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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Women's Professional Soccer Announces US Team Allocation

Image courtesy of WPS.

Today in Manhattan, the new Women's Professional Soccer League (WPS) announced player allocations of American national team members for their seven franchises. One of the new owner/investors is NBA star, Steve Nash.

Here was the official press release courtesy of WPS:

Press Release

Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) announces player allocations of U.S. National Team

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Event in Manhattan Hosted by Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash
Begins Countdown to Inaugural 2009 WPS Season

NEW YORK (September 16, 2008) – Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) announced the allocations of the U.S. Women’s National Team to its seven franchises Tuesday during a ceremony at the Sports Museum of America in downtown Manhattan.

The announcement was hosted by NBA All-Star and WPS part-owner Steve Nash and presided over by WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. Each of the seven teams set to begin play in WPS for the 2009 season were allocated three players apiece from the U.S. Women’s National Team pool. The allocation followed an extensive process in which the players and teams submitted their preferences to the league and a committee then examined the lists to give its recommendations. The WPS Board of Governors met on September 14-15 to consult with players, teams and the league to determine the best possible dispersal for all parties with the following allocation results:

WPS Player Allocations – U.S. Women’s National Team
View the 2008 WPS Player Allocation Results Board

WPS Team

Players Listed in Alphabetical Order

Bay Area

Nicole Barnhart

Rachel Buehler

Leslie Osborne

Boston Breakers

Angela Hucles

Kristine Lilly

Heather Mitts

Chicago Red Stars

Carli Lloyd

Kate Markgraf

Lindsay Tarpley

Los Angeles

Shannon Boxx

Stephanie Cox

Aly Wagner

Sky Blue FC

Natasha Kai

Heather O’Reilly

Christie Rampone

St. Louis

Lori Chalupny

Tina Ellertson

Hope Solo

Washington Freedom

Ali Krieger

Abby Wambach

Cat Whitehill

“The excitement for WPS allocation has been building for months as fans, coaches and even the players have been speculating about which athletes will be dispersed to each WPS market,” said Antonucci. “This is a big day for Women’s Professional Soccer, as teams now have Olympic gold medalists from Beijing allocated to their home cities along with other talented national team players. These are the first building blocks for the teams as the league begins the countdown to the inaugural 2009 WPS Season."

“Today has been a truly exciting and important day for the League and for the entire sport of women’s soccer,” said Nash, who, along with former Yahoo! President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Mallett, joined WPS as a part-owner and investor last February.

“The number of close games during the Olympics were a fantastic showcase of how the women’s level of competition continues to grow globally,” continued Nash. “And here in the United States, we’re lucky to have such talented players to call our own. As a soccer fanatic and father of twin girls, I personally feel fortunate to be here at the ground level, playing a role in launching the League that will set the standard for women’s play around the world.”

Following this week’s U.S. Women’s National Team allocation will be the international draft of top global stars the week of September 22nd which will assign teams the rights to negotiate with four premiere international players. That will be followed by a draft of remaining players in early October and again in January. The order of the international draft will depend on the weighted rankings voted on by teams following the U.S. Women’s National Team allocation with the weakest-rated team selecting first and the strongest-weighted team selecting last.

“The allocation process was developed to give players the chance to provide their input on where they wanted to play, allow for dialogue between league and teams about marketing potential and to give the best opportunity for a level playing field among teams come April 2009 and the start of the WPS Season,” said Antonucci.

How the Allocation Process Worked

The allocation process began with members of the U.S. National Team player pool submitting their city preferences to the League. After reviewing the athletes’ lists, the teams likewise forwarded their player preferences to the League.

A WPS committee examined both lists and considered League and team marketing initiatives before sending an allocation recommendation to the teams. Prior to the Sept. 16 announcement, the WPS Board of Governors held a 48-hour closed-door meeting in New York City to determine the final allocation results. During this time, the Board of Governors consulted with players, teams and league in order to accomplish the best possible dispersal for all parties.

At the conclusion of the closed-door meeting, the Board of Governors forwarded its allocation decisions to Commissioner Antonucci for final approval.

About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS)

The mission of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is to be the premier women’s soccer league in the world and the global standard by which women’s professional sports are measured. Play kicks off in the spring of 2009, with WPS teams based in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The league will expand in 2010 with the inclusion of Atlanta, Dallas, and Philadelphia. For more information, visit www.womensprosoccer.com.

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