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Bailey: No NWSL expansion for 2015…as of now

NWSL executive director Cheryl Bailey. (Photo Copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

NWSL executive director Cheryl Bailey. (Photo Copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

As of now, there won’t be any expansion for the National Women’s Soccer League in 2015, league executive director Cheryl Bailey says.

But of course, as the tail-end of 2013 proved, things can always change.

Bailey said on a national conference call that that the league will not add any teams in 2015 — as of now — and that all nine teams currently in the league are expected back in 2015 — as of now, of course.

“In terms of expansion, at this point and time we don’t have plans at the moment to expand in 2015,” Bailey said. “But I think it’s something that we will look to re-evaluate for 2016 and we do anticipate growth after the 2015 season.”

[MORE: 2015 schedule to stretch to September, include World Cup break]

That was the message last August, when behind the scenes the Houston Dynamo ownership group was exploring the possibility of an NWSL team, and eventually decided late in the calendar year that they wanted in on the league. And so, in the first week of December 2013 — the latest an expansion team has been added in NWSL or the WUSA and WPS days — the Houston Dash were born.

And there are some concerns, to varying degrees, among some owners in the league that there is a possibility that not every team will return. Does that mean not return at all, or return in a different location? It’s unclear. But Bailey’s words in addressing the matter on Wednesday were pointed.

“At this point and time, we do anticipate all nine teams coming back for 2015, which is certainly great for the league and the teams and the players themselves,” she said.

So while the answers to the big, yearly expansion question and the always looming contraction worries were delivered, don’t yet take them as concrete.


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