Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America 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
Athletica's demise another blow to St. Louis soccer
by Paul Kennedy, May 27th, 2010 6:59PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  soccer business, ussf division 2, wps

MOST COMMENTED

[WPS] The Saint Louis Athletica became the second Women’s Professional Soccer team to fold in four months when its owners closed shop on Thursday. Athletica players, including such U.S. national team stars as Hope Solo, Shannon Boxx and Lori Chalupny, will be available as free agents to other WPS teams as of Tuesday. For now, AC St. Louis, the D-2 Pro League club operated by the same ownership group, remains in business.

The move came after WPS covered the team's last two player payrolls. WPS will redo the remaining schedule for the 2010 WPS season as a seven-team league. The 2009 regular-season champion Los Angeles Sol folded before the season started.

“It’s incredibly difficult to lose a team in mid-season like this,” said WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. “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. In the face of a severe funding gap in St. Louis, the local ownership group is shutting down the team at this point.”

Athletica's financial problems came after owners Sanjeev Vaid and Heemal Vaid, British-based investors, defaulted on a contract to fund Athletica through this season.

AC St. Louis remains in operation for the time being.

"Saint Louis Athletica is a painful outcome from the funding shortfalls and ultimate default by the investors who had the obligation to fund and operate the team on a day-to-day basis,” said Athletica founder and chairman Jeff Cooper, who was instrumental in bringing pro soccer back to St. Louis. “I’ve given this matter my complete attention since returning to a more active role in the last few weeks, and numerous parties have spent a lot of hours during that time exploring what options or solutions might be available. Despite best efforts, nothing was found that would answer the immediate needs of the franchise. With more time, it is possible the answer to the financial challenges Athletica faced would have been met, but unfortunately we do not have the benefit of extra time."

The problems Cooper's group encountered are not surprising. It had for several years sought an MLS franchise, but the Division I men's league had expressed concern about the group's financial resources and turned instead of Portland and Vancouver as its 17th and 18th teams, set to launch in 2011.



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Robbie Keane     
"Of course, it's embarrassing ... It's embarrassing because we're the LA Galaxy, and the scoreline doesn't ...
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"I think [it's] a real lesson for a lot of players. You talk a lot [during ...
Man United humbles Galaxy 7-0 before 86,432 fans    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] Manchester United showed it had no problem adapting to the system of new Dutch ...
Plans for Kansas City soccer village unveiled    
[U.S. SOCCER] Kansas City, Kan., is home to a state-of-the-art soccer stadium in Sporting Park. Now, ...
Earthquakes break out of slump in big way    
[MLS: Week 20] The San Jose Earthquakes snapped their five-game winless streak with a 5-1 win ...
NBA All-Star interrupts Real Madrid practice    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Summer soccer in the USA means big clubs from around the ...
Thorns quiet after early Morgan goal    
[NWSL: Week 16] The Portland Thorns FC scored 14 goals in their previous three games but ...
Champions Shield goes to Manchester City    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] Sporting Kansas City lost for the first time in four games against English Premier ...
Scorpions jump into lead with third win    
[NASL: Fall Week 3] The San Antonio Scorpions moved on top in the NASL with a ...
Cuevas is happy to be back in Charleston    
[USL PRO: Week 19] Jose Cuevas, who had spent the last two seasons with the Charleston ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives