Saint Louis Athletica folding, AC St. Louis safe for now

STL

The financial mess in St. Louis has claimed its first victim. It was announced that St. Louis Athletica of the WPS will fold, becoming the second club to fold this year in the league. Jeff Cooper, one of the financial backers in St. Louis, broke the news to the team.

A financial crisis that impacts both the Athletica and the USSF D-2 side A.C. St. Louis is at the heart of the issue. The men's side will remain afloat for the time being, as bonds were issued to meet the club's payroll.

“We looked at a few options as a league together with our Board and U.S. Soccer, but the operational hurdles and finances just didn’t work out," WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci said in a league statement. "In the face of a severe funding gap in St. Louis, the local ownership group is shutting down the team at this point.”

Athletica players will become free agents on June 1, and the club won't play its scheduled match this weekend against Atlanta.

What do you think of the news? Will A.C. St. Louis survive?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in USSF Division 2, Women's Professional Soccer, Women's Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

105 Responses to Saint Louis Athletica folding, AC St. Louis safe for now

  1. Erik says:

    And MLS fans want a team in St. Louis…

  2. CACuzcatlan says:

    Its only a matter of time before the whole league (WPS) folds. Too bad for Atlanta and their new stadium.

  3. CACuzcatlan says:

    What are you saying? We’ve seen that D2 support does equal MLS support. Both Toronto and Seattle had weak attendance before getting an MLS team. As for the ownership, MLS realized it wasn’t strong enough and didn’t grant them a team. Looks like MLS was right on this one.

  4. Luis F says:

    St. Louis is probably still capable of supporting an MLS team, but this sure creates problems for a bid at a time when they can’t really afford to have them. My guess is that MLS won’t go beyond 20 teams for quite awhile, meaning getting the 20th team is crucial. Just bad timing.

  5. WeatherManNX01 says:

    I want a team in St. Louis, yes. I think it’s a totally viable market. It’s going to take an owner that isn’t a screw-up like Cooper. I’m glad MLS passed over him when he was up for an expansion spot.

  6. Never First says:

    If you read the link, it sounds more like a problem with ownership/investors than with fan support in St. Louis.

    Sad news though for women’s soccer. I think WPS will fold soon. It’s sad, but there just isn’t support for women’s sports. They would need the backing of MLS (like the NBA supporting the WNBA) and I just don’t think MLS will make that commitment at this point.

  7. GSScasual says:

    I could have told you when WPS was a rumor, that it was a financial Mistake… I love and respect women.. i want them to be treated fairly, but i have to say… A successful womens sports league will not happen.. ever. I feel bad for the little girls who look up to them but, hey watch MLS… and if you like footbal and want to be around it, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best WAG you can..

  8. Eric K says:

    Aaaaand this is why MLS is picky about getting the right ownership group in place. They had reservations about Cooper’s group, which seem pretty founded now.

  9. BetaMale says:

    I’d be very surprised at this rate if AC STL survives. They are praying an investor at this point

  10. jmoney says:

    ummm… its women’s soccer and its gonna go bankrupt. you can’t equate soccer with women’s soccer.

  11. Robert says:

    I also think that WPS is just not a viable institution at this point. Attendance numbers are abysmal to say the least. I’m not putting down the quality or players. It’s just a weak market overall. A better option would be a WMLS where each MLS team is based and back-to-back games. Americans are used to 4-hour games already (footnall). Why not have access to two games?
    In truth, my proposal probably won’t work either because MLS is still growing and fragile (just look at the FC Dallas and Revolution attendance). It will likely be at least 10 years before anything like the WMLS can be accomplished.

  12. Dan Menges says:

    This had nothing to do with the city or its fans. The reason that they folded was due to investors not owning up to what they said they would invest. Plenty of fan support and St Louis is a huge soccer city. An MLS (real team) team would be huge in this city.

  13. suckerpunch says:

    How is a team allowed to field a team in the first place if they only have enough money to cover just 4 paydays???
    I’m sorry, but even if you supposedly have people with lots of money coming soon, you need to be able to start with more than 4 payrolls in the bank.
    Whoever OK’ed this team should be fired.

  14. BCC says:

    Women’s soccer is unwatchable.

    A second New York team would be more profitable than something in St. Louis.

  15. red boolean logic says:

    it’s women’s soccer and no one cares. imagine all the major universities that could pick up varsity men’s soccer if title IX was abolished. it would incentivize young men to pursue the game at a higher level by rewarding them with a scholarship.

    do you think this would improve our standing globally against other soccer powerhouses? of course it would. let me reiterate: title IX holds back our national team’s success.

    the wps is a pc-driven pipe dream of a business model. the wnba bleeds money every year, but david stern values the positive public relations enough to keep them around. there will always be an insufficient demand for women’s sports.

