Women's league to allocate players in September

July 8, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- U.S. national team stars will find out in mid-September which clubs they'll play for in the new Women's Professional Soccer league.

League and team officials will meet the week of Sept. 15 to allocate members of the national team pool to the inaugural seven squads, the WPS announced Tuesday.

Players have told league officials their preferred cities. Each team will also create a wish list of players.

Team owners will convene after the Olympics to weigh club and player preferences with the desire to maintain competitive balance, WPS commissioner Tonya Antonucci said. Recommendations will be made by a technical committee of about 15 people that will include team management and coaches and outside consultants. Antonucci will have the final say.

The league has yet to finalize a contract with the national team players association, but Antonucci said she was confident an agreement would come before Sept. 15.

"I think everyone on both sides is working hard toward reaching that goal," she said.

A series of drafts and tryouts will fill out the rest of teams' rosters with U.S. and international players. The league is scheduled to debut next spring with clubs in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press