Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Antonucci: Positive signs for Year 2
by Paul Kennedy, March 8th, 2010 2:55AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  soccer business, wps

MOST COMMENTED

[WPS] Preseason begins Monday around Women's Professional Soccer a month ahead of its Year 2 kickoff. An impressive list of offseason signings confirmed WPS is the top women's league in the world. Off the field, it's been two steps forward and one step back, as the league has added teams in Atlanta and Philadelphia, but the Los Angeles Sol, the runaway winner of the 2009 regular-season title, folded. Commissioner Tonya Antonucci talks to Soccer America about the new season ...

"Depth on our teams is absolutely incredible," said Antonucci after listing off player signings around the league. "The product should be great."

Most of the American and foreign stars are back for Year 2 -- Brazilian superstar Marta has moved up the coast from Los Angeles to FC Gold Pride, now based out of the East Bay -- and other players have joined the league.

The Philadelphia Independence signed Swedish national team captain Caroline Seger and Lianne Sanderson, one of eight Englishwomen signed by WPS teams for 2010.

The Atlanta Beat landed Swiss international Ramona Bachman, widely regarded as the best teenager in the world.

College signings include Atlanta's Tobin Heath, one of four North Carolina players taken with the first eight picks, and Boston's Lauren Cheney, the top scorer on the USA's 2010 Algarve Cup championship team.

Antonucci says WPS offers foreign players the opportunity for full-time employment as professional soccer players and compensation that makes it affordable for them to leave home.

"Players want to come here for a unique American experience where they're play with and against the best players in the world," she says.

After the collapse of Los Angeles and heavy financial losses some clubs endured in Year 1, WPS front-office staffs have worked on the league's No. 1 goal -- long-term sustainability.

"We adjusted on operations side," said Antonucci, "to reduce costs and be more efficient."

She says there are some positive signs for 2010.

"We very excited that of the six returning teams five are ahead this year of where they were last year in ticket sales," she said. "All are ahead in sponsorship sales."

Antonucci said the 2010 goal is for teams to achieve a 5-10 percent increase in attendance from last year's average of 4,600 fans a game (regular season and playoffs).

She said teams are working on improving the fan experience at games, but she noted surveys show the most important factor fans express is their engagement with the game on the field.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Week 4: Results & Standings    
FC Dallas became the first MLS team to reach 10 points but it wasn't easy as ...
USL Week 2: Results & Standings    
The new Roughnecks celebrated the return of pro soccer to Tulsa a sellout crowd of 8,335 ...
USA romps in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 5-2     
The U.S. team preparing for Olympic qualifying defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina's under-21 team, 5-2, in a friendly played ...
MLS Week 4: FC Dallas puts its perfect record on line    
FC Dallas, the only remaining unbeaten and untied team in MLS, hosts the 2014 Supporters' Shield ...
Berti's back: 'Der Terrier' moves to U.S. sidelines    
Berti Vogts, who is responsible for Jurgen Klinsmann getting his job as German national team coach ...
USL Week 2: Finley joins Independence movement    
All 24 USL teams are in action this week as 10 of the 13 new teams ...
What They're Saying: Jason Kreis    
"It's impossible for me to say, but I really had expected Mix to go. I think ...
Road to Russia: Barbados ends USVI dream    
Barbados made amends for a shock 1-0 loss at home during which it had two penalty ...
MLS Trade Central: Timbers sign Ghanaian winger    
The Portland Timbers have acquired winger Ishmael Yartey on loan from French Ligue 2 club Sochaux. ...
What They're Saying: Landon Donovan    
"It was the first time in my life that I had not made a team, that ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives