Saturday, December 3, 2011

WPS Action

US Soccer has given Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) until Monday to find a sixth team. You may recall that the league's Board of Governors recently voted to expel Dan Borislow's Boca Raton-based magicJack from the league.

The relationship between Borislow and WPS has been fairly roller-coaster-esque from the start. Barislow effectively ensured the league's survival when, after John Hendricks ended his decade-long ownership of what was then the Washington Freedom, he stepped in to finance the squad and keep the league at six teams - US Soccer requires that leagues have eight teams to be sanctioned with "Division 1" status, but granted a waiver for a six-team women's league. Friction initially arose between the league and Borislow when he raised doubts about sponsors Puma and the league forcing the team to move to southern Florida.

Further controversy was created by Barislow's refusal to make a website and advertise the team in addition to his not cooperating with the league's stat-keeping service, among other mix-ups. Finally, he - and consequently his team - was voted out at the October 25th Board of Governors meeting, reducing the league to six teams. Borislow has since sued the league, claiming due process did not take place.

Per Beau Dure, US Soccer gave WPS 15 days to get a sixth team on board on November 20th. In other words, WPS has until Monday to find that owner. It is expected that the league would be granted another waiver with six teams.

Current team owners would likely rather eat their players' boots than re-admit Borislow into the league. There are whispers that the league plans to expand in 2013, but it will be hard to expand on a league that doesn't exist. Owners have hinted at the possibility of playing without sanctioning, but players would then risk being suspended from FIFA competition - magicJack boasted seven players from last year's US World Cup roster, but have since been released from their obligation to the team by the league.

While the powers that be flip through the millionaire white pages, Alexandra Sahlen has taken it upon herself to create this momentum-gathering petition to Dan Flynn and US Soccer to keep the league around regardless.

I strongly urge you to e-sign. It's very quick and easy, and I think we can all agree, it's a good cause. You can even add your own personal message to Mr. Flynn stating why you signed.

- Jacob Klinger

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