill road to where we want a women’s league to be but it’s already come a long way. And it isn’t going away anytime soon. But for today, with the start of a 4th season underway, women’s sports have won a great battle. There’s only 6 games guaranteed of being broadcast by Fox, but the league’s not paying to put it on. Fox is footing the bill and undertaking the risk, the investment. Another battle won, at least for now.

          • CED

            You’re laughable. You set the bard of success so it will always be reached. It’s like the clown media saying Trump os presidential b/c he went 1/2 a speech without insulting another candidate. If he went a day they would go apoplectic that he’s a statesman like Abraham Lincoln. You have set the bar equally low for NWSL. It just shows it’s a joke. Whooppee 6 games at the end and they cover costs, you know that’s a standard thing and you think it’s an accomplishment. You ony pay costs as the league0ie..product) if you’re desperate.

          • Craigaroo

            “Desperation”? Are you kidding?!! Our league just made it to year 4 with no teams folding and adding two teams. This league isn’t disappearing anytime soon. And if some unpredictable tragedy should happen — the Ghost of Don Borislow should rise up and lay a curse on it, perhaps — we all know a league like it could start right up again. We know it’s sustainable. Listening to a troll like you, we’re downright smug and complacent knowing this league is going to be here for a while.

          • STT

            (I assume you meant this in reply to CED than to me! I never used the word “desperation” or suggested the league was weak 😉

          • Craigaroo

            Yes, sorry! Obviously this argument with CED will soon reach a point of diminishing returns, but discussions like these serve a small useful purpose, I believe. Up to a point. I’ve noticed that some of you are getting very good at them and it’s all part of a general perception change regarding women’s sports and women’s soccer in particular, perceptions that affect decisions made by more important people than me – people in corporate boardrooms and newsrooms. Quite frankly, we’re winning this fight and it doesn’t matter that dead-enders like CED will deny to the very end.

          • Steglitz49

            We are great supporters of WoSo and sport for and by women generally. WoSo struggles everywhere except in a few places. We have faith that this struggle for existence will prevail.

            At the same time, one should be mindful that CED makes some points which WoSo does well in not neglecting.

          • Craigaroo

            ( I replied to the “desperation” comment but linked to wrong comment. My reply is below Bottomline – you’re delusional if you think we’re desperate. Why would we be with the league making it to year 4 and looking to add more teams? We’re downright smug about it, to be honest)

          • Steglitz49

            EU men’s clubs do not subsidize WoSo teams for PR value. Man Utd closed down their women’s side and Chelsea almost did but for John Terry while Real Madrid have never had one.

            Some teams, like Arsenal and Lyon put money into their ladies sides because senior brass among the men push for it. More recently, Federations and teams have responded to behind the scenes political pressure.

            One team that might fit your bill is PSG because they upped the money to their ladies because they thought it would take longer for their men’s side to make a mark for themselves. had they guessed at the impact Zlatan would have, the ladies would have been kept on their short rations. The problem for WoSo is that PSG’s ladies have failed to deliver the goods.

          • CED

            It’s PR value. They support the WoSo teams to get good PR that they have womens side so they don’t have to hear the complaints they don’t have a WoSO team…ie…”political pressure” and ” pc pressure”. They are pushing for it…LOL….it’s to shut up the critics. The few million they lose is worth not hearing whining about why do you have a WoSO when your club is worttg 600M or 1 Billion. It’s PR to silence the critics and appear forward looking, it’s worth losing money to not have bad PR of being a rich club with no WoSO

          • Steglitz49

            Arsenal Ladies was started in 1987 long before the issue of PC was relevant. The Doncaster Belles started in 1969 while Bayern Munich’s Ladies in 1970.

            Both France and England have fessed up to sports ministers asking the federation and clubs to do more for women’s sports. In Germany it has been Angela Merkel who has given the lead.

            The FA wanted a ladies team in Manchester but realized that Utd would not eat humble pie. Instead the FA approached City. There was a WoSo team who had played under the name of City and worn Man City’s kit bought in the fans shop! City agreed to take the lasses under their wing but forced the FA to put them straight into the WSL1 so Doncaster Belles got stuffed which caused a lot of aggro at the time.

