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Duffy: Currently it’s business as usual in Boston

PHILADELPHIA — Speaking during Thursday’s draft, NWSL managing director of operations said that it is business as usual in Boston while the league looks to secure new investments to keep the team afloat.

“Currently it’s business as usual with the Boston Breakers. We are going to work with them and their ownership to make sure that we’re a 10-team league and viable moving forward in a professional and sophisticated way in 2018.”

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Pressed on the issue, Duffy said that Boston Elite Soccer LLC has continued as the main ownership group for the club, but it is no secret that new ownership is being sought for 2018. According to several sources at the annual United Soccer Coaches Convention, the uncertainty around the situation has put the clamps on personnel moves and the offseason in general.

“We still don’t know,” Breakers coach Matt Beard said. “We’re still waiting. It would be nice for it to be resolved, but we’re still sitting tight here and waiting. It has impacted our offseason massively. But it is what it is, we’ve just got to get on with it.”

In the meantime the most venerable brand in American professional women’s club soccer remains in limbo. The regular season begins in 65 days.

In other highlights from Duffy’s 12-minute chat with reporters:

On expansion: We look at expansion through a couple of aspects. We want to make sure we do it at the right pace and with the right groups that are going to position that team and the league to be successful, and for long-term growth and stability. So when we evaluate all those aspects, we’re excited about the markets and the groups we have been in conversations with. We do think it’s an important piece. We don’t want to do it too quickly (and) dilute the talent that truly is the most competitive league in the world. But we are continuing to have really positive conversations with several prospects.

On the US Soccer presidential election: I think NWSL right now needs to have a discussion with our board of directors and evaluate the candidates. Certainly all candidates have a lot of wonderful ideas that they have positioned. We need to determine what’s best for the league in terms of support in the upcoming election.

On key performance indicators for 2018: Certainly with our partnership with A+E and Lifetime we need to really push our television ratings to show growth in that area. Not just to show the strength of the league but to strengthen the partnership we have with A+E and their continued investment and relationship with NWSL and our joint venture work with NWSL Media. We talked about league growth and what that means on the expansion side. It has been a few years since we had a true expansion team. So I want to position ourselves to be in that place that does have that long-term stability.

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On improvements to the national broadcasts: We certainly from a venue perspective understand the need and importance of having TV-ready, viable broadcast venues that our teams are playing in, and that we approach promoting those games week in and week out in the best ways possible. That’s going to come through the form of how we schedule our games this year.

On the NWSL Players Association: We look forward to working with the Players Association. The players are the most valuable piece of NWSL. We have the top talent in the world here right now and we need to make sure as a league that we take the steps to allow them to continue to stay in NWSL and be able to live as a professional athlete as an NWSL player.

On the NWSL Players Association tweet that they were not informed before 2018 schedule format tweet and release went out: We have already discussed with them and spoken to them about a time next week that we’re going to talk to them, and look forward to having that conversation to lay out how we have a working relationship going forward.

On changing the time of the Lifetime Game of the Week: There is discussion about other opportunities. Right now nothing is confirmed. There is a possibility that change might take place.

On that format for the NWSL Championship: That is still to be determined.


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