NWSL hopes the excitement of the World Cup will inspire women's soccer breakthrough

NWSL hopes the excitement of the World Cup will inspire women's soccer breakthrough

North Carolina courage players celebrate winning an NWSL soccer title last September. (Adam Lapierre / The Oregonian through AP, File)

The franchise has long supported him in the National Women's Soccer Competition, but even the Portland Business Business President, Mike Golub, is thinking about how his club would force the deception that came after the World Cup. Sunday ladies title titles.

Portland has over 11,000 season ticket holders, a multi-annual attendant leader of the league and a young, often obsolete. She has recorded a sponsorship year. And on Friday night, he reinforced fair attendance figures for the league by bringing more than 19,000 fans to a domestic match against the Reign FC, although a collection of American stars was preparing to play in the France World Cup final. days later.

The kind of post-World momentum has been taking off for Golub for weeks, and he will only hope to make his license less than the issuer. Women's professional soccer leagues after the World Cup have had false hopes in the past, but NWSL officials are of the opinion that this time is different.

“I think you will see relevant upticks throughout the series, and I think a number of major national sponsorships will be announced in the coming weeks. This is certainly a wind behind all our backs, ”Golub said. “I think it will be the most successful half-season ever experienced by the league.” T

Established in 2012 and in its seventh year, NWSL represents the highest level of sport in the United States and is now beyond its predecessors, the United Football Association of Women (2001-2003) and Women's Professional Soccer (2007). -2012). Following the failures of these strands, the NWSL organizers launched the belief that a system with high quality players, reasonable payroll and small expectations – with smaller stadiums and smaller budgets – could finally allow for the women's soccer league. The NWSL also contracted with the US Soccer Federation, the governing body of sport, which subsidizes the league by paying the salaries of the members of the US national team.

The NWSL has struggled for a long time, but the series won a number of key relationships in the past week. He met a multi-annual sponsorship with Budweiser, and ESPN announced that it would make the second half of games on its networks networks, a crucial development because NWSL made a severe financial blow when it finished its television partnership with A&E Networks in February. , which also owned 25 percent in the series.

Although the ESPN deal is not a long-term solution – it's just slates to transport games through NWSL games in October – it opens the door for a potential long-term partnership and hopes to grow front offices across the league. fan base and future investments.

“I hope he will move. That's what these players deserve. They worked on their whole life to achieve this level… and the income it gets does not necessarily have to be fair, ”said Richie Burke, manager of Washington Spirit. “You hope it will give them the much needed attention and the income they need.” T

The series did not reveal the financial terms of its ESPN dealings. The salary cap for NWSL staff in 2019 is $ 421,500, with a maximum of $ 46,200 per player and at least $ 16,538.


United States World Cup stars Megan Rapinoe, left, and Rose Lavelle will return to their NWSL teams later this month. (Christophe Simon / AFP)

Coaches across the league have celebrated the agreement with ESPN as an opportunity to showcase the position of the 23 US rosters, all playing for NWSL teams. In addition, there are over 30 players from 10 other countries in the league, and the World Cup has been used by general managers to recruit international players, recognizing that lucrative clubs in Europe could boost their own investments and try to try to make the most of the competition. make attracting players from NWSL.

“I think it's very important to us,” said Orlando Pride, general manager of Erik Ustruck, who oversees the US roster Alex Morgan and Brazil star Marta. “It is attractive to other players not in the league. . . I think it is a great opportunity for players in the World Cup to do a scout, and go after some players who do well for their countries and show that there are opportunities in the US. ”

While the majority of NWSL players remain the best, seven of the eight final teams in the World Cup were from Europe, highlighting the amount of resources spent by those countries in sport in recent years. Real Madrid will send women clubs like Olympique Lyonnais, Manchester City, Barcelona, ​​as well as other new investments – next year 's Real Madrid team – it could be a threat to NWSL in the coming years.

Stakeholders were very optimistic about the growth of the women's game following previous U. World Cup titles; United Ladies Football Association was born out of the 1999 championship excitement of the teams, with only an accident after three seasons and a loss of tens of millions of dollars. After the women's victory in the US in 2015, the NWSL average attendance concentrated a little from 5,046 to 5,558 fans per game – and while attendance from 2017 to 2018 increased by 19 per cent, when more than 6,000 people attended. on average per game Over time, questions continued with the future viability of the league.

As part of the largely untapped NWSL markets, the league has seven franchise duties with an average of 5,000 fans per home game or less expected to return five stars with during the second half of the season. Most of the league's international players have already returned to their respective teams in the NWSL, and the 23 American players are expected to return within the next two weeks. This includes the Washington Spirit, which will welcome midfielder Rose Lavelle after relaxing the world with the second goal in the United States in Sunday win.

Even your star is already established as Morgan, 30, Ustruck said that she returns to NWSL as a bigger brand than ever. As Megan Rapinoe would do, apart from claiming the Golden Boot as the World Cup and the Golden Ball as the most valuable player in the competition, return to Reign FC as a global phenomenon that woke powerful conversations on politics and on gender equality. Reign FC has exploded her portrait on her website for days, announcing a match that came back in the World Cup against The Chicago Fire on 28 July.

“She was not just a true leader of our team, nothing but a true leader of our community,” said Reign FC Coach Vlatko Andonovski. “It's a role model for everyone.”

Rapinoe will play for Reign FC when the first national television match is on from September 2014, on September 29 against Portland on ESPN2. She has been interested in strengthening the NWSL during Tuesday's presentation on “Good Morning America.”

“Look at your team, see the national team, see your local club teams. I think that everyone has to do some of this, ”said Rapinoe, before he adds,“ it's time to start that action. ”

Whether Rapinoe's Reign FC is one of the franchises that can be closed on Portland's exclusive status after your world-leading World Cup has been seen. But Golub believes that the results will emerge for the rest of the league.

“I think it's a constant evolution, and (that women's soccer) is creating hearts and minds every step of the way,” he said. “He's turning new people to professional soccer women's in our country, which means that fans are more fanatic occasions, and that those enthusiastic fans are even more careful – and the World Cup will be full.” T

Read more:

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