The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is a top level professional women's soccer league in the United States. It began play in spring 2013 with eight teams; four of them are former members of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), which had been the top women's league in the United States soccer pyramid before its demise in 2012. The NWSL has plans to expand to at least 10 teams in the future.
Competition Format 
National Women's Soccer League's inaugural season will begin in April 2013 with each team playing 22 games, including 11 home games.
After WPS officially folded in April 2012, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) announced a roundtable for discussion of the future of women's professional soccer in the United States. The meeting, which included representatives from USSF, WPS teams, the W-League, and the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL), was held in June and resulted in the planning of a new league set to launch in 2013 with 12–16 teams, taking from each of the three leagues. Compared to WPS, the teams would have a relatively low salary cap of $500,000.
In November 2012, it was announced that there would be eight teams in a new women's professional soccer league, yet to be named at the time of the announcement, subsidized by the USSF, the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF). The three federations would pay the salaries of their national team players (24 from the US, 16 from Canada, and 12 to 16 from Mexico) to aid the teams in creating world-class rosters while staying under the salary cap. The players would be distributed evenly (as possible) among the eight teams in an allocation process. USSF would run the league offices and set the schedule.
On November 29, 2012, it was announced that Cheryl Bailey had been named Executive Director of the new league. Bailey had previously served as General Manager of the United States women's national soccer team from 2007 to 2011, which included leading the support staff for the U.S. team during the 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women's World Cups as well as the 2008 Summer Olympics. During her tenure with the women's national team, she was in charge of all areas of administration including interfacing with clubs, team travel, payroll, and working with FIFA, CONCACAF and other Federations.
Media Coverage 
On April 18, 2013 NWSL signed Fox Sports a one-year agreement to televise nine games of the NWSL’s inaugural season. As part of the agreement, Fox Sports will air six regular-season matches and all three playoff matches, which include the two semifinal games on August 24 and 25, and the championship game on August 31.
NWSL commissioners/CEOs 
For the 2013 season, the teams are:
Locations of teams for the 2013 National Women's Soccer League season.
Future Expansion 
The league reportedly plans to expand to ten teams for 2014. Potential candidates include groups not accepted as part of the original eight; groups from the Los Angeles area (joint effort from the LA Strikers and Pali Blues) and from Hartford, Connecticut were confirmed failed bids, as was one from the Seattle Sounders Women. There was speculation that the Vancouver Whitecaps Women could be logical candidates especially given the WWC 2015 in Canada; however, the Whitecaps cancelled their women's program (except for one U-18 academy team) in December 2012.
See also 
- ^ Bird, Liviu. "Merritt Paulson Confident Women’s Soccer Will Thrive in Portland". Equalizer Soccer. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- ^ Kassouf, Jeff (June 29, 2012). "New women’s soccer league in the works for 2013 following meeting in Chicago". The Equalizer. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- ^ Lauletta, Dan (November 21, 2012). "Eight teams to start new women’s pro soccer league in 2013". The Equalizer. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- ^ "Cheryl Bailey Named Executive Director of New Women's Soccer League". US Soccer. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- ^ "NWSL, FSMG ANNOUNCE NATIONAL TV AGREEMENT - National Women's Soccer League". Nwslsoccer.com. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- ^ Giase, Frank (December 11, 2012). "On Soccer: New women's pro league has backing of U.S. Soccer Federation". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- ^ Kassouf, Jeff (November 20, 2012). "Established LA ownership excluded for geography". The Equalizer. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- ^ Kassouf, Jeff (November 21, 2012). "Connecticut hopes for expansion bid, again". The Equalizer. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
External links