Barcelona: We’ll have a team in NWSL for 2018

The Equalizer Staff May 11, 2017 266

A spokesperson for global soccer giant Barcelona said on Thursday that the club intends to field a team in NWSL for the 2018 season. This is not the first time Barcelona has been linked to NWSL, but the wording was firm, indicating the club believes it is a done deal. No city was named but the Twitter account @BarcaWomen said it would be a standalone club and the 11th in NWSL.

Although the NWSL did not immediately comment in regards to Barcelona’s claims, the league has since released a formal statement on the matter.

“We were pleased to learn that earlier today the FC Barcelona Board of Directors approved a development plan for women’s soccer in the United States and we look forward to continuing discussions with the club regarding expansion into the NWSL.”

Barcelona, whose women’s club became the first Spanish side to reach the semifinals of the Champions League last month, opened a permanent office in New York City last fall in an attempt to grow its brand around the world. In the last two weeks Barcelona has expanded its U.S. presence by announcing academies in Chicago and San Diego. That brings the total to six in the states—Fort Lauderdale, Austin, Charlotte, and Northern Virginia are the others. There are also multiple Barcelona academies in Canada.

The last NWSL expansion came for the 2016 season when the Orlando Pride became the 10th team. Jeff Plush, commissioner at that time, indicated that he preferred keeping the number of teams in the league even meaning further expansion would be in groups of two. As recently as January, Plush was bullish on the level of interest from potential ownership groups.

  • SEM

    If FC Barcelona has a permanent office in NY then one can assume that the team may play there or perhaps in one of the neighboring states. I’d love to see a new team in the mix, it might bring more international players here.

    • TsovLoj

      Both SB and Man City might not like that very much.

      • Guest

        They aren’t going to do anything in New York. They are going to go the the West Coast and will partner with a men’s team. LA or San Jose were the West Coast towns they mentioned previously. San Jose makes a lot more sense for them. I think the Egos are too big at Galaxy for them to do a deal there. I doubt San Jose would do a women’s team otherwise but should benefit from the publicity and a stadium tenant with the deepest of pockets. It also balances the league and helps them get to East and West coast divisions.

        • My2cents

          Actually San Diego makes a lot more sense the more I think about it. With the Chargers gone and only the Padres to contend with, I think they will draw extremely well. Seems like they are already laying the ground work for that to happen.

      • guest

        San Jose just hired a Barcelona native Andres Deza, to serve as the new girls DA Director. His teams (and his daughter) play fantastic possession soccer in the style of Barca. They may be a natural partner. Time will tell.

        https://www.sjearthquakes.com/post/2017/04/28/qa-getting-know-new-girls-academy-director-andres-deza

    • Jacky

      That would suck – guess the West Coast will get passed by again.

      • kernel_thai

        Maybe they r thinking San Diego. It would make the perfect partner for an LA team and could start out playing at Torero Stadium which meets NWSL minimum specs.

        • TsovLoj

          That’s my hunch right now as well.

        • Silver Frost

          SD would be awfully far from Spain (logistics). Yet, they said it was a deal for 2018, which means there is a stadium in play right now, so maybe you are correct.

        • Guesting

          My money is on San Diego. Reason is the city of San Diego will be the host of a permanent Youth Academy, the FCBEscola branch, the first on the West Coast of the United States. This just recently happened, too. Plus they have set up a program with San Diego Unified School District to help disadvantage children.

          Statement from Barca official:“This is the first official FC Barcelona program in California and the first one to ever partner with the public schools,” said Segarra.

          • My2cents

            Might want to add that with the exit of the Chargers to LA, that leaves only one major sports franchise, the San Diego Padres. That will certainly provide them with a lot more opportunity to get better media coverage then they would get in LA.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. Hear hear!

      • SEM

        They aren’t hurting for players though

      • Altius

        Would rather see LAFC get a women’s team up and running alongside the men’s. They’ll have a stadium, an infrastructure already set up, and a terrific city to play in. Also, Mia Hamm.

        • Katie Curtiss

          Plus Mia Hamm already intends to get a women’s team in the NWSL, she just wants to get the men’s team up and running

          • Guest

            She said that after the first team, they need to focus on a Div2 men’s team and then the Boys DA. After all of that, as s fourth priority they will look at a women’s team. Her and her former teammates have been missing in action on the NWSL. Why don’t they actively support the women?

          • Steglitz49

            A drain on their resources. Jean-Marie Aulas, Vic Akers and John Terry are exceptions, not the rule. Women are not loyal to their sisters either.

          • Steglitz49

            Women are not known for their loyalty to their sisters but now that Zlatan is out injured maybe trickle-down economics will come to the lasses aid? After all 1-2% of what they would have spent on Zlatan would pay for a whole NWSL team.

        • AGuest2

          I could just image what it will be like to drive from Orange County or any of the other outlining SoCal areas to downtown LA for a 4:00 p.m. game.

        • Steglitz49

          Now that Zlatan is injured maybe they can spend 1 or 2 % of what they intended to spend on him?

          • Altius

            Zlatan and his superpowered knee that will heal so fast it will astound doctors everywhere. Retirement league strikes again!

          • Steglitz49

            I doubt that any monies saved will trickle down to any ladies. Instead that cash will be spent on the men.

      • TsovLoj

        Well, if they’re expanding in pairs Vancouver was the last other rumor we heard. Vancouver and Barca-LA maybe?

    • GT

      The problem with NYC is where would they play? Yankee Stadium and Citifield are too big. Even Red Bull arena is rather large since I don’t think they will draw like Portland. The NY Cosmos in the NASL play in Brooklyn in a baseball stadium that apparently holds about 8500. That may be too small. But we’ll see.

    • CED

      It just means Barca wanted to be in the media capital of the US.

    • Lorehead

      California would be another great spot for one, especially if NYCFC wants New York. LA has a great climate and a lot of girls who play soccer.

      • mockmook

        “LA has a great climate”

        Says who? 🙂

        • Lorehead

          Good point: it doesn’t rain enough. I’d get homesick.

  • Altius

    I think the players just found their new most desirable club team…

    Fantastic news, though. Hope they do this right and run it better than the current FCB board is running the rest of the home club. And with Manchester City looking to do the same sometime very soon, the future is looking bright with franchise teams.

    • #1Fan

      Can I ask why? Just becasue the name is Barca ? The league “rules” will make it similar to all the other teams no ? Thats the parity based US model.

      • Altius

        Sure, the name Barcelona will be a lure, but it’s more than that. Barca are famous for their style. It’s taught from a young age and integrated at every level. It has brought the world some of the most astonishing football ever seen and unrivaled success in trophy hauls. Since I assume they don’t want this to be a diluted, half-assed effort, I’d also have to assume this new franchise will train and play with a similar style. Super attractive to technical and intelligent players.

        • #1Fan

          Dont see it . They groom players form a very young age. How are they going to replicate that on the Girls side? You have a draft and College. Unless you think they are going to find gems in the draft that others miss, no way this can happen.

          WoSo in the USA is a totally different structure. Early development is ignored for winning and then the top end of the system gers to producing players for College not pro Clubs.

