According to a New Jersey Star-Ledger article published Tuesday, the name for the new women’s professional league in the United States may be the “Women’s Professional Soccer Association.” The article, written by veteran reporter Frank Giase, has multiple quotes from Sky Blue FC owner Thomas Hofstetter, who is likely the source for this possible confirmation. Also on Tuesday, the Washington, D.C. franchise unveiled its name – “Washington Spirit” – and logo. Additionally, the Portland franchise will unveil its name and logo on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. PT (Twitter).
“Women’s Professional Soccer Association?” Here’s the relevant quote from Giase’s article: “The new league, likely to be called the Women’s Professional Soccer Association.” Also, the domain name “wpsasoccer.com” was registered on November 25th by Bill Predmore, the lead owner for the new Seattle franchise (Network Solutions whois). A search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s online trademark database does not bring up any current applications for that name. However, there is a “dead” application for the term “WPSA” by the previous pro league, Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS), when it was still in the development phase. (A screenshot of the summary page for that application can be viewed on EqualizerSoccer.com.)
Washington Spirit — The DC’s website is at WashingtonSpirit.com and their completely new Twitter handle is @WashSpirit. (Followers of the old @DCFreedom and @DCUWomen accounts will need to follow the new account.) Also announced on Tuesday is that Mike Jorden, who coached the D.C. United Women last season, will be the team’s head coach. Prior to coaching the DCU Women, Jorden coached a number of youth girls teams, including FC Virginia of the ECNL (FCvirginia.com). Cindi Harkes, wife of former USMNT player John Harkes is expected to be one of Jorden’s lead assistants, according to the Spirit’s announcement about their name. This is not the first time that a professional women’s soccer team has been named the “Spirit.” That moniker was previously used by the WUSA’s San Diego Spirit (Wikipedia).
Other Club Names — As noted above, Portland will reveal their name and logo on Thursday. The only other franchise whose name remains unknown is Seattle.
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Giase’s article has a couple of interesting new nuggets regarding the league…
Quota limits for foreign players: From the article —
“Foreign players are interested, but salaries will not allow too many to come back,” Hofstetter said. “We are only going to allow five or six foreigners per team — my guess would be five — and since each team will have two Canadians and two Mexicans there are only one or two slots left.
(Note: Hofstetter’s quotes regarding the number of allocated players per pro team from the USA, Canada, and Mexico national teams should be considered maximum, absent confirmed new developments from those three federations.)
It is unclear whether players with dual-citizenship, such as Ali Riley and Rebecca Smith, who play for New Zealand, but also have USA citizenship, would be counted as “foreign” or not.
Two expansion teams in 2014? The article includes the line, “The league, which already has plans to expand to 10 teams in 2014.” As far as expansion candidates go, a pair of teams in California (e.g., Los Angeles plus either San Francisco, San Jose, or San Diego) is likely the preferred option, although reality may dictate other options.