  16. Roger says:

    And which do you think should be a more important priority for this country, equality for men and women or success in international soccer?

    A soccer fan should know better than to use the phrase “no one cares,” since he’s heard it enough times coming from baseball and basketball fans.

  17. Paul Thomas says:

    Yes, this must be it. The men’s national team isn’t that great because we don’t spend enough money on academic scholarships for marginal 18-22 year old pseudo-prospects who aren’t good enough to sign professionally.

    What a ridiculous assertion. The US men’s national team isn’t that great because soccer attracts like 2% (if that) of the top athletes in this country. The way to change that is by paying professional players through ticket sales, not by self-entitled whining about comparatively tiny amounts of money being used to fund amateur athletics for women.

  18. Nick says:

    The major factor behind Title iX is not just women’s soccer or women’s sports, but other male sports that dominate the scholarship field, such as football. Due to sports such as football with their 9,000 scholarships and roster spots, sports such as soccer and other so-deemed smaller Mens sports are unable to exist. If you abolished Title IX, the only sports that would receive any funding would be those that which bring any type of money to the University – and sadly you count those soccer schools on 1 hand, if there are any. I want college soccer programs across the country as much as anyone, its just not as easy axeing Title IX.

  19. Nathanael Green says:

    When will the cycle of Women’s Soccer stabilize? Ever?

  20. JB says:

    red boolean is right…my alma mater-Georgia-can’t have men’s soccer because of Title IX. Clint Mathis, Josh Wolff and Ricardo Clark all hail from Atlanta, and had to leave the state to pursue their dreams.

    I’ve got three daughters, love my wife and love soccer. But Men’s and Women’s Soccer are not the same sport and the WPS cannot possibly succeed in the marketplace of pro-sports. Its not that I wish them to fail, but it just not viable, imho.

    The WNBA and NBA are married together and the only way that women’s soccer becomes viable financially is if MLS, after it gets its house in order, sponsors a women’s league, like has happened in Germany and England. Don’t know if they’re profitable either.

  21. afc says:

    England is revamping the womens league and creating a brand new league. It will now be fully professional. All womens teams before were semi-pro including the Arsenal Ladies who have the best set up.

  22. JB says:

    As for whether Title IX holds back the Nats, I don’t think so…not directly. But to assume that in the States we will go to a straight out of HS program to the pros is equally unrealistic. Dempsey played in college, as did Onyewu and a lot of other national team players. It will always remain an important part of our pipeline. The more options our young men have the better.

  23. Jim says:

    It looks as if Cooper started the Athletica to gain traction and credibility in order to get investors to invest in ACSL. And now that both are threatened with failure he chooses to shut down the less expensive team. Although he is probably keeping the Athletica staff in place to run the day to day operations of ACSL (which was one of his supposed big wins in this setup).

    Poor form by Cooper. Isn’t he the president of NASL as well? I was surprised to find out that he did not own these teams but sold his interest before the season and only owned minority shares in both teams. At the very least he could have done better in finding investors of his ‘products’. Keep that man away from any other soccer leagues.

  24. JB says:

    Like I said elsewhere, the Nats are littered with players who spent time in college: Onyewu, Cherundolo, Feilhaber, Dempsey, etc. College will always remain an important component in our program and should be encouraged not discarded.

  25. JB says:

    Equality for men and women vs. success in Int’l Soccer is a false argument. Tens of thousands of young men in this country can’t play intercollegiate sports because federal law prevents their schools from adding sports for their gender, unless they add another women’s sport simultaneously. And to gripe about football (American) getting the lions share of the funding is irrelevant, since they pay for entire athletic programs at most universities.

  26. jspec says:

    I hate when sports and politics mix. How about an International Womens League with like 4 teams in the USA, 4 teams in So America and other teams in Europe. These four teams would rep a region of the Country. It would be the Women Champion league. Each game in the US can be at different venues in the ea. region

  27. Stu says:

    I’m not sure MLS has the financial resources to subsidize a women’s league, even if they wanted to.

    I know the NBA is putting more pressure on the WNBA to become financially independent, which has led to a couple of teams folding.

    I don’t take any great joy in it, but I just don’t think the male half of this country, by and large, is willing to pay to watch women’s sports…and men are still the largest slice of the target market for live sporting events, mens or womens.

    I think there’s a better chance such a league may be viable in another generation, but I’m not sure I’ll live to see it.

