Seattle Sounders Women will return for the 2013 soccer season, however it isn’t yet know if they continue as a United Soccer Leagues club or become part of a proposed professional league.
“At a minimum, of course, we will play in the USL W-League as we successfully did last year,” owner Lane Smith said today 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.” (Here’s is Smith’s full statement, and text from the Q&A portion of the press conference.)
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati announced 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 stayed mostly in the background regarding the new league out of loyalty to the USL, where he owns two clubs: Sounders Women and the Pierce County-based Sounders U-23.
The Sounders did not have a timeline on when the women’s situation was clarify, indicating that depends mostly on U.S. Soccer.
The club also has two personnel announcements. Amy Carnell is no longer Sounders Women general manger. 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. Smith also said the status of women’s coach Michelle French will be addressed later this week.