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U.S. Soccer Announces Application Process for Women's Professional Soccer League

CHICAGO (Friday, March 3, 2000) - The official process for groups applying for membership as a sanctioned Division I United States women's professional soccer league was announced today by U.S. Soccer. The initial deadline for interested parties to file official letters of interest with U.S. Soccer to petition for membership as a sanctioned Division I women's professional soccer league in the United States is April 1, 2000. After all qualified and interest groups have been identified, a completed application and all related documentation must be submitted to U.S. Soccer by May 1, 2000.

Notice of application for interested parties should be sent to the Secretary General, U.S. Soccer Federation, (Attention: General Counsel) at 1801 S. Prairie Ave., Chicago, IL 60616.

"It is our desire to move this process along as quickly and efficiently, as possible," said U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia. "U.S. Soccer has consistently been at the forefront of women's sport and is proud that our investment in our Women's National Team program and their success has created the environment where there are now a number of groups interested in establishing a women's pro league. U.S. Soccer has set this time table in order to give everyone ample time to complete their applications, while also expediting the review and selection process so that there may be Division I women's soccer as soon as feasible in the U.S."

Upon receipt, a special committee of U.S. Soccer's National Board of Directors will review the applications. This review process will evaluate all the proposed leagues on their merits and potentially may include a question and commentary period and one-on-one meetings with the applicants. The special committee shall report to U.S. Soccer's full Board of Directors. If necessary, U.S. Soccer may conduct an extraordinary meeting of its Board of Directors in June to consider all of the applicants.

Ultimately, U.S. Soccer's National Council will vote on membership at its annual general meeting. Currently U.S. Soccer has received an official membership application from the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), a group led by investor John Hendricks. Major League Soccer also has formally expressed interest in operating a Division I women's professional league.