• Duane Rollins

      Covering the world’s game from a Canadian perspective, the 24th Minute has been at the forefront for Toronto FC coverage since 2008. It is the source for breaking news, analysis and all things Canadian soccer.

    • Michael Crampton

      Mike Crampton has been an avid follower of Canadian club soccer and participant in the emergent Canadian soccer supporters scene for over a decade. When not playing, watching, or writing about the game he continues to serve the grassroots as an administrator at the local level. You can follow Mike on Twitter @BHTC_Mike

    • James Grossi

      James began covering the game in 2011 after a slow process of two decades saw him gradually consumed by it. He contributes to The Shin Guardian, Waking the Red, and had a piece featured in Issue Two of The Blizzard, as well as maintaining his own site, Partially Obstructed View. He covers the rest of MLS in the hope of providing context to fans on the edge.

    • Whitecaps reject WPS model

      With WPS needing a sixth team to assure itself of USSF D1 sanctioning for 2012, some have wondered why one of the most successful W-League sides, the Vancouver Whitecaps, do not make the step up to the highest league.

      In the past, the Whitecaps have expressed their commitment to the womenís game. They have said many times that they are interested in having their womenís side play in the highest level possible.

      Itís a reasonable assumption then to think that the Caps might be willing to jump up a level a little earlier than they intended to in order to save WPS Ė even though they indicated earlier this year that they would be playing 2012 in the W-League.

      Last night on Itís Called Football, I put the question to Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi. The exchange went like this:

      Iím wondering what your thoughts are about the womenís game at the top level and whether the Whitecaps will have a role to play in D1 soccer in whatever form it might take?

      I think your reference to whatever form it takes is the million dollar question...the WPS has proven again to have a league that is so spread out is going to cripple you financially and for me a womenís league really needs to be scaled right back to the point (where you are) start(ing) afresh and figure out what the development model looks like. I donít think actually that the W-League is that far off...the problem we have in the W-League is that we have a lot of clubs that are struggling to make ends meet...itís regionalization again, I actually believe...that I donít need to refer to it as professional womenís soccer. I think that it needs to be a semi-pro league and it needs to be a league that understands itís very early times for the sport. So provide that highest level of the sport but donít worry about professionalizing it, just make it a good level of soccer and then go from there.
      It doesnít take much speculating to conclude from that answer that the Caps are absolutely uninterested in joining
      WPS Ė not now, not ever.

      If one of the most committed organizations to the womenís game is rejecting the WPS model as it currently stands, well, that should tell you something.

      As we wrote Sunday, itís time for womenís soccer to get real and get down to the hard work of growing the sport from the ground up. There are no shortcuts to getting a stable and fully professional league.
      Comments 12 Comments
      1. MrTuktoyaktuk's Avatar
        MrTuktoyaktuk -
        Based on that criteria, NASL, USL Pro and some teams in MLS should be semi-pro too.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        There is room for multiple models. Either the WPS continues to refine it's model and grows, or the investors (team owners) will leave and the league will fold. Clearly the WPSL is already a lower cost model league. If that model is successful, then it will grow and surpass WPS on it's own. The USSF should not withold sanction as a way to chose a business model.
      1. BroadwayJoeFYVM's Avatar
        BroadwayJoeFYVM -
        Smart move by Lenarduzzi. The problem is twofold:

        1.) Travel costs would be the single largest expense to the club, since the closest WPS club to Vancouver is Rochester, NY - about 2,500 or so miles (direct) away.

        2.) WPS is dead meat on a stick.

        Seriously, if WPS could convince some of the best W-League and WPSL teams to join the surviving WPS clubs and compete in a set of two or three regionally-based circuits that only meet during the playoffs (Major Junior hockey is the structural example that springs to my mind), it could work. But it ain't gonna happen. As much as I enjoy the game, mainstream North American sports fans just aren't ready to support women's soccer beyond the national teams and local/regional semi-pro leagues. Leave the full-professional leagues to Europe and Japan for the time being.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Who cares what the Whitecaps do or believe?
      1. MrTuktoyaktuk's Avatar
        MrTuktoyaktuk -
        1:06 has the right approach.
      1. Fhurion's Avatar
        Fhurion -
        You've officially been linked on MLSsoccer.com's "Kick Off" today, Dec. 7th. Congrats on some great journalism! http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/articl...charlie-davies
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        I agree with MrTuktoyaktuk - the comment at 1:06 is excellent.

        I would add briefly:

        1) we really don't know the impact yet of the World Cup but the signs were great. Attendance surged almost 80% plus you saw how much the visibility of individual players grew in the media.

        2) This crisis is different. Zero out of 6 teams are folding for financial reasons. All 6 teams want in for next season -- with apparently other serious suitors in the wings -- and we poo-poo this how exactly? Just because we're lazy and we can just toss out the same things we've always said?

        3) ... and in my annoyance I may be incoherent here but this idea of slowly, steadily building a pro league out of USL teams led by the Whitecaps worked so well that one day...Poof! MLS was born in 2011...

        Craig
        Los Angeles
      1. BroadwayJoeFYVM's Avatar
        BroadwayJoeFYVM -
        Craig, there are only 5 teams in WPS now, since the magicJackass got himself and his team kicked out of WPS for being, well... a jackass. The WPS website has a listing for potential expansion franchises, and TBTH, they're desperate because they're up against the wall and they know it.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        You got served: http://girlscansocceradventures.wordpress.com/
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        As a past female athlete this disappoints me. If all we have are people closing doors rather than opening for the betterment of female athletics... what a sad sad day.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Maybe Mr. Rollins should talk to Charmaine Hooper, Christine Latham, and Sharolta Nonen about their experiences in 2006 and pressure to play for the Whitecaps vs teams that would pay them and how that worked out for their national team careers?
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by BroadwayJoeFYVM View Post
        ... they're desperate because they're up against the wall and they know it.
        But don't you see the 5 are happy to go on with plans to add later? They're only desperate because of the USSF threat to de-certify them. This is different from teams folding left & right because they're bleeding too much money. The World Cup gave tremendous boost to visibility of league and attendance and all 6 teams wanted to go on and build on that momentum.

        Meanwhile Mr Rollins is trying to pawn off on us an idea of growing "organically" through USL, W-League, WPSL, whatever. As if that's the reason why we have MLS now - gosh, I didn't know pro soccer didn't exist here until the Whitecaps grew it organically!
        Craig
        Los Angeles
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