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Vancouver Whitecaps not back for 2013 season
January 28th, 2013 9:34PM

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[W-LEAGUE] Citing the evolving "women's landscape," the Vancouver Whitecaps have pulled out of the W-League for the 2013. The USL team will operate with 25 teams, down from 30 in 2012.

The move follows the launch of the National Women's Soccer League, in which the best Canadian national team players have been allocated to the eight teams.

“The women’s landscape is evolving with the introduction of the new women’s professional league that will include many of the Canadian national team players,” said Whitecaps FC chief operating officer Rachel Lewis. “Vancouver Whitecaps FC remain dedicated to the development of female players and look forward to exploring additional development opportunities with our partners, including BC Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association, to continue to grow the game in this province and country as we lead up to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and beyond.”

The Whitecaps were part of the W-League since 2001 and won titles in 2004 and 2006. It served for several years as the de facto Canadian national team in residency.

Every member of Canada’s NWSL contingent brings W-League experience. Former Whitecaps Women include captain Christine Sinclair, Melanie Booth, Robyn Gayle, Emily Zurrer, Sophie Schmidt and Kaylyn Kyle.

Besides Vancouver, also not back are the Rochester Ravens, New Jersey Rangers Northern Virginia Majestics, FC Jax Destroyers and Victoria Highlanders.

The Bay Area Breeze, which joins the W-League in 2013, is the league's lone newcomer for the season that kicks off May 11.
 
Five W-League teams have undergone name changes for 2013: Carolina Elite Cobras (formerly Central SC Cobras), K-W United FC (Hamilton FC Rage), New York Magic-F.A. Euro (New York Magic), VSI Tampa Bay FC (VSI Tampa Flames) and Washington Spirit Reserves (D.C. United Women).

Schedule: Click here.
 
2013 W-League Alignment
Eastern Conference:
Northeast Division
Fredericksburg Impact
Long Island Rough Riders
New Jersey Wildcats
New York Magic-F.A. Euro
North Jersey Valkyries
Virginia Beach Piranhas
Washington Spirit Reserves

Southeast Division
Atlanta Silverbacks
Carolina Elite Cobras
Charlotte Lady Eagles
Dayton Dutch Lions
VSI Tampa Bay FC
 
Central Conference:
K-W United FC
Laval Comets
London Gryphons
Ottawa Fury
Quebec City Amiral
Toronto Lady Lynx
 
Western Conference:
Bay Area Breeze
Colorado Rapids Women
Colorado Rush
LA Strikers
Pali Blues
Santa Clarita Blue Heat
Seattle Sounders Women



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