Fear and longing for WUSA revival
This is old news, but might have some interest for our overseas readers.
In late May a major daily, Göteborgsposten, published a couple of articles on the possible revival of the professional american women's soccer league WUSA. They refer to the work of Tonya Antonucci and the WSII (but doesn't quote her) and claims that the league is almost ready to return, opening the 2008 season. According to the paper the new league will consist of 8 or 10 clubs. 7 of the locations are according to the paper already decided and financed (San Diego, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Washington, Rochester and New York), while three more are called "probable" (Chicago, Atlanta, Gary).
Since the previous WUSA folded 2003, a lot of players that would have played in the league has turned to Europe instead and in particular to Damallsvenskan. A new professional league in USA would attract these players and probably some Swedish stars too.
"That is one way to see it", comments the president of the Swedish Football Association Lars-Åke Lagrell, "but if you love football and wants women's football to develop, this is a great step forward."
KIF Örebro's head coach Pia Sundhage and Kopparbergs/Göteborg's chairman Peter Bronsman are both positive. Sundhage is open to the prospect of returning to USA "if the season will be long enough and the league will be open to international players" and Bronsman thinks an American professional league will stimulate Damallsvenskan. "I think a lot of our players have the dream of playing professionally and we wont stop anyone". On the contrary, Bronsman says he wants to be part of a revived WUSA: "We might not have an own team there, but our ambition is at least a close cooperation with a WUSA side, including player exchange".
Umeå's manager Roland Arnqvist is a bit more subdued: "It really doesn't matter what we think. Professional leagues will be established, in Europe too. And in the long run this is a positive thing".
Damallsvenskan newcomer's Bälinge relies heavily on their American trio White, Sitch and Cooper. Club chairman Conny Sjöberg says that a new WUSA will have consequences for the club. "There is a big risk that a WUSA league will be more attractive than Damallsvenskan. And it is almost impossible for us to find domestic players that can fully replace our Americans."
Kopparbergs/Göteborg's star forward Lotta Schelin finally, says "Great! That would give a realistic goal for girls that want to be professional footballers". And would Lotta go herself? "If I got an offer, I would definitely consider it".
Göteborgsposten: Proffsligan i USA återuppstår 2008
Göteborgsposten: Kan bli ett lyft för damfotbollen
Göteborgsposten: Bronsman vill ta Göteborg till USA
Uppsala Nya Tidning: Damliga i USA påverkar Bälinge
(Yes, there is a pun of sorts in the title and, in the off chance that this would reach Andy Mead, I want to make it clear that I'm using "WUSA" as a generic name for a professional, first division women's soccer league in USA, the same way you can use "kleenex" for any soft facial tissue.)
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