  28. jay says:

    st louis blows… i have stated this over and over if they were the soccer central everyone says they are they would of had a 2nd tier team already…they have one and nothing is happening unlike the Canada teams…Rochester or Charleston would be a better pick than these losers if your going small market…..KC in the same state has a team why didnt they just move it there if it was so great….lets not forget the rams are thinking of moving already and the nfl rules in this country….they are a joke…mls can find better places to move too than that crime ridden dump…im sick of even talking about that lame city

  29. Sninho says:

    Careful now, people might start thinking we actually care about soccer in the south and that we have good players down here. Heaven forbid our homegrown talent be allowed to play for a hometown team…

  30. JerseyScouser says:

    MLS made the right call on this one. They knew all along the money was not there and decided to go with Philly instead. Rut Roh somebodys doing their homework lol!

  31. Kejsare says:

    I’ve read USSF has kept ACSTL going by floating a bond.

  32. jloome says:

    Before people blame investors for pulling out, I can say I’ve looked into more than one football club’s failure in the past, and investors often scarper when they know the management team is heading for an iceberg.

    SO if the costs were out of control, it might well have been that they got scared off. That’s a product of poor management (hypothetically, of course), not poor finances.

  33. Aaron in StL says:

    Exactly. It’s not about the fan support because that’s there and is on par with any other team. It’s the bonehead owner.

    The worst part is that we already have two owners in town that already have MLS teams – Kroenke (St. Louis Ram/Colorado Rapids) and Dave Checketts (St. Louis Blues/RSL). Unless somebody like Kroenke steps up to bat, not sure we’ll have a good enough ownership group.

    Cooper’s a tool, and should be reviled. Any progress that was expected from this will be set back ten-fold if this team folds.

  34. northzax says:

    wrong. Georgia isn’t restricted from having a men’s team simply because of Title IX, they are restricted because the school chooses to spend 25 million a year on men’s football.

    for all the complaints about Title IX, how is it that Maryland, which has fewer women’s sports than Georgia (no equestrian team, natch) somehow manages to field both a men’s Football team and a men’s soccer team? somehow the ACC manages to field nine men’s teams, mostly in the South, compared to twelve women’s teams. the reason Georgia doesn’t is because their entire conference, the SEC, doesn’t have a men’s soccer division. Somehow, the ACC, the Big Ten and the Pac Ten all manage to have men’s soccer, with most of the schools playing. with all the great interest in the sport in the South, you’d figure the SEC and Big 12 would be on board, right? or do people just not care?

  35. Aaron in StL says:

    Pretty much seems true. So they’ll probably go until the end of the season, or maybe whenever they crash out of the US Open Cup.

  36. jimoh8002 says:

    Did you read the story written above???? No Mlsteam in st louis for now they just aren’t strong enough financially for the mls and we dont need another Tampa/Miami in the league

  37. Aaron in StL says:

    Because the first one is doing so well…riiiiight.

  38. northzax says:

    indeed, but since there are no schools that field teams, well, you’re kinda stuck, right? there are 196 NCAA men’s division I soccer teams in the US, and another 168 in Division II. that should work out to roughly seven a state. if the South isn’t pulling their weight on this, despite producing great players, well, maybe that’s a problem in the South? or we can blame title IX whichever.

  39. Stephen Bunger says:

    So they cut the women’s team to save the mens?

  40. John smith says:

    Since when is a football game 4 hrs what’s wrong with you son

  41. WiscFan says:

    I believe that is the way as well. I already drive 3 hours for a Fire game (at least once a season), and I would stay later or arrive early to watch the Red Stars or “Lady Fire”.

    So does FIFA take away its status. I thought a league needed 8 teams. Which makes you wonder why keep AC STL, and drop the Athletica.

  42. dena says:

    A women’s professional league will never work in the US, I don’t know why we keep trying.

  43. Clayton says:

    No they cut the business with no revenue to save the other business which has future revenue potential…it’s not a sexist decision, its business. I won’t say no one cares, but very few people will ever care about women’s professional sports, and those that do wear Birkenstocks.

  44. miker says:

    is AC St Louis going to survive you ask?

    More like is the WPS going to survive?

    Doesnt look like it.

    I thought that St louis was suppossed to be a soccer hotbed? Guess not.

    Its a one sport town with that sport being a bunch of overpaid fat guys who scratch their nuts and chew tobacco for a living.

  45. miker says:

    The air fare alone would bankrupt them face it, no one gives a sh!t about womens soccer until its WC or Olympic time and only if they do good.

  46. Andy says:

    The WPS business model is actually sound – their operational budget only targets needing 5000 fans per game, which I believe is an achievable and sustainable number for women’s soccer. This was a case of partners in the owners group not paying up when the money was due.

    Will women’s soccer ever be a major sport in this country? No, but I do believe that a solid, sustainable league that gets 5000 fans per game is not only a worthy goal but an achievable one.

  47. jay says:

    your a moron….st louis is capable of getting an std that is IT…they are not worth anything…I HAVE NO IDEA WHY PEOPLE STILL BRING UP THIS LAME DUMP AS THE CENTER OF THE WORLD…you know what?? life moves on as does the world….st louis is nothing more than a dump….plain and simple…and all the morons that think that they deserve a team should just look at the numbers with their wpa team and 2nd division team this year that just came about….lets not forget these losers could not have a 2nd division team before, but other markets could, and actually send some people to a game. These people cant hold an nfl team and should not ever have a mls team with a limited market.

  48. jay says:

    what mls fans want a team in st louis???… i would rather have a tampon crammed up my bung than have a team in that slum hole…speak for yourself…they dont deserve one ….if you want one there then make them move KC seeing how its in the same state…oh wait they wont move it because they dont see st lame as being the same savior as you….st louis is a dump and should be avoided at all cost

  49. RB says:

    “Women’s soccer is unwatchable.”

    “it’s women’s soccer and no one cares.”

    Such idiocy.

    You do Pat Cash proud while insulting world class athletes and the women and men and teens and kids who like to watch them play. If the USMNT had half the success of the women, everyone here would be in heaven.

    (And yes, I know WPS is not international play, it’s just a comment in response to the ones quoted.)

  50. Paul Thomas says:

    Right, which is why everyone else in the world is rushing to adopt it.

    Wait. That’s not right. They think it’s idiocy. Well, what do they know? They’re furriners, not like us red-blooded American males! We’ll show them…

    OK, enough of that. The fact that a few guys have managed to succeed to a modest degree despite the system is not evidence of its success. American soccer player-development is amateur hour when you compare it either to European teams or to other American sports like baseball. The reason why is that there is not enough money in it.

    There are only two solutions to “not enough money”: government subsidies or sell more tickets. If you’re going the subsidy route, then at least spend the subsidies in a way that actually makes sense, instead of one that not only does a crap job of developing players but (if you get rid of Title IX) aggravates gender biases on top of it.

  51. Daniel says:

    You know what’s weird? University of Texas at Austin has a women’s soccer team with their own stadium, and NO mens soccer team. We need reverse Title IX!!! I really enjoyed the WPS last year. I could watch the LA SOL all day (and thanks to Fox replays, I often did). But the best team to watch folded…and now I find it hard to recommended watching.

    PS Eliminating Title IX wont do anything to help US MNT. The only way to make serious money for someone thinking about graduating with and post-grad MBA or professional soccer, is to get the MBA or get onto the US National team. Stu Holden was only making $30k a YEAR + whatever he could get from the NATs. In other countries a nationaly recognized player like him would be earning %30k a WEEK! That’s why US Soccer doesn’t draw on 300million American player pool to build talent. The money is elsewhere.

  52. Paul Thomas says:

    I have to admit that I’ve never seen a WPS game, but I really don’t understand this attitude. I’m not denying that it exists, I just don’t understand it. People always use the comparison of women’s basketball, but it’s not an apt comparison. Women’s basketball is a fundamentally different game than men’s basketball. The inability of 99% of women to dunk is a serious alteration of the game dynamic.

    Women’s soccer is just soccer. I’ve watched most of the USA and late-round matches from the last couple of cycles of women’s international play. To me, it’s just as entertaining. Maybe that’s not so at the club level, but that would surprise me. I don’t think there’s THAT much dropoff from the elite level.

  53. Tyler says:

    jay what do you have against stl? just look at the poll ives had up here last week about who should get the next mls team…the majority of the votes were for STL…i dont understand your hatred for St. Louis…where are you from that is so amazing??

  54. GSScasual says:

    LOL footnall

  55. GSScasual says:

    it actually is.. and your in no position to talk… St louis has been whining for a team, the got it… now…riiiiight

  56. GSScasual says:

    Hey roger, i choose success in International Soccer… I choose it instantly, i choose it without hesitation or second guessing…

  57. GSScasual says:

    sheesh, with some of these comments, you would think a sexy girl is watching over their shoulder as they type them….. (if they are, ask them to leave the room) DO YOU HONESTLY BELIEVE THERE COULD EVER BE A SUCCESSFUL WOMENS LEAGUE? honestly, im not having a go, but i may flip thru a watch a half on FSC, but you think id go to a pub and say, “turn on WPS, Sky Blue is on… Round of beers for the the lads…” NO… there are so many factors to its failure, its ridiculous… Millions of dollars out the friggin window

  58. The Gentleman Masher says:

    Can’t believe soccer isn’t working out in the gotta have a, wanna, need a, guaranteed to be a success, town of Ol’ St. Louie!!!

    You would think the 10’s of thousands of fans that are just dyyying to line up for soccer in St. Louis could’ve prevented this. Guess they had a Cardinals game to get to…

    Oh, I’m sorry…I forgot…alot of guys who were on the1950 World Cup squad were from St. Louis, so they should get a team. St. Louis was also a major US city 60 years ago…things change.

    Thank you, Mr. Cooper for railroading a guaranteed failure before it got past D2.

    Meanwhile, Atlanta has not 1, but 2 SSS’s…1 for men, 1 for women…and St. Louis can’t get 1 built without folding a team, and taking out loans to pay the other. Quality.

  59. JB says:

    I actually wrote the Georgia AD about the lack of soccer, and both he replied by saying that men’s soccer is the next men’s sport to be added. The SEC has said the same thing, I believe. The reason that it hasn’t, at least publicly, is that TItle IX would mandate that schools like UGA add two sports, one for men and one for women. There are actually three SEC schools that have men’s soccer-USC, Ky, and Vandy.

    But make no mistake football will pay for the enterprise. There is no way around that fact. And that’s true at every major school, too.

  60. Katatonia says:

    it is unwatchable and no one cares. 2 down, only a few more to go until this joke is over.

  61. Bob Dobalina says:

    Atlanta is an even worse pro-soccer town than St. Louis. Just saying.

  62. elseth7 says:

    MLS teams can make it in todays marker. Teams in a WOMENS SOCCER league in USA won’t make. I don’t have a problem with womens soccer, but the current market in the united states won’t support it. sorry to the die hards.

  63. anne says:

    i don’t have a sexy girl staring over my shoulder but i am a girl staring at your comments. and to be honest, i agree with you–women’s soccer won’t ever make it because there are guys like you who refuse to watch. feel good about yourselves.
    p.s. has anyone watched marta?

  64. Jules says:

    It’s a shame. That was the coolest crest in all of American soccer.

  65. RB says:

    More of the same level of (ahem!) thinking.

    Just remove “women’s” from those phrases and you have the same idiotic attitude of great swaths of people in the US that all of us here moan about and recognize as ill-informed, woefully misguided and harmful to the sport. They’re as perfectly convinced as you are (have you never encountered them?!?), and their reasoning is every bit as valid as yours.

  66. matt says:

    So what happens to women’s International soccer without title 11? I mean the last I checked the women’s us team was #1 in the world and just spanked the number 2 team Germany 4-nil. Oh and nevermind the fact that ALL of the current squad besides Christine Lilly played in collage. But that’s not important right?

    Guess what too I’m a Guy I just love the damn sport men or women’s it does t matter it has the same flow the same skill set…anyone who thinks title IX should go is someone hoping our most successful international team should dissapear as well

  67. jco18 says:

    I’m looking for tickets to the US-England and/or US-Slovenia matches in SA. Anyone looking to sell?

  68. Erik says:

    I don’t know if your comment was directed at me?

    As far as my original post – I have nothing against St. Louis. I think, sports wise, they are some of the most knowledgeable and passionate fans around. Smart Baseball fans, they support the Blues and still actually go see the Rams… : )

    I just don’t think another midwestern team could make it. I also don’t think a team in Tampa or Miami could make it. Look at the teams besides the Bucks and Dolphins in those cities… the fans are apathetic. St Louis is obviously the same about it’s D2 team.

  69. Erik says:

    Seriously… I play soccer at that stadium in the rec leagues and as soon as it was built, they went away. It was so nice not having to go watch the Silverbacks on the concrete slabs for seats at Georgia Perimeter in the hood.

  70. Erik says:

    Correction, sorry… the stadium the Atlanta team is playing in will be used for Kennesaw State University events. It’s not Atlanta’s stadium per se. It’s nice though…

  71. yankiboy says:

    Aaron and any St. Louis soccer farn, sorry about what you guys are going through. I really am.

    It does look MLS knew what it was doing when it came to Cooper.

  72. yankiboy says:

    So Jay, should I just skip you and just not even bother to call you when we here on Soccer By Ives form a “Save Pro Soccer In St. Louis” non-profit and are looking for donations? What about two tickets for our fundraising Gala? Also, not sure what insurance plan you might have, but I think that I can recommend a doctor who can treat that pesky condition in a more traditional and less painful way…

  73. yankiboy says:

    No doubt, you are a “vet” when it comes to soccer in the ATL. They just can’t seem to get a break. Which is too bad for fans like you, Bro.

  74. yankiboy says:

    That’s it! You are being such a “meanie”! I am going to email the mayor’s office in St. Louis (just after I google the info) and tell them that you have made it celar that you will not be visiting anytime soon. They will be crushed I’m sure but it is for the best. The Jay and St. Louis relationship clearly has no future.

  75. yankiboy says:

    I am pretty sure that FIFA is going to give them a pass. They kinda have a lot going on this summer. I don’t think that the reed alert memo is going to go much further than the desk of the director of the committe for women’s football.

  76. Erik says:

    Honestly, I think the owners of the Silverbacks decided they could make more money in the rec league fees than they could on the actual team. Silverbacks park is always booming, even having Champions League type tourneys with darn good money on the line.

    Georgia is a hotbed for soccer, think Mathis and Wolfe, but as a sports town it’s a miserable place to be. It would be nice to have a team though – I just don’t see it being supported.

  77. yankiboy says:

    I watch it just fine.

    By the way, you can substitute “American” with women and alot of people would agree with you.

    Just a thought.

    Another thought: You might want to back away from the second team in New York kool-aid (I assume you are talking MLS and not second division). I have yet to see anything that indicates one could be more profitable than another team in a “major” or “mid-major” market, let alone St. Louis if they could find the right Daddy Warbucks.

  78. yankiboy says:

    1. I care. A lot of people care. But markets are driven by economics, so obviously not enough people care.

    2. I’m not the smartest guy at the sportsbar but don’t most major universities have a varsity men’s soccer program? Title IX “casualties” have usually been things like Men’s Swimming and Diving, sometimes wrestling and “fringe” sports like Men’s Field Hockey and Rugby.

    I’m going to call out your proposition that Title IX holds back this nation’s national soccer team. The adverse and undesired results of it could be affecting our national progress in sports like Men’s Field Hockey and Rugby but I your link to Men’s soccer just doesn’t hold up. You know that this is one of the few places in the world where players who make it to a national team play at a university level before launching a pro career.

    It’s got aboslutely nothing to do with “pc”–Coz I don’t do the ‘pc’ thing but I do try to follow other people’s logic and yours just isn’t passing my test.

    I agree with the market demad principle. If not enough people want your widget than you probably need to find a new product to push or you had better be ready to bleed a lot of cash to try and incite people to purchase your product, knowing that you are going to have an uphill and most likely losing battle.

  79. yankiboy says:

    Anne, it is easy to take a shot at GSScasual but how about the fact that a lot of WOMEN won’t economically support women’s sports?

    Guys like GSScasual are only part of the equation. I have seen a lot more women in crowd shots at NFL, MLB and NHL games than I do when I watch or attend some of the WPS games in my area. Even with the WNBA team in my area. If a women’s league fails it is because not enough customers wanted the product. There are a lot of women customers who are saying “nah, I’m not really interested”.

  80. Jonesta says:

    And St. Louis want an MLS team? Hahahaha they can’t even fund a WPS and USSF D-2 team. What a joke I don’t want to hear another peep out of St. Louis.

  81. woman says:

    USSF D-2 Soccer is unwatchable, too.

  82. The King of Norway says:

    Title IX does not hold back our men’s national team success. But arguably, it has been a driving force behind our women’s national team far greater success.

  83. The Gentleman Masher says:

    Funny – we fielded a men’s team here for over a decade, built a stadium for them…had some of the best attendance in WUSA with The Beat, and just built a stadium for them. Oh – and we put 50,000 people in the GA Dome last Summer…twice.

    St. Louis couldn’t make it a full season without everything going to hell. Case closed. The only thing I’d expand in St. Louis is the amount of ways to bypass that crap town…

  84. woman says:

    I care about women’s soccer A LOT MORE than USSF-Division 2. And what we’re not supposed to have equality for women? By eliminating title IX, you want to go back to the days where only men have opportunities to play sports? I love all of these counter arguments by angry men against title IX and wanting to bash women’s soccer — perhaps you got cut from a college soccer program? Just an FYI, remember that women only make .80 on the dollar even in America so you’ll be safe for awhile longer.

    If you really want to improve soccer in the US, the youth USMNT programs need to develop our talent better at a younger age and more players need to go to Europe at younger ages. We have no left back for our national team and this is pathetic in a country of over 300 million people but you can’t blame it on TItle IX. Our best male soccer players SHOULD NOT be playing in college and this is clearly part of the problem. A few more scholarships isn’t going to help the problem. Our male players are lacking technical and tactical skills that are learned by European, South American and even African players at a very young age and college soccer is just augmenting these ineptitudes.

    Just look at the stupid NCAA rules in college soccer. It is not even the same game with the substitution rules and is detrimental to our male player’s development. It becomes a track meet with a soccer ball.

    Do you think that Jozy Altidore’s lack of first touch is due to Title IX, or Jonathan Bornstein’s ineptitude or Gooch’s lack of tactical ability? No way! With US Soccer pumping in millions of dollars to the men’s program, our players should be better.

