The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
by David Falk
It was already a very big summer for women’s soccer in the state of Washington. On a single day in August, it got even bigger.
The United States Women won the Olympics Gold Medal with help from Sounders Women players and local hero Hope Solo.
This all coming on the heels of the debut of Issaquah SC and Emerald City FC in the WPSL, in a season that saw the Spokane Shine win the Northwest Division. This coming after the Sounders Women sold out Starfire Stadium with a group of Olympic players in the W-League in May, June and July.
“We are excited to bring the highest level of women’s soccer to Seattle,” said Bill Predmore, president of Seattle-based digital marketing agency, POP, and the leader of the ownership group for the new Seattle club. “Seattle has a long history of enthusiastic support for professional soccer, which we hope will provide us with a strong base of fans for the new women’s club.”
Bill Predmore founded POP! Multimedia, Inc. (POP) in 1996 and serves as its President. Predmore serves on the board of SIFF Group. Mr. Predmore began his career working as an Assistant Director on the PBS television series Bill Nye the Science Guy. He received a Political Science degree from Western Washington University in 1993.
Out of the blue Seattle has high-tech ownership in this new league:
With the conclusion of both the WPSL Elite League and W-League semi-pro women’s playoffs and the ongoing thrilling performance of the U.S. Women’s National Team at the Olympic Games, five of the top women’s soccer teams in the country are announcing the formation of a new professional women’s soccer league that will start play in the spring of 2013.
Among the teams are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, a newly formed team in Seattle, and New Jersey’s Sky Blue FC, three out of four of which were members of the prior Women’s Professional Soccer league. Additionally, four other teams are finalizing their participation in the league including another team that will be located on the West Coast.
“All these teams are committed to playing with and against each other starting in 2013 and to working out the final details to allow a sustainable professional league for women’s soccer in the U.S.,” said Michael Stoller, Managing Partner of the Boston Breakers. “We want to emphasize this is not a competitor to any of the existing leagues, but rather this is a significant step up in the competitive level and professional standards and we expect to establish a natural relationship to allow teams to enter this new league and perhaps to fall back (self-relegate) to their prior league if they need a break from the higher spending and competitive requirements.”
What do you think of this news? Is the state of Washington ready for four women’s clubs? What will happen to the Sounders Women’s star players with this new team in town? Will they switch over and play for them instead? Where will this new Seattle team play?
Is this just about the biggest year in women’s soccer locally, or what?