The reason given for the delay in WPS sanctioning was to give the league time to line up a sixth team.
That has not happened. Here’s WPS CEO Jennifer O’Sullivan:
While our discussions with expansion candidates continue to be positive, we are now at a point in time where adding a team for 2012 at this late date could put the club at a great disadvantage both in a business and competitive sense. We are moving forward in planning the 2012 season with the current field of five teams that are committed to play in the League and continuing expansion discussions for 2013.
So O’Sullivan and company have been making the case to U.S. Soccer’s Pro League Task Force that the league should be sanctioned in 2012. Not much comment about those discussions beyond this, also from O’Sullivan:
While we won’t comment in detail about our ongoing discussions with U.S. Soccer, we can say our meeting on Tuesday with U.S. Soccer regarding the sanctioning of WPS for 2012 was productive. Discussions will continue and we’re hopeful to have an opportunity next season to build upon the league’s strong momentum, both on and off the field.
Also today, U.S. women’s national team captain Christie Rampone did a Twitter chat on the U.S. Soccer WNT feed. She likes to sew, wants to be remembered as someone who led by example, treasures her fitness and prefers chemistry to biology. She did not address WPS.
Other WPS-related reads:
– GOOD suggests women’s sports should be run as a charity, not as a business. That’s an unfortunate choice of words (“degrading,” said at least one sane person on Twitter), but the notion of subsidizing a sport isn’t unusual. It’s done in other sports all the time, but it’s usually a bit more subtle than saying “charity.” (For a contrasting view, see the espnW piece that former WNBA president Val Ackerman wrote in October.)
– A couple of us have reported for a while that the Vancouver Whitecaps weren’t planning to leap into WPS as it currently stands. This Canadian Soccer News interview goes into more detail.