"The signing of these two new markets is an important milestone," said Tonya Antonucci, the CEO of the Women's Soccer Initiative (WSII), which is leading efforts to re-launch a women's pro league in the wake of the WUSA's demise in 2003 after three seasons. "It's a critical step in making our dream of re-launching the WUSA a reality. There's a lot of hard work ahead, but we're excited to move forward."
The New Jersey-based Sky Blue Soccer, is led by Thomas Hofstetter (CEO of Extolution, Inc.). Its ownership group also includes Sky Blue Soccer includes: Phil Murphy (former executive at Goldman Sachs), Francesco Prandoni (CEO of DOC-International, Inc.) and Doug Rotatori (Managing Principal, Odyssey Investment Partners, LLC.)
"By joining the new women's professional soccer league, Sky Blue Soccer completes its strategic vision in building a club modeled on successful European clubs," Hofstetter said. "Our integration with youth programs in the New York metro area provides an end-to-end feeder system from youth clubs to amateur soccer to the professional level."
Joe Cummings, who was president and general manager of the WUSA's Boston Breakers from May 2000 until 2003, will serve as president of Boston Women's Soccer LLC, whose team will use the Boston Breakers name.
Boston Women's Soccer LLC is comprised of Gary Loveman (Chairman and CEO, Harrah's Entertainment), Michael Stoller (former owner of Senior Living LLC), Alex Zecca (VP with Tudor Investments), Louis Hernandez (Chairman and CEO of Open Solutions) and Lyman Bullard (partner at Choate, Hall and Stewart LLP).
The six other announced charter teams are led by the following investors:
AEG: Greater Los Angeles
John Hendricks, Freedom Soccer LLC: Washington D.C.
Jeff Cooper, St. Louis United Soccer LLC: St. Louis, Mo
Soccer Initiative, LLC: Territory to be determined.
Jack Hanks and Brent Coralli, Dallas Franchise Group: Greater Dallas area.
WGLSI, LLC and an additional investor: Chicago and Bridgeview, Ill.