          • Altius

            Of course they won’t be able to play with the same fluidity and understanding as a squad that’s been playing together and ingrained with this stuff since childhood! But the style of play they’ll seek to model will be the same, the Barca brand of football. Are there plenty of WoSo players out there who will want to be on that sort of team, with the presumed infrastructure and connections that they’ll have? I’m betting a whole lot.

          • DNG

            The league is incredibly restrictive to players switching teams anf there is a limit on the number of int players you can bring in. In short, I think it’s going to be very difficult to replicate their style of which they have changed over the years too. Pep’s tiki taka barca when spain was dominant was not always a fun attacking team to watch.

          • Altius

            I’m NOT saying that all the players who want to go there will be able to play for them. I’m only surmising that it will be a coveted landing spot for many. And it IS very difficult to replicate, but Crujffism is the Barca DNA. Whether you find it exciting or not, it is how they seek to play.

          • #1Fan

            But that DNA you speak of is ingrained in culture. It is then bestowed on the players thru the local connection and traditions Fans will boo and express displeasure when they dont play the Barca way. media will hound them.

            Its bonded on to the youth thru La Masia. Its then augmented with high priced foreign talent.

            How do you see that model being replicated here ?

            I dont see any of the ingredients except perhaps a coaching philosophy. None of the other ingredients exist here yet.

          • Altius

            “except perhaps a coaching philosophy” – there you go. Barca’s philosophy and coaching are a significant part of their identity. That’s what they’ll seek to embody in this team like any other. Will they go flying right out of the gates? I really doubt it. This is a project for years. But I’m not sure what you’re arguing…that they WON’T try to play the Barca way or that it won’t look the same as the Barca dream team because they haven’t been playing together this way since childhood? Because I agree with the latter, but to assert the former is kind of absurd.

          • #1Fan

            it like saying the chef will cook a great meal without all the ingredients becasue he is a great chef. I think you need more.

            And its not absurd to say they wont be able to play the Barca way. They will have to adapt to the idiosyncrasies of the league. In the USA, they are not Barca.

          • Altius

            Pressing. Possession. Positional play. Moving the ball quickly. Attacking football.

            These aren’t even unique to Barcelona. They were imbued there by Cruijff, who brought them from the Dutch style of total football that largely sprang up at Ajax with Rinus Michels. Do I think this is how a women’s Barcelona team will seek to play here in the US? Yes. Do I think that will be easy? No. Do I think they’ll get better with time, the longer they’re here, the longer players are able to train in their system, the longer they’re able to implement youth systems and academies? For sure.

          • #1Fan

            lets agree to disagree then . Everything you say would be true if that system could be transplanted here. ALL of it. And most importantly IF they directly benefited from the time and effort they put into training young players . The current system does not allow any of that.

            Lets say for arguments sake they open a GDA and train kids in their play style- what happens when they go off to College? Or are we saying they go pro immediately and if so , how do Barca keep them?

            I just dont see it happening here unless there are radical changes.

          • Steglitz49

            If Cruyff could do it in Spain, why can’t a decent coach do it in the NWSL?

            Maybe they will ask Norio Sasaki to lend a hand? After all his Golden Generation perfected tiki-tala for the ladies.

          • DNG

            Also from looking at the way the game is refereed in the NWSL, it is very difficult to play a successful possession game with the amount of fouls that go uncalled. They might be able to build a team that plays the way they want eventually. I’m not convinced that the team will ever be successful in the NWSL unless the changes you talk about happen

          • DNG

            I do think it would be great to see Barca academies around the country though. If they stay committed to them I think they could pay off in the long term. I’m not so worried about kid going off to college if they are brought up in La Masia lite style academies. Playing for direct teams is not going to change them as players if they have a good foundation. It might even influence the way some colleges recruit.

          • #1Fan

            you are making a huge leap that they produce ENOUGH of them .

          • DNG

            I am. I am an unapologetic optimist here. I understand your skepticism.

          • #1Fan

            the tone o=f some in this chat makes it sound like you bring a few coaches over and the Barca DNA just courses thru everyones veins.

          • DNG

            It doesn’t and there will be an unmistakable American element in any of the players they train here. Like you say it’s part of the culture in Spain. Same is true here.

          • CED

            Educate yourself…Barca has and will have more US based academies that teach Barca style of play.

          • #1Fan

            Im educated thanks. Just as I assume you are. Academies is fine, but they are only as good as the quality of coaching and the kids they attract. Usually middle class ones that can afford it when it comes to WoSo.

          • CED

            Read about the US Barca Academies. They use La Masia trained coaches, assistants, etc.. that are sent to the US. They worked at La Masia and are sent here to build the academies.

          • guest

            Do you know of Brain Kleiban and his story of his Barcelona USA team, Ben lederman, Chivas Academy and La Galaxy Academy? He’s recreating a lot of Barcelona style and culture her in the US.

            http://blog.3four3.com/about/

          • #1Fan

            yep.

          • guest

            DO you think what he does with boys can be replicated with girls?

          • #1Fan

            i think the incentives are so different between the male and female game. Can it be? Sure. on a large scale? Not so sure. would be great if it could

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • LM

            Like on the men’s side, will US Soccer grant homegrown rights to NWSL teams for players developed at their GDAs? That would be a big incentive for Barca and Man City to invest in girl youth players here.

          • rkmid71

            Don’t underestimate the ability of a great chef to do more with less. And to get the absolute maximum from the ingredients at hand. “Fancy ingredients or recipes are often not required. Simple, made-up things are usually even better.”

          • #1Fan

            Im not. Its like wine. its a function of the terroir . You can plant the same grapes elsewhere. Tastes different.May still be good, but still not the sme.

          • Steglitz49

            #1Fan is argumenttive. If you use facts to disagree with him, he blocks you because he can’t cope.

            As you may have noticed #1Fan and one or two other commentators have their private conversation-threads. I guess those guys block other commentators too.

            This blocking is sad. I don’t block even though it means I read some rude comments and some tedious comments. So what? You learn which to skim and which to reply to.

          • Guesting

            Don’t forget they will be adding their Youth Academies all over the country. The whole thing is a long term project.

          • #1Fan

            but they dont get access to those player the way the league is constructed currently.

          • Guesting

            Didn’t say they did, but they could over time eventually bring some changes that will benefit the game in the future.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth.

          • mockmook

            Jeez, change doesn’t happen overnight.

          • #1Fan

            and sometimes it does not happen. You can plant the same grapes in California or France – very different results. If you think you are transplanting that here. Good Luck

          • Lorehead

            In most of the world, if you teach a little boy to play football in your academy, you get to sign the kid and maybe you get some kind of compensation later if he goes pro somewhere else. Even if you can’t legally enforce a cut of his earnings, in the real world, the impressionable youngsters brought up in a system usually stay loyal for life.

            Even MLS eventually added a ”homegrown player” rule, so a team is actually allowed to sign a few players it develops in its own academy.

            NWSL doesn’t have anything like that currently, although it’s changed its rules before. Under the current rules, starting an academy as a way to develop a better WoSo team doesn’t make sense.

            Having a well-known WoSo team in a major American city that will get your brand name on the sports news, with star players who can promote it, could be a great way to get parents to pay you to coach their kids. There already is a Total Futbol Academy in the LA area that used to call itself Barcelona USA until Camp Nou made legal threats, and the real FC Barcelona could make even more money doing that across the country.

