After the gold medal game on Thursday, when the USA faces Japan, there won't be another major global women's tournament until the 2015 World Cup in Canada, and the USA is without a top-flight pro league after the demise of the WPS earlier this year. Grant Wahl spoke with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, who said talks are taking place that he hopes will provide a solution that keeps most of the U.S. Olympic team players in America instead of forcing them to join leagues overseas.
"We're having discussions about that right
now," Gulati said. "It's a little bit awkward having all those discussions when players on this team are part of that discussion. We're not raising that [with them], but we've talked with some people
around them, representatives and so on. I think over the next 30 to 60 days we'll have a better handle on what might be possible for next year and beyond."
Gulati contiinued, "We've talked with club owners and teams that are in the USL and teams in the WPSL. And we'll see what we can figure out, not on how we get the right set-up started, but on how we get the right set-up sustainable. That's more important. Whether that's an existing set-up or some other set-up or a combination, I don't know yet. ...
"I think realistically, most of the players -- if what I'm hearing from their representatives is correct -- would like to be playing club soccer in the U.S. and will be playing in the U.S. if we can have something in front of them that makes not only economic sense but soccer sense. The players at the beginning of their careers want to make sure they're improving at the right level and want to be in the best possible situation. Whether it's because of a combined national team/residency program or a pro-league set-up that is inviting enough for them, I'm optimistic that many if not most [of the Olympic team] will be playing in the U.S. in one form or another next year."