    Let me remind you that our women’s national team is the best in the world. We just trounced Germany 4-0. In fact we are so deep that our 3rd best 11 could compete in the world cup. We are deep like Brazil on the men’s side. I hope for the day when our men’s team is this deep and nobody has to play college soccer.

    The WPS was merely founded at the wrong time, in the midst of a global recession. If EPL clubs are going into administration, then WPS ones are bound to fail. There is a definitive market for women’s soccer at a semi-pro or low pro level but it should be on a regional level with the best teams meeting in the playoffs.

  85. BlueWhiteLion says:

    women’s soccer–I enjoy watching some of the games, and if they were near where I lived in SE Mich, I’d go to a few games. I’d take my children.

    St. Louis–expansion is NOT going to happen there for team #20. Anyone listening to Garber of late will know his eyes are set on NY team #2. Of course if the Mets don’t follow thru and no ownership is found, then other options open up. Regardless, St.L doesn’t sound like one of them.

  86. yankiboy says:

    I enjoy watching USSF D-2 matches. I watch about 45 a year.

  87. Englishman in New York says:

    The only way the MLS is prosper (and I hope it will), will be down to two factors.

    Continue to create geographic rivalry’s such as they have with the expansion of Seattle, and now Portland and Vancouver. LA set up of two teams ground sharing is positive also. Geographic rivalry’s creates the type of atmosphere that the sport needs in this country without strong TV coverage to set itself apart from the other major sporting leagues in this country. As in Europe, local rivalry’s create great local media coverage (TV and press) and also gives players the option to move locally, while continuing to build recognition among the same supporter base. Also enables chances for regional home grown player base to remain local (benefits fans and league), which as the league develops, teams will rely on as top level player salary’s rise.

    Based on this opinion, I’d love to see a team either in New York City, in a location accessible by subway (ideally in Queens which has a strong European population). It would create a rivalry with the NY Red Bulls, and also create regional rivalry’s with Philly, DC and New England (Boston). The alternative option would be to put a team in upstate New York which I think Rochester would be the ideal choice. The city has a very strong youth soccer community and already has shown that it can run a successful team at the USL level with good attendance. Rochester benefits from not having any major league sport team competing for fan base and it would draw fans from Syracuse and Buffalo also. In addition this would back up my local rivalry point, as Toronto who has a strong fan base is only 3 hours away.

    Second factor is keep ticket prices low. I love the fact I can go see the New York Red Bulls for 15 dollars. If it can establish itself as the only sporting option (vs the American Football, NBA, MLB, and Ice Hockey) that is family affordable, then the fan base will grow significantly. As we all know, we often support teams throughout life based on a connection established at a young age when our parents took us to our first sports event (insert team, sport here). MLS has a great opportunity now that most professional sports are aimed at Corporations and wealthy individuals (including the headache of the secondary ticket market and ticket availability), to establish itself as the family option. However, the atmosphere at matches has to be memorable, and geographic rivalry’s allows that (as shown in Europe and other parts of the world, in football the mixing of home and away supporters creates best atmospheres of any sport). Teenagers will want to attend in groups if the atmosphere is loud and fun and this can only realistically be attained by having home and away fan support at matches.

    I’d be interested to hear feedback?

  88. P says:

    Forget the 2nd NYC team, forget St. Louis….Albuquerque!!! Put a team in Albuquerque!!! I’m not from there, never been there, don’t know anyone from there so this is not bias. Its a top 10 fastest growing market. Over 500K people in city limits, about 900K i believe in metro area, and NO competition from other leagues….Its would allow MLS to expand into a portion of the country it is not and is perhaps the only market in that area thats viable, because Albuquerque is high in elevation and therefore does not have the 100+heat that is consistent in other major cities like Phoenix or Tucson or even Vegas. The area is also ripe with families and Hispanics, which MLS has proven to be the only 2 demographics it can truly capture.

  89. yankiboy says:

    P, you are the first guy and probably the last guy that we are going to see post about putting a team in Aluequerque.

    You make some very nice points but if that city ever gets a second division club I will be pleasantly surprised.

  90. P says:

    It makes sense my friend, I think you’d see RSL type success if a team was placed there. Some markets just work for certain sports. Albquerque can be a perfect niche market for MLS for all the reasons I said. I think a team could be highly successful there, just as a team is in Salt Lake. (Which is a smaller market, I will add)

  91. mike says:

    This reminds me of when I ask my girlfriend if she’d like to watch GMU’s women’s basketball team (we’re both alums & season ticket holders to the men’s team games) and she tells me no because “women’s basketball is boring”.