          • DNG

            It maybe coveted it may be not. It’s hard to know until they are actually a team and we see them in the league. I was only pointing out that not everyone thinks Barcelona’s style is exciting. Lots of different opinion on that score

          • #1Fan

            far more likely this is another Brand led move as opposed to a desire to produce some higher level of play,

          • DNG

            Well I don’t see a reason why they can’t do both but I understand your reservations. I think Barcelona’s brand will do fine in the US though with or without the academies so I’m a bit more optimistic.

          • guest

            It will be a coveted landing spot for a player with outstanding balls skills, ability to play precise passes and the vision to see them. That is not a huge number of American players, but there are enough i believe in the pipeline. Whether they give up soccer to pursue a more lucrative living would be the question because many are ignored or nearly so by our current national cabal. One would only consider a career in Barca’s NWSL if one could hope for a national contract OR Barca pays them a competitive wage.

          • #1Fan

            lets extend this to College. how many Colleges play a similar style and do those schools attract the “better” players?

          • guest

            I don’t pretend to have analyzed all of womens college soccer but Some do. Stanford and Virginia come to mind immediately.Stanford and Virginia come to mind immediately.
            The second part is more difficult. I think the definition of “best” also includes a caveat in that best for what? Best for their style of play I guess would be my answer. In that mindset, I will carry forward the discussion.

            So I guess my answer is #1 some and #2 at least and best for their style of play- sometimes.

          • #1Fan

            and how revolutionary has that been in changing the make up of out NT and/or the NWSL ?

          • guest

            Apples and oranges

          • Breakers fan

            Same question, #1 – do you have an opinion of the U17 roster just announced?

          • #1Fan

            40 players . I have said recently that I think certain things are changing. I have seen a few of them in person but not many. 40 players is a good start.

            From what I have seen if the headliners are the kids who played Up last year, then honestly I am not that impressed with this group, but I love the fact they are bringing in more kids earlier and actually giving them a chance to play in games

          • Breakers fan

            I had the same thought – gotta applaud them for bringing in that many. Would be interesting to hear how many of the 40 are first-time call-ups.

          • #1Fan

            i remain more cynical than you. Im happy , yes. Applaud ..Im more asking what took so long?

            I don know that both Mark Carr and Jamie Frias reached out to a guy I know pretty well asking him for advice on what changes he would implement. ( Encouraging and NOT the norm btw) he said see more kids early in cycle and arrange enough games so that no one is left watching on the last day. Evaluate all the kids.

            So far they seem to be following the advice

            Controversial as this may seem, but the question one HAS to ask is wtf is April Heinrichs actually doing and why are former successful resources not being tapped up for as much relevant knowledge as possible?

            Its not like we ahve been crushing it at youth level. Its hard not to arrive at the conclusion that the hubris stops them from seeking advice, especially male advice.

            Sad.

          • #1Fan

            as I said tho, the the top kids are the ones who were iDed early – I am not impressed with what i have seen – and we are talking several times in person.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for that scoop – glad to hear of an increasing open-mindedness and the move towards looking at more players. Let’s hope they do all get evaluated fairly. You’re of course 100s times more on the inside, in the know, been involved with this whole scene than I. I just see news like this and respond on the most basic level. Without seeing the players involved I can’t give my opinion on them of course, but I respect yours and am sorry to see it isn’t particularly a hopeful one. I think you hold them to a higher standard than I, so odds are I would be more optimistic but that’s just a guess. What it comes down to is: what “is being produced” in America now in terms of young female soccer players? I honestly have no clue at the age level we’re talking about.

          • #1Fan

            I do hold them to a high standard becasue I hold my kid to the same. She is still involved, but Im not sure for how much longer.

          • Breakers fan

            yeah, I’m just trying to describe what may be probably pretty slight differences in our evaluation styles and criterion. Best of luck to your kid – do you think she’ll play in college still? Don’t answer that if you don’t want to, seriously. Not trying to be nosy, just wishing her well.

          • #1Fan

            injury not withstanding – she will def play.

          • Breakers fan

            Excellent! Hope it’s a great experience for you all.

          • #1Fan

            it already is. Has taught her a lot. Ups and downs. She is not a fast tracked kid. has battled for everything she got.

          • #1Fan

            and thank you for your kind wishes.

          • Breakers fan

            And you’re welcome. hope the injury isn’t a serious one.

          • #1Fan

            shes fine – I just meant unless she gets hurt , she will play.

          • Breakers fan

            What, if you’re knowledgeable about it, do you think of the 40 player U17 roster just named?

          • guest

            Sorry for the late answer but i don’t read these boards that often.
            I know some of them. Sophie Jones, plays for Deanza Force is an ACM in the style of Deza’s daughter Luca. I like the Chicago midfielders who grew up playing on boys teams. One has some flair and is fun to watch the other is a no nonsense kid with great vision and the skills to play the ball quickly. The Surf midfielders are very athletic and have some skills, but I think they may be closer to their ceiling and maybe more like Pinto ond Howell, that despite their call ups, I thought played overall poorly at the WC (especially Howell). That brings up another opinion that I have in the lack of an attempt to project these adolescent children forward in time. A simple growth chart included in the reams of medical materials that must be submitted on the behalf of a child attending a YNT camp would be very helpful in projecting at least physical ceilings. I don’t know why no one has suggested doing so.

            I do like that they have brought in some natural defenders rather than trying to turn midfielders and forwards into defenders.

            I don’t think the 4 kids that already have seen a WC are particularly promising. That’s just my opinion Caniff has great ball control,, but her athleticism may not be enough to carry her to success.

            I strongly object to the club coaches serving as assistants at national camp. There is clearly selection bias at the minimum and nepotism at its worst. No doubt, it creates an uneven playing field for the kids at the camp. Some of whom now have the advantage of a comforting familiar presence who may even be overtly hostile towards players originating from competing clubs or in competing positions. I still see some of this remaining. I don’t think the DA will change this effect very much.

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you VERY much for this detailed response. You gave a lot of specific feedback and now I will be able to look for some players who you feel may be amongst the best of the group. Appreciate your efforts here.

            I very much agree with your thoughts about the dangers of club coaches being used. The growth chart idea is a new one to me. Not sure how to respond… I’d hate for a kid to be discriminated against based on it.

          • Guest

            My opinion is the discrimination is already happening and currently benefitting the “wrong” kids.
            As is now unfortunately the case, kids that are identified early are “locked into” the system at the exclusion of the late bloomers. Personally I think the late bloomers often are the ones with the highest developed technique as they rely on it for any success they have. It’s what permits them to compete when they concede 50+ pounds to their competition. They, indeed, often have the highest “ceiling”.

            I would like to see a selection bias shifted to the kids with a potentially higher ceiling rather than as currently exists, one who is excelling at u14/15 because she hit her physical maximum early. I would love to do a study of age of menarche of YNT players.

            There is one kid Rachael Jones that I know well. She was hugely dominant at u12-14 at 5’0 and 115 pounds of muscle. I remember a u12 small sided event where another early puberty GK consistently punted the ball all the way down the small 8v8 field into the opposing box where Rachael waited. The result was a hattrick. She was “identified” at that point and attended nearly if not every YNT camp up to (and I can’t remember if including) qualifying and then was dropped because she couldn’t produce. We wasted a huge amount of resources (and excluded many other kids from programming) on a kid with a low ceiling which could easily have been picked up with a couple of medical metrics.

