Building a Better WUSA

The San Diego Union-Tribune's incomparable Marc Ziegler turned in a nice write-up today on what a reborn - and possibly renamed - WUSA would look like. Writing as someone who was turned off by the original copy - largely due to the mind-blowing hubris of several people associated with the league - I'm happy to say the people involved seem to have learned from the past.

One angle, in particular, looks promising:

"Antonucci's model is not single entity, where the league technically 'owns' the players and the teams, but the traditional franchise system where investors own and operate individual clubs. And unlike WUSA, which prided itself on its independence, the new venture would have what Antonucci calls 'close partnerships' with Major League Soccer clubs to cut costs by using their facilities and staff."

While I was referring to the part in bold above, I also like the traditional franchise structure backed by a firm salary cap, even if that doesn't seem a popular notion among MLS honchos and not a few observers. In any case, the idea of supporting two, fully-professional leagues in a country with only scant, event-driven interest in soccer always struck me as a horrible, horrible idea. I'm glad the WUSA people, whether they're old or new, finally worked it out.

In any case, it's not that I never liked the women's game - though I have to confess I struggle when watching it. But if the women's game someday out-strip the men's, as the U.S. women arguably did around 1999, I'll live with it just fine. Good luck to them. I've got two daughters at home, after all....


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