  92. RB says:

    Funny, because your comment reminds me of all the discussions I have with my neighbors and extended family members and friends and so forth when I ask if they’d like to watch a soccer match with me, and they tell me no because “soccer is boring”.

  93. RB says:

    “Guess what too I’m a Guy I just love the damn sport men or women’s it does t matter it has the same flow the same skill set…”

    Amen, brother.

    It’s even beyond that: there’s a lack of appreciation reflected in some of these comments for simple skill and athleticism. This “women’s sports are just boring” argument has no more merit than “college sports are just boring” or “little league is just boring”.

    Hell I got interested in curling during the Vancouver Olympics because there’s obviously skill and ability and strategy involved, if you just accept it on its own terms so you can then see what it has to offer. Saying that it’s boring to watch Hope Solo (unfortunately now without a team!) reject that sure goal from (I think it was) Sky Blue in their post-season match last year, where she leaped from one side to the other of the goal and was already falling back into it, in fact, is saying it’s boring to watch quality soccer and impressive athleticism. No two ways about it.

  94. Luis F says:

    The Luis F and Jay relationship also has no future. He called me a moron. And while it may be true, it cuts just as deep.

  95. bigvic says:

    wow, what are you drinking? you really think st. louis can bring 30k to each game? that needs to be the new standard, and we all know portland & vancouver can deliver. St. louis is no different then any other non-coastal city in the interior of the country. I’m glad this sets St. Louis back in the MLS chase…too much overexpansion. Just add something in the Southeast to complete the map and worry about getting into copa libertadores or about building some MLS teams into brand names.

  96. bigvic says:

    yep, make no bones about it, to get KC continuing in building community support has taken alot of work. It also took years of going through 9k per game seasons. They’ll succeed….at a fair 13 or 14k, but no way KC sells out their entire season in the new stadium (18.5k). I dont think MLS should prop up St. Louis for years and years to duplicate KC, its a whole new ballgame now with Sea, Port, Van, Tfc, and Mon. St. Louis is small potatoes. In fact, the whole of Missouri is.

  97. bigvic says:

    i hope not. maybe some new world league of sorts could be formed in countries where there is some interest in the woman’s game, with maybe 4 in US, 4 in Ger, and maybe 2 in Brazil and 2 in nordic countries- something different to still maintain a league. As for travel cost, teams from one country could just all travel together . I hope it doesnt fold.

  98. bigvic says:

    true. The women’s game is exciting. The gap between women’s leg muscles versus men’s is not as wide as men & women’s upper body development, and this is why women’s basketball is sucko. Women’s soccer is actually exciting. That orange team (ATL?) has some hot players too.

  99. bigvic says:

    “We”, and later you’ll be saying “send those mexicans back”. That’s who the “we” was for that 50k game in Atlanta involving a Mexican team. They probably travelled from Nor. Caro and Tenn….something they wont do for a MLS team.

  100. JameC says:

    AC St Louis has played 3 home games in their entire history and is averaging over 4,000 in attendance per game. That’s not a bad start considering the circumstances. They had 4 months to put together a team before the first game and play in a league that is barely making it. I’m not sure anyone has a good idea if the St. Louis market will support a team after 7 months and 3 home games.

  101. JamesC says:

    How many MLS teams bring 30K to each game? Even better how many MLS stadiums even have a capacity of 30K. Brand new Red Bull Arena is 25,000. St Louis could support a competive top division soccer team. But if a team came to St Louis and didn’t win the seats would be empty. That’s what happened in past years to the Blues and Rams. And exactly what happens in most cities.

  102. JimBobv2 says:

    Using that logic, TFC would never have been a reality because of the joke that the Toronto Lynx were for years.

    If the right owners wanted to get a team to St Louis, it would happen.

    MLS is all about strong owners now. Whichever city (Miami, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, NYC, etc.) has the best ownership group with the best plan will get a team.

    TFC is a success because of MLSE.

    Seattle is a success because of their ties to the Seahawks.

    It is not a mistake that those markets are much better MLS cities than they ever were as 2nd Division cities.

  103. JimBobv2 says:

    Rochester doesn’t have the big money owner to make a push to MLS happen.

    Plus, the MLS brass is too concerned about TV market sizes to award an expansion team to Rochester.

    The closest Rochester is likely to get to MLS is to be used as a threat to an are like DC as MLS tries to strong arm a local government into funding a stadium.

    It worked in Dallas!

  104. atlsoccerfan says:

    ATL Beat picked up Solo, Ellertson, and Aluko!!! Sorry to see a team fold, but glad Atlanta is bringing some new faces in. GO BEAT!!!

  105. Bill Barrett says:

    Kansas City Wizards play in Kansas City, Kansas.