            Our “scouts” are very poor talent “identifiers” (very hard) but decent talent “selectors” the difference being the former’s ability to project an accurate ceiling the latter picking the early puberty kid with the hattrick.

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you for that. I think you bring up a key aspect, one that isn’t often articulated. I feel we think alike and that we most likely would very often pick the same kids; our eye would be on long-term projection and identification of skills and soccer IQ more so than it would be on the flashy young athlete.

          • Steglitz49

            But Japan’s was.

          • #1Fan

            This is the USA. Players cant just choose where they want to play.

          • Altius

            See below…that’s not remotely what I’m saying.

          • Observed

            College players in USA do not play that way, so where is this talent pool you’re talking about?

          • Steglitz49

            “Somewhere over the rainbow …” — “Seek and ye shall find” — look at how Cruyff created Barca and go and do likewise!

          • Altius

            Where is it THAT I talked about a talent pool?

          • rkmid71

            I’m with Altius on this one. The talent id or selection criteria will be weighted differently for a Barca player. They will likely see gems where others don’t. And I agree that they will do their best to avoid a diluted, half assed effort.

          • #1Fan

            There are many things that go into making Barca who they are. Good luck replicating that here.

          • Breakers fan

            I think this will be a key element — will they have a strong scouting resource allotment, allowing them to look all over the country for players who fit their desired style of play? Will they be able to increase their chances to find these perhaps-somewhat-hidden players, players who they will draft while other teams won’t? How many such players even exist – ones very good but somewhat unknown? I do feel there was at least 1 from last year – Mimi Rangel of Long Beach State– who went undrafted but would perfectly fit this Barca style.

            It’ll certainly be interesting to watch how they do things, and to see which players they select. I would also love to know who they appoint as scouts (Europeans?) and how many scouts they will have. Will their investment in scouting the American college ranks be greater than that of other NWSL teams?

          • guest

            The Barca “Escola”s are simply money making pay to play deals. Everyone who understands Barca youth development system knows this. I doubt its a slam dunk to assume the women’s team will be associated with the Escola.

            My guess is Catalan Andres Deza and San Jose Quakes had something to do with the Barca NWSL deal. Deza’s teams, most notably his daughter’s 98 Deanza Force team, played great attacking possession soccer. He proves it can be done in the USA with American players. There are plenty adult aged players out there that could be collected to play a Barca style game. Whether it would be successful in the USA, especially with USA refs remains to be seen, but his youth teams suggest it can be done.

          • rkmid71

            I don’t know the facts about your first paragraph. But totally agree with 2nd. There are other examples of similar teams. And plenty of players that have played that style since early ages. It all depends on the coach and the consistency and continuity and what the coach demands from players. And I think everyone agrees that WoSo needs better refs…not just better refs in the USA. I think FIFA is working on it. As S49 will tell you, the Nadeshiko (Golden Generation) did what they had to do physically to compete with the Germans, USA, etc — their style might have been born of necessity (given the size and weight differential), but they could play nasty too when they had to.

          • #1Fan

            producing a style of soccer at Youth Club level is a totally different proposition.to the pros.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily.

          • Breakers fan

            Excellent info/background – thanks. My hunch is that you’re probably accurate in your ideas about what is happening behind the scenes. I hope this happens just so we can watch what may be a focused, determined effort to pursue a particular brand of soccer. Not that I think it’ll be night and day from other teams but the whole venture will probably be a fun and fascinating one to watch unfold.
            I’ll remember to look for Luca at Cal next year.

          • guest

            Deza’s wife is Japanese his daughter Luca, going to Berkley, could play for the Spanish, Japanese or American national teams.Get’s invited to YNT camp (she’s a 98) every now and then.

          • Steglitz49

            Fascinating. Vow!

          • CED

            Barca already has and will have more Barca Academies in the US. This NWSL thing is not haphazard. It’s about marketing for their sponsors and it also can promote their US Academies. The things help Barca sign the 2 record deals for sponsors they just made to start 2017-18 season. (Nike 169m/yr and Rakuten 4yr/235M deal) Barca is in the ICC pre season tour b/c that was all about marketing for big European clubs to the US market. This is an extension of that. The investment is nothing to Barca for NWSL in their

          • #1Fan

            Thats great but we all see the commercial benefits for them from a Branding PoV. The discussion was based around playing in the NWSL and producing players who would change the style.

          • CED

            Barca has been developing academies in the US to produce the style they want. Will they keep all of them no, but just like all the players they have thru La Masia the have many players that are successful at other clubs in Spain. In the US they have many willing people and the cream of the crop of talent wanting to learn the proper way to play the game. Barca goal is not to change the NWSL style, they will produce a team that plays classy and stylish soccer, which most of the americans will not appreciate b/c they like helter skelter bull in a china shop style.

          • SAMUEL MARSDEN

            barca added fcbescolas in san diegoand chicago just in the last two weeks, open to both boys and girls. espn says “U.S. is now the country with the largest presence of Barcelona football schools” http://www.espnfc.com/barcelona/story/3122655/barcelona-unveil-sixth-us-training-academy-in-san-diego

        • guest

          “[A]stonishing football ” Some would call the tika-taka style the Nadeshiko play soporific.

          • Altius

            Uh…I’m not talking about the Japanese women’s team. I could point you to dozens of different games right now, but let’s just stick with some Clasicos for example. Please watch the 6-2 at the Bernabeu, or the 5-0 at Camp Nou and tell me that was anything less than astonishing.

          • Steglitz49

            The EQ is a WoSo site.

          • Altius

            Yes…and? I’m talking about Barcelona’s style, since they’ll be the ones implementing a women’s team here.

          • Steglitz49

            Japan’s style under Norio Sasaki. That got them a WC win and a WC final. The Golden Generation. Some of them played in the US in their prime.

          • Altius

            They shared some similar traits, for sure. Principal among those I’d say was their possession, which was remarkable. They rightly deserved their WC win, but I’m not here to say that the Barca women’s team will imitate the Japanese national team, but rather they’ll emulate the men’s and youth and women’s team of Barcelona, Spain. So, though they share some philosophies, that’s not the comparison to make, IMO.

          • Steglitz49

            Possession, which was rooted in their ball skills, vision (soccer IQ if you prefer) and acceleration, was the trademark of the Golden Generation.

            Sasaki had to overcome the obvious handicap for his players: lack of size and weight. He solved it by keeping the ball on the ground and keeping possession. Those Nadeshiko were a talented bunch and brings to mind the great Dutch sides but went one better by actually winning.

          • rkmid71

            Off topic, but my all time favorite WoSo outside back is Sonia Bompastor from France who also played in the USA for awhile. Reminded me of Dani Alves. Back in the day, I told my daughter to try to emulate her whenever she played OB. When she played mid, it was Iniesta, but I suppose I could have said Sawa.

          • Steglitz49

            The problem for French lady players of the 2009-2016 vintage is that they never achieved anything of note. Instead they were repeat underachievers and glorious failures, often the architects of their own downfall.

