Part five of the series exploring the Los Angeles Sol ceasing operations took a look at AEG’s responsibility in this situation. Several opinion points draw different conclusions as to what AEG does or does not owe to Women’s Professional Soccer in this situation.
I still stand to the point that AEG needs to address this issue, which to their credit they might be doing so soon. I am waiting on that. However, this situation serves as a greater question of how much interaction other soccer bodies in this country have with WPS.
Major League Soccer is documented to be a strategic partner of WPS, yet there seemed to be very little interaction between the two leagues in 2009. It is lofty to expect much from Major League Soccer in this issue, as both WPS and MLS are focused on their own leagues.
However, the United States Soccer Federation should have a vested interest in WPS. The U.S. women are the No. 1 team in the world and arguably (a tough argument at that) are the greatest overall team in the world since FIFA began acknowledging women’s soccer.
WPS is a clear breeding ground for the future of that program and the development of the women’s game around the world with the influx of internationals. Therefore, it is in the USSF’s best interest to see WPS succeed.
In no way am I trying to suggest that the USSF or MLS should have helped save the Los Angeles Sol. Let’s get that clear. However, the relationship between USSF and WPS is hopefully one that involves frequent interaction and will continue to develop.
Here is what WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci had to say about the two entities:
“Well, they didn’t reach out to us to get involved in buying the team,” she said. “That is not what either group would do. So, no, we didn’t have any discussions about USSF or MLS getting involved specifically in LA. I mean, they both are very supportive. They are supportive that we will survive through this and they are supportive of us as a young league. But really, the effort needed to focus on local ownership – group that is based in LA and a group that would have grassroots soccer ties or anyone who would have an interest in seeing the LA Sol move on and that is really how we focused it.”
Fair enough. The only question that arises out of that is exactly how are USSF and MLS supportive? It has to be very behind the scenes, because there has not been much made public on the relationships, other than that they are there.
Listen to the Set Piece Analysts Women’s Podcast on the subject here.
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