I just got a few minutes with Bill Predmore, owner of the new women's professional soccer team granted today to Seattle. He said his bottom line mission is to create the best women's soccer club in the world.
That, of course, depends on players. So I asked if the allocation process will allow the teams first shot at players from their region, like -- for example -- Hope Solo for Seattle.
"I think the specifics of the allocation process are still being worked out," Predmore said. "The players themselves are obviously going to have a significant role in deciding where they want to play. Geography may play a role in that or it may not, depending on the player. Obviously there is some great talent from this market, and to the extent that they would like to play for us we’d certainly welcome them to the club."
Predmore said he expect the player allocation plan to be announced in December and probably implemented in January.
Meanwhile, issues such as tickets, team name, venue are all expected to be announced before Christmas.
"The Sounders men have clearly demonstrated if you put a great, entertaining product on the field that people are going to get excited about it," Predmore said. "I think for us, it is on us to earn their support. We need to do that by putting together a great club with great players and having them make it happen on the field."
Here is a press release sent out by the still-unnamed club:
The United States Soccer Federation today announced that a new club, led by Owner Bill Predmore, has been selected to represent Seattle in a new women’s professional soccer league. In addition to Seattle, the league will feature clubs in Portland, Kansas City, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Western New York and New Jersey.
The league is slated to begin its pre-season in March of 2013 with the regular season commencing in April 2013. The regular season will include 22 games (including 11 home matches): three matches against each of the other seven teams in the league and a special, fourth match against Portland, who is sure to be the Seattle club’s closest rival.
“We are thrilled that the United States Soccer Federation has selected our club to represent Seattle in the new league,” said Bill Predmore. “In our proposal we articulated a clear mission: to become one of the best women’s soccer clubs in the world. We believe the fans in Seattle deserve nothing less and we look forward to earning their support over the coming weeks and months.”
The league will feature some of the best women’s players in North America, with each team including multiple players from each of the national teams of Mexico, Canada (winners of the Bronze Medal at the 2012 London Olympics) and, of course, the Olympic Gold Medal winning United States. With only eight teams in the league, the talent will be deep and the level of play truly world-class.
"We are excited to welcome the new club to the Seattle soccer community," said Adrian Hanauer, Owner/General Manager of Seattle Sounders FC. "We look forward to building a strong relationship between the clubs, as it is clear we are both committed to delivering world-class soccer experiences to our fans. We hope fans will embrace the new club and show them amazing support."
Amy Carnell, formerly the General Manager of the Sounders Women and architect of the last year’s squad that featured multiple U.S. National Team Players, will be joining the new club in a senior leadership position.
“I have long dreamed of helping build a top-level women’s club,” said Amy Carnell. “To have the chance to do it in Seattle, for the country’s best fans, is an incredible opportunity.”
Over the next few weeks additional announcements will be made regarding the status of the club. These announcements will include:- The outcome of our search for a Head Coach- Additional front office hires- Season schedule & venue- Sponsors and partnerships- And, of course, the club name and logoSeason tickets for the new club are expected to go on sale by mid-December.