|Founded||2001 (as Washington Freedom), relocated 2011|
|Stadium||FAU Soccer Field|
|League||Women's Professional Soccer|
magicJack is an American professional soccer club based in Boca Raton, Florida. The team competed in Women's Professional Soccer for one season until legal challenges caused the team's owner to become banned from the league, the WPS, which subsequently went on hiatus.
magicJack was originally founded in 2001 as the Washington Freedom of the defunct Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA). The Freedom were the only team to continue as an organization once WUSA folded, first playing exhibition games before joining the W-League. The Freedom were a founding member of WUSA's reincarnation, Women's Professional Soccer. In 2011, the team was purchased by Dan Borislow, owner of the phone tech company magicJack, and relocated to Boca Raton, Florida.
magicJack opened its 2011 campaign with three wins, and was the only team with a perfect record for the first month of the season. Despite this, coach Mike Lyons was let go after these first three victories, beginning a long period of coaching controversy, while both Borislow and Christie Rampone functioned as team coach at various points. During the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, magicJack lost in a WPS-record 6-0 defeat, falling to the Philadelphia Independence.
On July 22, 2011, Abby Wambach was named as magicJack's player-coach for the rest of the season. The team was the visiting side when the Western New York Flash of Rochester (Wambach's hometown) set the new WPS league record attendance of 15,404. magicJack ultimately finished third in both the regular season and the playoffs.
Battling with the league
In the waning months of the season, Borislow sent an e-mail to his players telling them that WPS was threatening to terminate the team before the season was over, and he filed a suit in Florida courts. The league denied this accusation, and agreements were made for the suit to be dropped.
On Tuesday October 25, 2011, the Women's Professional League Governors voted to terminate the franchise, accusing owner Dan Borislow of violations ranging from "unprofessional and disparaging treatment of his players to failure to pay his bills." WPS also stated, "Mr. Borislow's actions have been calculated to tarnish the reputation of the league and damage the league's business relationships." All players were able sign into new teams when free agency started on November 9, 2011.
Borislow again filed suit in Florida courts, and on January 10, 2012 the judge ruled the league could not terminate the team's franchise without following its own procedures. A hearing was set for the following week. Before adjudication could continue, WPS and Borislow reached another deal, this time allowing Borislow to keep his team as an exhibition team, guaranteeing magicJack at least seven games for each of the next two years, one at each of the WPS teams' home grounds and two in Florida.
- As of March 2012.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Washington Freedom Contact Information
- Wambach hired to coach her pro team
- The post-World Cup bounce
- "Timeline of Dan Borislow's dealings with WPS". ESPN. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- Boehm, Charles. 3 August 2011, nationalsoccerwire.com, "[Seeking to "terminate his franchise," WPS fires off new shots in escalating battle with Dan Borislow http://www.nationalsoccerwire.com/news/460/14219]". Accessed 27 June 2012.
- Sporting News, 11 January 2012. "Judge rules against WPS in magicJack termination suit". Accessed 27 June 2012.
- Dure, Beau (January 18, 2012). "WPS, Dan Borislow to work together again". espnW. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
Media related to MagicJack (WPS) at Wikimedia Commons