          • guest

            If they were interested in owning NWSL clubs for PR reasons, they would have bought already because the price of an NWSL club is only going to increase with time due to the rising salary cap. It’s more likely MLS clubs are waiting on the sidelines to see if the NWSL remains financially viable. But more importantly, MLS clubs aren’t even wealthy themselves and can’t afford the kind of PR the European clubs can indulge in.

          • CED

            MLS teams have good value even if not making a ton of money.and don;t have wealth like Europe. Every MLS team has a value of 105 million minimum and the 10 original members had franchise fees as low as 5 million. The new franchises fees are 110+ million plus and rising. The money in sports ownership is often long term and occurs via the eventual sale. Most major sports owners it’s about ego of being rich enough to own a team. They made their money in other areas to have the money to get a team to feed their ego and say they are in the exclusive club of owning a major sports team. They often lose money year to year but the rise in value is more than annual lost. Ie….NBA nets lost 6 million last year but rose in value by 13% or 220 million. The Clippers lost money for 30 years but sold for 2 billion more than it was original bought for. Sabres were bought for 90+ million and were resold like 5 years later for 170+ million and they weren’t a profit all star.

          • guest

            Then the basis of their complaint is that they don’t get paid the same as the men even though they share the same employer, USSF? In which case, you’re right, why wouldn’t Dash players make the same complaint against their employer? I hope you’re wrong about all this, because none of it makes any sense. For one thing, how could the company that owns both the Dash and the Dynamo possibly stay in business if they had to pay their men and women equally?

          • mockmook

            “For one thing, how could the company that owns both the Dash and the Dynamo possibly stay in business if they had to pay their men and women equally?”

            That’s why many of us are skeptical of this whole “equality” agenda when there are REAL differences in who makes the money to pay the bills.

          • Gary Diver

            There are a lot of complicated issues that need to be discussed before agreeable solutions can be worked out. The devil is in the details and those details may take years to develop but now is a good time to start. (If not now, when?)

            I think we all agree that NWSL players should be paid much more than they are, but how do we get there? The first step is to have a discussion about the problem. (Apparently players in the early MLS league often got poor salaries.)

            Soccer first appeared in the Olympics in 1900 and the first FIFA WC was in 1930. The first women FIFA WC was in 1991 and the first women soccer Olympics tournament was in 1996 (five years after their first WC). There has always been strong resistance to women having parity with men in soccer at every step. The specific arguments change over time, but people who do not think women deserve equal treatment in soccer always finds argument to support their beliefs. (The first women WC had two 40 minute halves. The symbolism of this is obvious: Women are not equal to men.) But perceptions do not have to become reality.

          • Lorehead

            Indeed, the first women’s WC was the World Championship, and only got renamed the World Cup retroactively, because FIFA didn’t want cooties all over its shiniest trophy.

            If you look at the NWSL salary numbers, the news has been pretty good. The salary cap has gone up by 38% since 2013, and on top of that, there are 25% more roster spots due to expansion. We’re not realistically going to see female players getting paid as much as the men unless and until they bring in comparable revenue at the club level, as the USWNT does. (If Bernie ever gets his revolution, his priority will not be to make more millionaires.) Alex Morgan might be able to justify that as a business decision for the Pride, since a lot of those 7,000 STH bought those tickets because of her, but of course Alex Morgan is paid for by the USWNT, not the Pride.

            But on top of that, the MLS players got the deal they did by forming a union, playing hardball, and threatening to strike through February 2015 when the season started in March. The USWNT is doing the same thing. The NWSL players will only get a deal as good as theirs by doing the same thing.

          • Steglitz49

            The World Cup is translated the World Championship in many languages. Weltmeisterschaft or Verldsmesterskab or Världmästerskap, for example, abbreviated WM and VM, respectively.

          • Lorehead

            I think I’ve finally figured out who CED is. He’s a false-flag operative paid by the USWNT to make their opponents look like a bunch of despicable misogynists. Even when he has half a point—I’ve been saying the same thing you just did myself, and proposing that the women instead get the same share of the revenues they generate—he has to ruin his own argument by being mean-spirited.