            This contrasts with a whole slew of nations with less resources but with greater harts and minds and nous.

            Today’s outside back is probably Jessica Samuelsson. Shark Island Girl was not half bad either and it was great pity that she got injured just as she was about to play for Houston.

          • Steglitz49

            Japan won WC-11 and reached the final of WC-15. The Golden Generation was something else.

  • truf

    wow, this is huge for NWSL. YUUUGE, i mean.

  • Paul Klee

    In other news. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a99bb7ba6acfd16c74e57f484ef2a8caf0dcaa347701f15e6636eca6406f4df9.png

    Follows a suspension last season for shoving Shea Groom’s face in the pitch.

    • FawcettFan14

      Self-control problems.

      Everyone was getting on Groom’s case for playing too physically but at least she was always making a play for the ball. Sometimes she was just a bit late.

      • Movement

        Exactly. She is not intending to play dirty at all.
        Is she aggressive? Yes.
        But opposing players go overboard in seeking revenge.

        • Silver Frost

          It matters not. When you get stabbed with cleats you don’t care about legal definitions of “intent”.

          • mockmook

            Which player did Groom “stab” with her cleats?

      • Timber Dave

        “Sometimes she was just a bit late.”

        Yes, but when you do that repeatedly, as Groom does, it becomes clear it’s intentional, that’s it’s part of your playing style. I wish the refs would crack down on it because some day she’s going to really hurt someone, perhaps permanently.

    • Movement

      All the opposing players in the league seem to hate Shea Groom.
      But why? She plays with heart and gives it her all.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFaGGYNa-RY

      • TsovLoj

        Because she’s going to give someone a career ending injury someday. You can’t say that about Sonnett, though. This isn’t a Groom problem; this is a Mathias problem.

  • Ashley C

    A shame the likes of United and Real Madrid don’t have a women’s side. Good to see Barca continuing to invest in women’s football.

    • Guest

      It’s a good sign for the NWSL that Barca thinks it worth investing in women’s soccer here. It would be nice if other big clubs had a women’s team as well. I keep hearing people say that the men’s teams should do more. What amazes me in the US is how little the big name women do. There are a number of women who have benefited in a big way from soccer in the US. The family income of a few of them is huge. I don’t know of one who is active in the NWSL. They could at least be promoting the league. Does anyone know of any ex-national team players who are actively promoting the league?

      • Silver Frost

        I guess Foudy and Markgraff are, simply by working for Lifetime NWSL games.

      • Ashley C

        There was a good article here questioning United. Especially with so many women in their fanbase and global appeal. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/real-madrid-manchester-city-expose-folly-united-refusal-field-womans-team-a7656581.html

        Real Madrid are rumored to be starting one.

        • Steglitz49

          Real Madrid were on the verge of starting a ladies team a couple of years ago but there was a change in Chairman and the new chap was not interested in WoSo.

          Given how big men’s soccer is in Portugal and that part of the reason that the Portuguese FA and Swedish FA started the Algarve Cup was to promote WoSo in Portugal, it was only to this year’s expanded Euros that Portugal’s ladies qualified. Same Euro as Scotland managed too, I might add.

    • Steglitz49

      Man United had a ladies side but closed it about 10 years ago. No John Terry there to come to the rescue.

      Real Madrid has never had a ladies side but has a girls academy.

    • Altius

      City have plans to open a women’s team in the US alongside the relatively new NYCFC. Their infrastructure and club planning is top-notch, not to mention their expanded branding and net worth. Would be another big, significant step forward for women’s football in this country. Can’t wait.

      • #1Fan

        are you basing this on the NYCFC GDA or some other inside knowledge?

        • Altius

          Other. City officials have mentioned it before, and I have every reason to believe they meant it, given their expansions into so many other leagues around the world in the last few years.

          • #1Fan

            pretty close to Soriano and I think they may do it, but there are many obstacles in NY

          • Steglitz49

            Just because they have a men’s side in NYC there is no reason why they can’t put their ladies elsewhere. Man City will do their market research and decide.

            If they offer enough money and structure the deal sensitively, they could take over Sky Blue.

          • Altius

            What’s pretty close to Soriano?

          • #1Fan

            Ferran Soriano – the CEO of City . We have had some business dealings. The NYCFC GDA is a astep as is putting the teams training facility and base of operations in Orangeburg NY.

            Its worth noting that at this point it is not free and there is significant competition and resistance at present from some to the whole DA thing. I big turn off for them is not being able to keep the players you develop and the crowded market . They like the attention in NY , but WoSo is def a challenge for them.

          • Steglitz49

            Given how well Man City sponsored WoSo teams have done in the last few years, the City group seems up to the challenge, at least on the ladies side.

          • Altius

            Oh YOU are. I like the guy quite a lot from what I know, going back to his days at Barcelona. One of the reasons I have faith in the City hierarchy and the overall project of the CFG.

            Certainly the “draft” method of US soccer is an obstacle to real development that I don’t imagine excites them very much…but I hope they take on the challenge and institute something here. I’d love to see change – major change – happen in the women’s game, but I suppose it has to go step by step, huh? Bringing in big name brands with vision and ideas for structural renovations could be key to that.

          • #1Fan

            I am with you 100 pct. the big obstruction is the USSF involvement. Its not an open market because of it.

          • Steglitz49

            That is presumable why the USSF is annoyed with Jean-Marie Aulas.

          • Steglitz49

            Given how it was when the NWSL started, the Barca ladies could call on 3 US allocated players, and 2 each from Canada and Mexico. They have 3 international slots. That makes 10 players — unless I misunderstand the rules and that allocated Canadians and Mexicans require international slots.

          • AlexH

            I don’t think the draft method is not and will not be a hindrance to development until woso salaries cause prospects to skip college in large numbers.

            The hindrance to any sort of non-parental funding for woso players is the fact that for the foreseeable future really good woso players are going to chose a free ride to a good university over playing club soccer. Until playing for Barca / City / MLS women’s sides become more attractive than playing for Stanford there really is no reason for a club to invest in young talent.

          • Altius

            I agree about that, but because clubs won’t be motivated to build up their own projects of development and incentivize those talents with paychecks when they know they can’t KEEP the fruits of their investment…it creates a vicious circle.

            A long road ahead to change.

          • AlexH

            One way this could work is if Barca, Man City etc., offered a college degree program on top of salary. I could see how playing pro soccer plus having their tuition paid to a reputable online university could be more desirable than attending a bricks and mortar university and playing college soccer.

          • Altius

            And/or to allow clubs to keep their homegrown players with no salary cap on them.

          • Steglitz49

            I suspect that WoSo in the shape of the NWSL is a Trojan horse to get into the MLS market.

            With a comparatively small investment — WoSo is cheap — they can then ask for an MLS-expansion, a reverse NWSL process so to speak.

          • Guest

            That’s not how they will get a MLS Franchise. They’d have to pick an empty market and start with a women’s team and then pony up whatever the next round of franchise fee would be assuming they had a MLS worthy stadium plan. They will come to an existing MLS market on the West Coast and partner with a MLS club for their women’s team. Maybe they will invest in that MLS team as well.

