U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday it is forming a new women's professional soccer league that will include a Chicago team.
It was not yet clear whether that team will be the Red Stars, the former Women's Pro Soccer team that has been operating as a semipro team the past two seasons since dropping out of WPS. The Chicago team, however, will not play at Toyota Park, as the Red Stars did when they played in WPS, as part of the effort to trim costs.
The yet-unnamed league will kick off next spring with eight teams: Boston, New Jersey, Western New York, Kansas City, Seattle and Portland, in addition to Chicago. U.S. Soccer will run the league's front office and, along with the Canadian and Mexican soccer federations, will fund the salaries of several players as part of their "long-term development goals," said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati. U.S. Soccer alone will fund the salaries of 24 players throughout the league.
This is the third try at a women's pro league, and Gulati said they are "trying to create an economic model that's sustainable," admitting that the three national federations are "subsidizing the private sector here to try to make it sustainable."
WPS did not play last summer.
Canada will host the Women's World Cup in 2015.
Efforts to contact the Red Stars were not successful.