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
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
Road to Vancouver: Sawa makes first Japan cut    
Homare Sawa, bidding to become the first player to play in six Women's World Cup, was ...
Impact signs veteran keeper on eve of CCL showdown    
Kristian Nicht, the first player ever signed by the Indy Eleven who has twice gone on ...
TV Report: Super Clasico audience hits 3 million    
Sunday's Super Clasico from Guadalajara between Chivas and Club America averaged 3 million viewers, making it ...
TV Report: MLS on FS1 tops 300,000 for first time    
Fox Sports 1 drew its largest audience of the year for its MLS coverage as Sunday's ...
Video Pick: Week 8 delivers best MLS golazos of 2015 so far    
Week 8 having produced a season-high 28 goals, it's no surprise these might be the best ...
What They're Saying: St. Mirren captain Steven Thompson    
"It sounds stupid now but for banter I grabbed one of the poles and pretended I ...
What They're Saying: Cuauhtemoc Blanco    
"When I'm mayor, I won't make mistakes with you." -- Cuauhtemoc Blanco, former Mexican star and ...
Road to Vancouver: Canada takes Matheson    
Host Canada named its 23-player squad for the Women's World Cup. In the big news, head ...
MLS Power Rankings: Red Bulls still on top, barely    
A high-scoring weekend moved several teams up Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings, but unbeaten New York ...
Europe in a Nutshell: Bayern clinches while world watches EPL    
Andrea Pirlo looks good losing; Watford's reality TV promotion; Champions League tidbits. Plus, why an insignificant ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives