What MLS can do in fostering women's game
Will you spend some time with your loved ones before returning to club teams in Germany and Scandinavia?
Will you take a flier on the just announced, yet-to-be-named new American professional league, which is hoping the third time is the charm on these shores?
Or will you do what seven of your teammates did this past spring in the vacuum of a pro league, and suit up for a “pro-am” club in the all-too-brief two-month season of the USL’s W-League?
That’s the big, burning question, as it’s been several times before after one of these big international triumphs for the US women’s national team. And the answer is hardly ever clear, especially after the failures of the WUSA and WPS, and in the face of a once again uncertain economy
In the meantime, Major League Soccer is quietly playing its own role – even if it is a small one. Four teams in the W-League bear the names and brands of MLS clubs, suggesting a connection and investment in the women’s game.
That doesn’t mean MLS is directly involved. It’s not – at least not at the league level. Each of the four clubs has a unique arrangement with its MLS affiliate, and each has a level of cooperation that is vastly different.
One is a direct connection. Vancouver Whitecaps FC own and operate their women’s team, which has been a direct feeder to the Canadian national team. (Two players from their bronze medal-winning squad in London are current ‘Caps.)
One has a connection in name only. Seattle Sounders Women were once part of the Sounders organization, but went their separate ways once the men’s team made the jump to MLS. They still carry the brand name and wear the Rave Green.