Bloomberg News

Five-Team Women’s Pro-Soccer League Dissolving After Three Years

May 18, 2012

Women’s Professional Soccer, the one- time home of U.S. players Abby Wambach, Hope Solo and Christie Rampone, is folding after three seasons and a legal battle with a former team owner.

The WPS board agreed to permanently suspend operations immediately, the San Francisco-based soccer league said today in a release on its Facebook page.

After starting with seven teams in 2009, the league shrank to five before suspending operations earlier this year.

“We are proud of what WPS has accomplished, having attracted the highest quality players in the world to play in the best women’s league, as well as the progress women’s soccer has enjoyed over the past three years,” Thomas Hofstetter, chief executive and president of Sky Blue Women’s Soccer Inc., said in the statement. “We are extremely grateful to our sponsors, the talented players and dedicated fans that made this league so special.”

The WPS also announced today that it reached a confidential settlement with South Florida franchise owner Dan Borislow, who had sued the WPS when his team was kicked out of the league. In January, the five-team league announced that it was suspending its 2012 season to focus on Borislow’s lawsuit but hoped to return next year. It said the lawsuit “diverted resources from investment in the league.”

The last five franchises were the Atlanta Beat, Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence, New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash, according to the league’s website.

Part-owners and investors in the league included Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash and former Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO:US) President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Mallett, according to the league website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at enovywilliam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net


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