US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. Soccer Continuing Development of Business Plan for Women's Pro League

CHICAGO (Wednesday, July 7, 1999) - U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia announced today that U.S. Soccer is continuing its role as a leader in women's sports by assisting in the development of a business plan to explore the feasibility of a future women's professional soccer league in the United States.

"U.S. Soccer has been at the forefront of women's athletics for many years," said Contiguglia. "We have implemented a number of progressive women's programs to ensure the continued success of women's soccer, and we are moving into this project with the same mind set. That is, to try and produce the best possible plan to entice investors.

"As the governing body of the sport, U.S. Soccer's role is to encourage dialogue and the eventual development of a business plan for potential investors, but not to directly fund or operate a league."

U.S. Soccer has committed funds to develop the plan and present it to potential investors by early next year. Funding for the plan is also being provided by John Hendricks, founder of the Discovery Channel. The plan is being drafted by Mark Abbott, the chief operating officer of Major League Soccer, who was a key contributor in the development of that league's original business plan. To aid in the plan's development, discussions have been held with members of the U.S. Women's National Team, as well as other participants and sponsors in the women's soccer community.

"There are many elements that need to be in place before you can proceed with a start-up project like this," said Contiguglia. "It's important to remember that this is just the first step in the process."