The United States Women's Soccer League, or WPS, officially suspended its 2012 season on January 30. The warning bells sounded this past October, when the South Florida magicJack team abruptly ended after a year of legal battles with the owner Dan Borislow. Apparently, this was the pebble that started the landslide, with the remaining franchises facing a seasonless year.
The WPS CEO, Jennifer O'Sullivan, announced the season's suspension following a vote by the Board of Governors. Owners pinpointed difficulties with Borislow as their major reason for cancelling the season. It seems the legal battle emptied the WPS coffers so much the league can't afford to continue. Right now, plans are still on for the 2013 sesaon, but expect a lot of work on league standards, violations, and ownership rules between now and then.
Soccer fans, feel free to complain. True, the WPS has only played for three seasons and doesn't enjoy the same interest as other leagues sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation. But soccer has been a long, long time in coming to the U.S. and needs all the help it can get. First division leagues here are paltry compared to the leagues across the world when it comes to star power and regular money power, too.
This blow will certainly lose fans for the WPS, and whenÂ—or ifÂ—the minimum of six teams start playing again in 2013, they may find it difficult to gain the same amount of attention from before the legal disaster. In soccer's desperate climb up the ranks of American popularity, it's a painful missed foothold.