Yesterday the World Soccer Initiative, Inc. announced the formation of a new women's soccer league to begin play in 2008.
This is significant news for U.S. soccer fans, giving the country it's first true women's league since the WUSA folded three years ago.
While the W-League has snatched many of the former WUSA players, the W-League has never had the attendance nor the media attention given to WUSA. Not only will this help train the future leaders of the U.S. National Team, it will also bring many of the international stars which will help show the U.S. stars what type of competition they will face in international competitions.
The World Soccer Initiative announced that six teams will be fielded in the opening season: Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, Dallas, Los Angeles and one more to be announced.
Conspicuously absent from this list is Atlanta, which had one of the more successful WUSA teams in the Beat. While the WSI announced there will be two teams added for the 2009 season, the Atlanta market may still find itself without a team. Cox Communications, the company which owned the Beat, has been in a slump financially with its newspapers. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, its biggest paper, recently announced a reshuffling of its newsroom, shifting its focus towards online readers while attempting to lower its job force by 80 positions.
The best bet for an Atlanta team will probably come from Boris Jerkunica and the Atlanta Silverbacks. When REMAX/Greater Atlanta Stadium is finished, it is slated to hold over 10,000 fans, more than enough for the WSI. The question is, with Jerkunica possibly looking at adding an MLS franchise to his assets in the coming years, would he be willing to invest money into a venture that has already failed once before?
EDIT: I love any chance to post silly mascot photos, check out Rhythm, the Atlanta Beat mascot above- Longshoe