          • Steglitz49

            Barcelona is valued at $3.54 billion and is thereby the 2nd richest soccer club in the world though, granted, by revenue they are only 3rd at $675m. Barca is one of the richest sports clubs anywhere.

            Seeing that the NWSL has expanded by recruiting MLS-teams, no doubt Barca can use that argument in their favour. As you note, if they establish themselves in an empty market — presumably neither Alaska nor Hawaii — they make it easier for themselves.

            I am not persuaded that Barca will go to the West Coast. I favour south of or near the Mason-Dixon line, such as Texas or Florida or elsewhere that might suit them. Kentucky or Tennessee?

          • CED

            Wrong. Barca has stated several times they are not interested in MLS. This about marketing not only for their sponsors but the US Barca Academies

          • CED

            The players will surely not be Barca domestic players. There is a conflict in schedules and they would destroy every NWSL team if they played their Barca (la liga femme) players

          • mockmook

            Pretty sure Altius is referring to players who will be developed in the USA

          • DNG

            “they would destroy every NWSL team if they played their Barca (la liga femme) players”

            They’re a good team but no they wouldn’t.

          • Lorehead

            It’d be nice to see Vero back in the US, although Arcee thinks she’s not a fan of the physical play in this league.

            You’re responding to a troll, though, one I’ve made the mistake of feeding in the past. He just comes here to insult people and start fights. I mean, he’s left a half-dozen posts in this thread already calling people stupid and frequently says he thinks WoSo is boring. If he doesn’t even know the name of La Liga Femenina (or that femme is not a Spanish word at all), of course he doesn’t have an opinion worth considering.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. I think Barca starting a ladies team in the NWSL is a major blow to his pride and his opinions. If Man City follows suit, he will go ball-istic.

          • CED

            Actually they would. NWSL teams would be chasing shadows all game

          • DNG

            Lol, have you actually watched the Barca ladies play? They would not make every NWSL team chase shadows. They aren’t that good.

          • Steglitz49

            Barca’s ladies reached the SF of this year’s Champion’s League. Not bad all things considered.

          • DNG

            Not saying they are poor. I’m saying that they couldn’t make every team in the NWSL chase shadows. I’m doubtful that Nadeshiko would be able to do that to every team

          • rkmid71
          • CED

            Yes, i have they would destroy NWSL teams which plays a low class run around with a chicken with a head cut off style.

          • Steglitz49

            maybe, maybe not?

          • DNG

            You don’t know what your talking about but think whatever you want.

          • CED

            Whatever lie you have to tell yourself b/c you like the garbage style.

          • DNG

            lol it has nothing to do with a preferred style. You said that they would make the NWSL teams chase shadows. I’m telling you, their technique is not good enough. For someone who claims to be an informed student of the game, your statement is ridiculous. They’re a solid team, but no they could not make every NWSL team chase shadows and crush them.

          • CED

            Actually, they would they are more technical by a long stretch than every NWSL team. NWSL is a poor brand/style of the game.

          • DNG

            I agree they they are a lot more technically proficient than NWSL team. I even agree that NWSL teams don’t always play a style I enjoy watching. I don’t believe they are good enough technically to make NWSL teams chase shadows. NCC in particular would press them into lots of mistakes. I don’t think they’re good enough technically to handle a highly organized press from very good athletes. That’s where we differ.

          • Altius

            No, I meant future homegrown US players (assuming academies in the near future.) Incentivize development.

          • #1Fan

            its a great idea, but to what end ?

          • AlexH

            I guess the end to a team like Barca is to beef up their brand in the short term and maybe build up a business that might actually turn a profit in the (very) long term.

          • mockmook

            #1 is always asking for change, but as soon as someone comes forward with a change (like Barca appears to be doing), he acts offended.

          • Steglitz49

            Well spotted. Do you think he has blocked you yet? He blocked me a long time ago.

          • #1Fan

            Agenda as usual. When I said the Union was a step forward , I dont think I saw the comment from you. When I said I thought things were changing on youth teams with more invites and getting more kids match time ..again. I think I missed your comment.

            The simple fact that I dont see Barca coming to the US as a major change within the current system is irrelevant to my view on overall change and being cynical of USSF objectives and soccer agendas in the US is based on my observations over time.

            You are free to yours.

          • CED

            Barca isn’t concerned about NWSL in itself being profitable. This is about marketing and their sponsors will love it. Barca just signed new mega deals with Nike and Rakuten(no more Qatar Airways) for a combined 227M/yr.

          • Steglitz49

            Why bother? One, possibly the, reason they are entering the WoSo market is because it is cheap.

          • mockmook

            That’s just another form of compensation — no way that would pass muster for the salary cap.

          • AlexH

            No. But rules can be changed, especially if the prospect of flush wallets entering the league is on the table. Also, it would be VERY difficult for the league to try to stop somebody from providing young people an education. It just doesn’t look good ya know.

          • mockmook

            Education shmeducation — I’m totally un-educated in soccer, and look how far I have gotten 😉

          • kernel_thai

            He He Not sure u won that one. : )

          • Steglitz49

            Soccer is an easy game. That is how it conquered the world.

            Soccer history is even easier — at least in the US where soccer began when a woman ran around in her sports bra in some final or other.

            As for the ROW, it is full of history but don’t bother with that. Just remember the restored Bern Longines stadium clock.

          • Lorehead

            Honestly, if we’re going to allow a salary cap, I would just convert all forms of compensation to money and count it toward that.

            There’s no way you’d advise a young woman making a typical NWSL salary to spend a lot on a nice car or apartment she shares with her co-workers. Rules that force teams to spend a lot of money on benefits because they can’t pay cash are a lose-lose-lose: the teams would spend less, the players would rather have money they could spend on whatever they wanted, and you don’t even get parity.

            The system the players are used to from college, where teams aren’t allowed to pay them but provides their food, housing and transportation, is really very corrupt in and of itself. Just treat them like adults.

          • AlexH

            True but Not True. If a team said “Lets raise the salary cap by X” the other teams could pretty much babble on about things like “EBITDA, ROI, fiduciary” and other big words in order to say “FU we want to keep more of our money” However it was done for something less crass than money (like an education) the optics would be much better and thus the proposal would be more difficult to defeat.

          • Lorehead

            PSG did offer Lindsay Horan a scholarship as part of her contract.

          • Steglitz49

            They paid money into a escrow account for her to use for “educational purposes”. It was part of her signing on bonus.

            The European leagues do not offer such inducements as a rule but clubs are required to make sure that girls fulfil their educational obligations. This includes national teams. Thus, when on tour they have teachers with them.

          • DNG

            I’ve said this before but I favor a luxury tax over a hard cap. Let the teams that want to spend spend and used excess money to help the poorer teams. No more allocated players either. NT players should have contracts with their clubs.

          • Lorehead

            I’ve suggested the luxury tax too. I don’t see the single-entity model changing any time soon, though.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth- AND. Universities like Stanford and Berkeley belong among the world’s very best. Now that Harvard in Margaret Purce has a list round draftee, we can add that variety too.

          • kernel_thai

            Frankly Im surprised big clubs like City and Barca r interested in the NWSL. Sure there is upside especially with the willing potential fan base, but the surprising part is that big, free wheeling clubs would want to place themselves squarely under the USSF boot. If I were a big club Id be leery of a league where the USSF exercises so much control and in return only provides things that r in their own interest.

