NWSL boss: 2017 expansion still on the table, California is top target
NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush exclusively talks expansion with FOX Sports.
“We’ve got to get into California at some point,” Plush said. “We’d like to for lots of reasons – two of the top media markets are out there, but there are also so many young women and girls playing the game that I think that clubs there would have an opportunity for success right away.”
Those media markets that Plush refers to are the regions around Los Angeles and San Francisco – and both areas have clubs that have expressed some interest in the NWSL.
Los Angeles FC, which will join Major League Soccer in 2018 and broke ground on a new $350-million stadium complex on Tuesday, are backed by a high-powered ownership group that includes former player Mia Hamm. The American soccer great has reportedly said she’s been “very vocal about wanting a women’s team to be a part” of LAFC’s future, but she hinted that establishing LAFC’s MLS first-team and academy, which are in the early stages still, have pushed talk of a women’s team to the backburner.
The Sacramento Republic of the United Soccer League, which are currently trying to win an expansion slot in MLS and are finalizing approvals for a new stadium, also have put a women’s team in long-term plans, though establishing an MLS team is the clear top priority.