Future uncertain for Sounders Women

soccer: They will play again in 2013; the key question is what league will land them?

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comOctober 10, 2012 

Seattle Sounders Women will return for the 2013 soccer season, but whether they continue as part of the United Soccer Leagues or jump to a proposed new professional league is not yet known.

“At a minimum, of course, we will play in the USL W-League as we successfully did last year,” owner Lane Smith said Tuesday in a press conference at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. “We also want to let our fans know we are on the forefront of all the latest developments with the proposed new women’s professional league and have open lines of communication with representatives of U.S. Soccer and the USL.”

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said last week that his federation could expand its traditional sanctioning and regulatory role to include management and funding of a proposed 10-market, 11-team women’s professional league. That league could include Seattle, and it would be up to U.S. Soccer to determine whether that franchise would be Sounders Women or a new club with other owners.

Smith said Sounders Women have kept a low profile regarding the new league out of loyalty to the USL, which is home to his two clubs: Sounders Women and the Pierce County-based Sounders U-23.

Smith said he can’t provide a timeline for when the situation will clarify, indicating that depends mostly on U.S. Soccer.

Smith also made these personnel announcements: Amy Carnell is no longer general manger of Sounders Women. Her duties will be shared by other club personnel. Teddy Mitalas has become director of community relations for the women’s and U-23 clubs. The status of women’s coach Michelle French will be addressed later this week.

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com @donruiztnt blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer

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