          • mockmook

            This seems to be one path to remove the boot — if enough clubs have the resources, then the USSF is no longer needed.

          • Steglitz49

            Given Barcelona’s wealth — valued at >3.5 billion USD and revenue of 675 million USD — they can cope with the USSF. City, granted, value is only 1,9 billion USD and revenue of 560 million USD but they have WoSo experience from Australia.

  • Movement

    And the Red & Blue colors fit right into this league.
    They’ll probably keep the same color trend.

    Personally, they need to think about going with Maroon and Silver in NWSL.
    That would be a unique color combination in which this league couldn’t even fathom.

    Or Maroon & Gold (but keep out the blue, and make sure the red is a dark maroon).

    Green and Gold would be nice too.

    • Silver Frost

      No, no, no. Nike is an official sponsor, so the new team will get re-treads of last year’s woso design, or maybe two years ago, like ORL has to use the old SB kit.

      • Steglitz49

        Nike will bow down and worship at the shrine of Barca. They will bend over and take it like a man.

        • CED

          Please stop talking you nothing on the topic. Barca just signed a new deal with Nike for 2018 for 169M USD/yr converting from Euros. Qatar sponsor deal ends this season, it actually ended last year and they did a 1yr add on b/c Barca was still taking offers and Qatar was game. Barca signed a 4yr deal with Rakuten for 235M starting 2017-18 season. Barca also signed/renewed deals with their secondary sponsors like Beko, etc…

          • Steglitz49

            You should read all of my comment. You are behind the times, as usual.

            I added my note in proof within minutes of having posted to make absolutely clear. Nobody had commented then.

          • CED

            You have no defense, the deals were signed nov/dec 2016. They were well known if you follow soccer as they are the most lucrative deals ever. You like usual had no idea what you were talking about

    • CED

      It will be the same colors. logos, etc… Btw, Barca will have a new main jersey sponsor . Qatar Airways is gone and they will have Rakuten for a 4yr 235M USD deal. The new Nike deal is for 155M Euros or about 169M/yr USD. This expansion with a US based team gives sponsors added exposure for the astronomical sums they pay in these deals

  • Breakers fan

    My first thought on this is: With the #1 pick in the draft will Andi Sullivan be theirs? We can be confident I think that the Spirit had their eyes on the Virginia native but now if this happens they may lose out on getting her.

    • Steglitz49

      Maybe they will prefer to go for young ladies eligible to play for Mexico, Colombia and the likes, including Spain?

    • Guest

      If there are expansion teams they will likely get first picks. If Andi’s at the top of the draft they will pick her or trade their pick. Spirit are pretty clearly going to use their #1 DRO pick on Pugh any day now and it sounds like Sullivan is going back to school. Not likely that Sullivan is going to land in DC unless there’s a big trade.

      • Steglitz49

        Until And Sullivan proves that her knee is properly healed (like it was for Alex Morgan) Andi will not be a top pick.

      • kernel_thai

        Not sure that’s written in stone. League rules seem to be whatever they think is the best at the time. Houston didn’t get the #1 pick when they came in. They picked #2 and had restrictions about who they could take. Orlando did get the top pick but only because it was going to Portland in the Morgan deal. If there is no Morgan deal Orlando might have been picking further down the list.

    • mockmook

      Wow, you’re already throwing in the towel on the 2017 season?

      • Breakers fan

        I think you misunderstood my comment. I was saying that if Barcelona starts a team that as an expansion team they’ll get the 1st pick, and so most likely Sullivan. (who is competing with her, do you think, as being the 1st pick?) Just musing about how all current teams most likely will not get Sullivan, if the expansion occurs, while I’m sure many would have loved to get her and may have considered that adding her was at least a possibility.

        Or did I misunderstand your comment? You may have implied that I’m jumping to the conclusion that Sullivan will be the 1st pick? I don’t want to jump to that, but at the moment, assuming she heals properly, I’m blanking on who else will compete with her to be the 1st selection. Help me out! Who am I not thinking of at the moment?

        • mockmook

          I was joking — not very funny I know 🙂

          But, my point was that to get the 1st pick, Boston would have to finish last.

    • mockmook

      Hey, just stumbled on this article that details a little more on what befell Farrelly and her current status:

      http://www.excellesports.com/news/soccer-sinead-farrelly-retirement-breton/

      • Lorehead

        That’s awful. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing.

      • Breakers fan

        Wow. I knew she’d gone through a hard time, but I didn’t know how hard. Glad she’s on the upswing. I admire her. Sucks she was the victim of that awful car crash. She clearly loved soccer and wanted to keep playing. It’s like she was forced to fast-forward her life a good 3-5 years all of a sudden. I wish her the best.

  • Frogger

    By when did Spain join the NWSL?

    • Steglitz49

      They took up Mexico’s gauntlet?

    • CED

      Why are you people being so stupid. The team will be owned by Barca. You do know there are many examples of a club or ownership group owing clubs in multiple countries

      • Steglitz49

        Indeed. Americans own Man Utd and Liverpool, for examples.

        • CED

          I’m not talking about foreign ownership which you’re citing. I’m talking about an ownership group like City Football Group that owns teams in the NYCFC(MLS), Man City (EPL), Melbourne FC(men & women), Atletico Torque(Uruguay), etc..

  • guest

    NYC would be out since Sky Blue owns the marketing rights within a 90-mile radius of NY. Their best bet would be to follow in the footsteps of Portland and Orlando and choose a second tier city like Salt Lake, Sacramento, or Vancouver. They would probably also want the use of an MLS stadium, which again favors Salt Lake and Vancouver.

    • GT

      Good move Sky Blue. Let’s limit womens soccer to 2,000/game in the largest metropolitan area in the country.

      • dan lauletta attendance watch

        sky blue’s outdrawing boston and chicago this season

        • Steglitz49

          Don’t give them facts that upset their apple carts because they can’t cope poor lambs.

    • GT

      These are good choices as well, because they don’t have baseball teams competing for the fans (like Portland and Orlando). I might even add Montreal and Columbus to the mix for the same reason.

  • Steglitz49

    There’s a little town called Barcelona in the state of New York on Lake Erie near the border to Pennsylvania. Nearest bigger places are Fredonia and Jamestown.

  • Steglitz49

    Spain will play Germany int this year’s U17 Euro final. Spain defeated the Dutch to reach a fourth straight final, while Germany beat Norway.

    Barca’s ladies lost to PSG in this year’s Champions League semi-final.

    • CED

      Spouting irrelevant nonsense again. You’re diarrhea of the mouth as a default.

      • Steglitz49

        I am simply pointing out that Spanish ladies soccer is on the up. Not long ago Barca’s ladies lost in the early rounds by scores like 7-0. No longer.

  • Dr. Strange

    and Real Madrid will play in the English Premier League next year while the Houston Dynamos will play in the Bundesliga

    • Steglitz49

      There is a small hamlet in upstate NY on the shores of lake Erie called Barcelona.

      • TsovLoj

        I don’t know of that one, but I know there’s a Barcelona in the Arkansas Ozarks outside Fort Smith.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you. That would be south of the Mason-Dixon line, I presume.

          • TsovLoj

            I’m gonna be honest and tell you I don’t really know what that line is, but I know it has something to do with the Civil War and Arkansas is a southern state and was part of the Confederacy.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. It is.

            In Germany there is a White Sausage Line (Weisswurzt line) which roughly divides the Protestant north from the Catholic south.

  • Selina

    I don’t take the NWSL serious anymore. Is this a competitive league or a Nike / FC Barcelona marketing body?

    • #1Fan

      its a very fair question as to what the league is being used for.

      • Steglitz49

        Simple answer: to fulfil the FIFA requirement of having a pro-league. The NWSL does this for Canada and Mexico in addition to the US.

        • CED

          STFU you’re spouting nonsense again.

          • Steglitz49

            Please see Mockmook’s contribution.

        • Lorehead

          There is no such FIFA requirement. Or where is Brazil’s?

          • mockmook

            I thought Brazil did start one (but I was wrong — once).

          • Lorehead

            I think there was an attempt at one point, but Brazil’s stars play in Europe or the US. They went into residency in 2015 and 2016. Another example would be China. Or, Mexico has its own amateur league and the FMF hasn’t been involved in the NWSL for years.

            Steglitz repeats this very bizarre claim of his often, but when you think about it, it makes absolutely no sense on a number of different levels.

          • mockmook
          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

            “Brasileiro Feminino 2017” sounds like some sort of organised WoSo.

          • Lorehead

            Right, the confederation said the men’s teams must have sister teams to be eligible for the continental championships. I’m disagreeing with Steglitz here, not you: that’s less of a professional league than the US had in 2012. Even the NWSL, until this year, depended partly on unpaid amateurs and paid the rest such a low salary that they needed second jobs. We normally call a league like that semi-pro.

          • mockmook

            Yeah, wasn’t trying to inject myself in that debate, just was trying to get it right in my head on whether Brazil had a domestic league.

          • Steglitz49

            It is what FIFA recognises that counts, not what Lorehead, CED, I or you think.

            Turning it around and looking at it from another angle, how can Lyon, PSG, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg, to name but a few, afford the WoSo squads they have? That forward line of Morgan, Ada Hegerberg and Le Sommer can’t be cheap — and that is just 3 of their Internationals.

          • Lorehead

            It does now, but not a professional one.

          • just medellín around

            Pro league is required to host the WWC. Colombia directly cited it as a reason for launching their league this year. http://www.eltiempo.com/deportes/futbol-colombiano/presentacion-de-la-liga-femenina-profesional-de-futbol-51433

          • Lorehead

            No it’s not. China didn’t have one in either 2003 or 2007, nor did the US in 1999, nor did Canada in 2011, and nor did Zimbabwe when it put in its bid. Besides, the US wasn’t even bidding for the WWC when it created the NWSL and had the WPSL Elite in 2012.

            You might be thinking of how the US started its men’s first-division league in order to get the BroSo World Cup in 1994?

            The article you cite doesn’t say that there is any such requirement. If I remember my Spanish, it says that CONMEBOL recently approved a requirement that a licensed men’s club reliably have a women’s team and a girls’ developmental side to participate in the Copa Suramericana and Copa Libetadores. (“La Conmebol, en una de sus recientes reglamentaciones en su sistema de licenciamiento de clubes, aprobó la obligatoriedad de contar con un equipo de fútbol femenino y una división juvenil femenina para poder participar de la Copa Suramericana y la Copa Libertadores en sus ediciones 2018 y 2019”). Later, it says that FIFA requires that the host country for the WWC can be counted on to run said tournament. (“Colombia dará un paso en su objetivo de organizar el Mundial Femenino en 2023, ya que una de las exigencias de la Fifa es que el país organizador cuente con dicho torneo.”)

          • Steglitz49

            The Chairman of Fiorentina proposed that clubs must have a women’s team to qualify to play in the men’s Champions League. Not surprisingly, he got no supporters among the big clubs for this idea.

            There is no point dragging up examples from before WC-11 because it was at WC-11 that national FAs protested to FIFA.

            During the run-up to Euro-13, UEFA repeated its opinion that soccer is a club game on to which an international superstructure is bolted. Iceland, population of 330,000 souls has a WoSo league.

          • Lorehead

            You keep repeating this false story, but it makes no sense.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

    • mockmook

      Umm, that’s how leagues survive — sponsorship.

  • CED

    Barca joins in 2018 than who id the 12th team to join with them? The league talked about adding with even numbers in the future. Makes scheduling easier with 1 team per week off, while everyone else plays. Also makes the division idea come in to play. Btw, I think Barca team may be west coast…ie…LA. Unless LAFC or the other groups have a deal with NWSL to block them out of LA. Second thought would be possibly Miami. NYC would be in the running too, but that would be a problem with other NYCFC wanting a team, stadiums issues in NYC and then there is the proximity issue with the Sky Blue.

    • mockmook

      I suspect they will live with 11 teams for a bit rather than rush a 12th (if a 12th isn’t “vetted”).

      LA (Barca) and Salt Lake City?

      • CED

        If the NWSL wasn’t blowing smoke and BS on the level of interest of cities/ownership groups, ti should be easy to get a 12th team There have been several confirmed meetings by interested parties since Orlando was given a team.

    • Guesting

      I think this is huge for the league in that it is going to generate a lot more interest. Some of the MLS clubs may right now be re-thinking their position on whether to wait or get in now, either through expansion or buying an existing team. I don’t think now they will have any problem getting a 2nd team from the West Coast to bring the league to 12 teams for the better balance they would like to achieve. I think FC Barcelona is not interested in NYC or LA, because of all their effort in setting up their first Academy on the West Coast in the San Diego area. It may be something they will want to stay close to for now.
      So if San Jose, Salt Lake or even Colorado or Sacramento are interested in that other expansion spot out West, they had better step up their game plan. As I said before, in the case of the MLS clubs in San Jose and Salt Lake, their window of opportunity closed when they didn’t try for an expansion team in 2017. Now it is a whole new ball game, and should Vancouver also want to be considered, it could be a longer wait then what they may had planned.e

      • CED

        I would bet on Salt Lake or Colorado.

        • Breakers fan

          What do you think about Columbus, OH as a possibility? I ask because, although I don’t follow the MLS I believe they draw quite well and have a very passionate fan base. Also, it would add another team in the midwest – one pretty close to Chicago, KC and not too far from the east coast teams. I don’t know if they’re even on the NWSL radar (do you?) but Columbus seems an intriguing location. That’s not to say it’s better or more likely – it’s probably less likely — than the cities you name here, just that it may be another possibility.

  • GT

    Frankly, the NWSL needs some new teams. The attendance numbers are going nowhere (except Portland and possibly Orlando) with this group of owners.

  • newsouth

    San Diego is trying to build a soccer park since the Chargers left. My guess is, Barca ends up in that spot possibly. Press needs a Southern Cal home. In the main time, they can play at Toreto Stadium

    http://49.media.tumblr.com/2c0f79e1a00cdc8bb541771c36fbd675/tumblr_o1d0w6kc3f1v57eh8o4_250.gif

    • CED

      It’s possible. Barca recently announced they are adding their 6th US academy in San Diego.

    • guest

      flirting w her gf, cute