Sept. 16, 2008
NEW YORK, NY - Three former West Coast Conference women's soccer standouts were among the 21 players named as the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) announced the allocations of the U.S. Women's National Team to its seven franchises Tuesday during a ceremony at the Sports Museum of America in downtown Manhattan.
The announcement was hosted by Santa Clara alum and WPS part-owner Steve Nash and presided over by WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci.
Former University of Portland star Stephanie Cox, along with former Santa Clara University standouts Leslie Osborne and Aly Wagner found out where they will be playing professional soccer next year. Cox and Wagner were paired up on the WPS's Los Angeles team, while Osborne will play for the Bay Area squad.
Each of the seven teams set to begin play in WPS for the 2009 season were allocated three players apiece from the U.S. Women's National Team pool. The allocation followed an extensive process in which the players and teams submitted their preferences to the league and a committee then examined the lists to give its recommendations. The WPS Board of Governors met on September 14-15 to consult with players, teams and the league to determine the best possible dispersal for all parties with the following allocation results:
WPS Team Allocations
Players Listed in Alphabetical Order
Chicago Red Stars
Sky Blue FC
"The excitement for WPS allocation has been building for months as fans, coaches and even the players have been speculating about which athletes will be dispersed to each WPS market," said Antonucci. "This is a big day for Women's Professional Soccer, as teams now have Olympic gold medalists from Beijing allocated to their home cities along with other talented national team players. These are the first building blocks for the teams as the league begins the countdown to the inaugural 2009 WPS Season."
Following this week's U.S. Women's National Team allocation will be the international draft of top global stars the week of September 22nd which will assign teams the rights to negotiate with four premiere international players. That will be followed by a draft of remaining players in early October and again in January. The order of the international draft will depend on the weighted rankings voted on by teams following the U.S. Women's National Team allocation with the weakest-rated team selecting first and the strongest-weighted team selecting last.
"The allocation process was developed to give players the chance to provide their input on where they wanted to play, allow for dialogue between league and teams about marketing potential and to give the best opportunity for a level playing field among teams come April 2009 and the start of the WPS Season," said Antonucci.
How the Allocation Process Worked
The allocation process began with members of the U.S. National Team player pool submitting their city preferences to the League. After reviewing the athletes' lists, the teams likewise forwarded their player preferences to the League.
A WPS committee examined both lists and considered League and team marketing initiatives before sending an allocation recommendation to the teams. Prior to the Sept. 16 announcement, the WPS Board of Governors held a 48-hour closed-door meeting in New York City to determine the final allocation results. During this time, the Board of Governors consulted with players, teams and league in order to accomplish the best possible dispersal for all parties.
At the conclusion of the closed-door meeting, the Board of Governors forwarded its allocation decisions to Commissioner Antonucci for final approval.
About Women's Professional Soccer (WPS)
The mission of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) is to be the premier women's soccer league in the world and the global standard by which women's professional sports are measured. Play kicks off in the spring of 2009, with WPS teams based in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The league will expand in 2010 with the inclusion of Atlanta, Dallas, and Philadelphia. For more information, visit www.womensprosoccer.com.