            He doesn’t say that the principle we apply here really ought to make sense if the USWNT starts bringing in much more revenue than the USMNT; he keeps repeating his delusion that the women make a much higher share of their revenues, not much lower, when US Soccer’s own budget clearly proves him wrong. He doesn’t just say that we shouldn’t want to apply this principle to fledgling sister teams; he insists that WoSo players don’t deserve equal pay to BroSo players even when they’re much more popular and lucrative, because women are objectively inferior. And of course he has such charming habits as calling me “girl” and telling me he knows I’m male; he just means girl as an insult because girls are stupider and have cooties.

          • CED

            LOL. You’re a bigger clown than usual. But, it’s expectedwhen the facts are against you.

            The WNT does get a higher % of revenue. I know you failed math clearly and it also seem reading comprehension as the figures states release show that. How dumb are you? The USSF stats prove it you’re just not very bright. I know you never look up facts but USSF lastest reports support what I have been saying for months. Equalizer ignored it in it’s news b/c it doesn’t fit their narrative

            The sign you have lost, the obligatory victim stance when you don;t liek facts.

          • Say a team sells only 3,000 tickets per game. At $15/ticket that’s $45,000 per game. That doesn’t take into account concessions, merchandise sales, sponsorships, etc. Most teams should be able to break even, even with minimal attendance numbers. I would be surprised if more teams weren’t in the black.

          • CED

            LOL…Are you joking 45K games for 10 home games is $450K. A teams has expenses beyond the 265K+salary cap. You have to pay ahead coach,assistants, trainers, CEO of the club, and many other people. they also have travel costs, etc.. On concessions the stadium owner often gets concessions sales all of it and definite majority % unless the team owns it;s own stadium, There is a reason only 1 team makes money and they are the one with attendance 3X the league average.

          • Steglitz49

            Judging by EU teams, a WoSo team needs either a rich supporter or a wealthy men’s team to keep them in the black.

      • STT

        “NWSL teams will lose money”
        Portland, Houston, likely Orlando, and even DC last year all say hi.

        • CED

          The only teams to make money was Portland..Sorry facts hurt! The team that drew 156K..nobody else drew more than 64K. 1 of 9 teams made money and USSF paid 35% of labor costs.

          • STT

            In 2014, Portland was the only team to make money. In 2015, Houston and DC joined Portland in the black, from everything I’ve read. Please provide a finance sheet or other news article if you have facts otherwise.

          • CED

            Please provide a financial report showing DC made a profit on 40K attendance and Houston on 64K..

          • STT

            News article mentioning DC exceeding the average attendance it needed to turn a profit – barely, but still exceeding: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/soccer-insider/wp/2016/04/14/womens-soccer-league-claims-its-first-victory-of-the-year-a-fourth-season/

            I don’t have a link for Houston, but two separate posters on BigSoccer, both of whom have a reputation for accurate insider NWSL information, have said multiple times HOU turned a profit.

            Just as an aside, you’re being really short-sighted if all you’re considering is raw attendance. Each team has widely varying expenses and different local sponsorships, and not all use the whole salary cap either.

    • Steglitz49

      To acquire a weak NWSL team, the current owners must be willing to sell. Every person has their price but that price is not always right.

      Now, if Donald Trump was to start a WoSo side …

      • JL

        Don’t you bring that evil in here, Steg!

  • kernel_thai

    So in reference to the picture above I assume the NWSL is still using an hour glass?

  • Gary Diver

    Marketing

    The history of marketing shows that success businesses and franchises are created by targeted marketing. Few people knew of Listerine until their marketers promoted it as a solution for a problem that didn’t exist: halitosis. The Model T didn’t sell itself, Henry Ford effectively promoted it. The music industry from the beginning spent large resource for advertising and marketing their products. If products sold themselves, why do liquor companies and the Star Wars franchise spend so much money on advertising? Even companies producing addictive products, like cigarettes, know the value of successful marketing. And since 1960 we all know that winning the US Presidency is all about successful marketing strategies.

    So where is the NWSL marketing? Other than Nike, who are their sponsors? It would be great if Ford, Apple, Google, or other large national corporations took them onboard. How about companies that make women’s products? That would seem to be a natural fit.

    If big companies could associate their brands with the NWSL brand, it would be a win-win situation for everybody. Having several weekly NWSL game that are well attended is better for American women soccer than having a couple of USWNT Friendlies every other month. In fact, I believe a strong NWSL will also be good for USWNT in the long run.

  • Gary Diver

    The devil is in the detail. So there are currently 3 NWSL teams run by MLS teams and Don Garber expects several more MLS teams to sponsor NWSL teams. How to you get there from here? (I noticed that there was no timeline.)

    Are the MLS-sponsored teams run better? I assume the pay structure is no different. Do they have separate administrations?

    Good ideas need to fleshed out with details before they are ready to fly.

    • Lorehead

      The best-laid plans of mice and men, but NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush is talking about adding another four expansion teams, which if he’s lucky would even give him a choice of which MLS owners to accept. Who would have predicted that in 2013? That would get the league to seven. Those might be Utah (the leading candidate), New York (where an insider told The Equalizer a few months ago that NYCFC branching out was a matter of when, not if), LA and the Bay Area.

      Then, a few MLS owners might buy out a NWSL team like Red Bull was in talks to do to Sky Blue. Maybe in Chicago and DC? Or maybe those teams have owners who want to stay in control, and they just sign an agreement to share facilities? That gets them some of the advantages of sisterhood, but not the sharing of overhead.

      Then the league might start convincing any other MLS owner who wanted a team to buy out a perennial struggler like Sky Blue or Boston for a pittance and relocate it. That way, it gets rid of the team without ever having any of their teams fail.

      • Gary Diver

        I am all for expanding the NWSL, but isn’t an important issue the size of the markets? Rochester must be the smallest market by a mile and with markets size counts.

        Is there any obvious reason why Boston is struggling? Beautiful city – hate to see it lose the Breakers.

        • Lorehead

          One problem in Boston is that Boston’s more saturated with sports teams: they have teams in all of the top five leagues in the country, including BroSo, and those teams are all popular. Portland just has the NBA and MLS, and the Thorns started when the NBA team was in a dry spell. You can maybe point a finger at their sports culture, although I’m a little reluctant to take the word of relatives in New York for that. But certainly it didn’t help that when a Breaker did get a guest slot on local sports radio, Curt Schilling called in and they let him take over the show and ramble for a while, and then when they did give the woman a moment, they made fun of her.

          As for Rochester, same story as the Buffalo Bills these days: it’s a family business, and the owner doesn’t want to relocate or sell.

          • Gary Diver

            I may go to the Red Stars-Flash game in Rochester when I visit my family in early July.

          • Steglitz49

            As for not selling, every person has his or her price. If the price is right, the owner/s will sell.

            As for Boston and WoSo, I have long contended that entitlement syndrome is at work here. I have met people who are truly devoted to the WoSo team and go more than an extra mile for them — while most people seem not to care a fig.

            The competition from other sports is frequently cited in which case one solution is to place new NWSL teams elsewhere. Houston, though an MLS-expansion, would argue that it is possible to sell (distribute) decent numbers of tickets but oth their big 4 teams maybe aren’t big enough?

  • I want to see a NASL or even USL team own a women’s side. I don’t want the NWSL to become MLS-Women. There needs to be diversity in ownership groups.

    • STT

      FCKC are owned by the same group that runs the Missouri Comets of MASL. Not NASL or USL, but it’s another men’s team.

      • I did not know that. That’s awesome!

  • Steglitz49

    I don’t much like the styling of TagHeuer watches but at least Alex is wearing one that fits her wrist and is not too garish.

    More important, Tag Heuer belongs to LVMH (short for Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy though the formal order is Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton).

    • Gary Diver

      Size does matter. Garber has a bigger one than Alex:)

      The symbolism here is interesting. TAG Heuer sponsors MLS (team) and Alex Morgan (individual USWNT star celebrity).

      • Steglitz49

        Indeed. Also, the backdrop is all MLS with 3 balls (can’t be stars, can they?), not 2.

  • STT

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/apr/23/orlando-pride-houston-dash-first-game-nwsl
    Nice day-of perspective of what one of those MLS-run teams did this weekend. =-)