One of sport’s most publicly turbulent relationships has ended. Women’s Professional Soccer announced on Thursday that the league’s board of governors voted on Tuesday to terminate the magicJack franchise.
The news comes just one week after team owners and league officials championed the fact that they expected all six teams from the 2011 season to return for 2012. Team owner Dan Borislow was hopeful as recently as last week that his team would be back in 2012.
The official website of Women's Professional Soccer wrote, "After careful consideration, the Board of Governors of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) voted on Tuesday to terminate the Boca Raton based magicJack franchise. WPS will continue to deliver to its players and fans the world’s top women’s soccer league, with plans to make 2012 the most competitive and successful season to date."
News of magicJack’s termination ends a very public battle between Borislow and WPS that had recently calmed and exited the public stage. Just last week, new WPS CEO Jennifer Pogorelec O’Sullivan said she was optimistic that all six WPS teams would be back in 2012.
Borislow purchased the Washington Freedom in November 2010 and soon moved them to Boca Raton, Fla., rebranding the team as magicJack, the same name as his popular Internet telephone device.ate.
On Monday, former Philadelphia Independence general manager Terry Foley revealed via Twitter that another franchise is close to joining WPS. “[A]ccepted the position of Technical Director for the new franchise, assuming they join WPS in 2012,” he tweeted. The recently rumored franchise looks “very likely” to be part of WPS in 2012, according to one source close to the situation.
There is no official word from the league yet, but the confirmation seems imminent. As Foley also said via Twitter on Monday, there could be an announcement as early as this week.
The Connecticut-based team would play in the Hartford, Conn. area.
A potential group of Connecticut owners approached WPS about expansion opportunities following the success of the 2011 World Cup. Word of that quietly emerged at the WPS Championship in Rochester on August 27, which the still-mysterious Connecticut group attended.
Philadelphia Independence owner and WPS expansion co-chair David Halstead said in late September that if a new team were to enter the league for 2012, it would have to be within the month."We are not going to have any trouble incorporating [an expansion team] into the WPS world – branding, launching, expansion draft, the other player drafts that we have – as long as we can conclude things in the October period,” he said last month. “And I think that we are on track to do that.”
Several team officials throughout the league are confident that all six teams from 2011 will return in 2012, making Connecticut team
Where the potential team would play still remains a mystery. Hartford is the word, but New Britain is just 15 minutes south and features Veterans Memorial Stadium, which hosted a WPS game on August 21, 2010 when the Boston Breakers hosted the Atlanta Beat.
Any WPS team in Connecticut immediately brings to mind Tony DiCicco, former Boston Breakers and U.S. Women’s National Team coach who is one of the state’s most recognizable soccer figures. Last month he said nobody had contacted him about an expansion team.
Following that game in New Britain last year, DiCicco commended the Connecticut fans and the match atmosphere.
“It was a good atmosphere. Connecticut has always been known for good soccer, good soccer support and this is something we should try to do annually,” said then Boston Breakers head coach Tony DiCicco.
can't say I'm surprised to hear the news about magicJack, but in regards to the players and the progress of the league, it's sad to them go.
but fuck yeah Connecticut, imo! I was born there and I go back quite often, so it would be amazing if there was WPS team there. However, they really need west coast teams, and I can't wait for them to come, because west coast best coast etc etc