Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) was the second attempt to establish a world class professional league for women in the United States, following the previous failure of the Women’s United Soccer Association (2001-2003). WPS succeeded in its goal to attract a quorum of the world’s top female footballers, including virtually the entire U.S. Women’s National Team roster, the Brazilian superstar Marta, and other top players from England, Brazil, Scandinavia and the Far East. The exception was Germany, which discouraged its players from leaving their domestic league prior to the 2011 Women’s World Cup.
Off the field, WPS was subject to the same problems of apathy and instability that plague most start-up leagues and most women’s sports. Of the seven franchises that launched the league in 2009, only two were still standing when the league opened its third and final season 24 months later in April of 2011. WPS announced an indefinite suspension of operations on January 30, 2012 just two weeks after conducting a college draft in anticipation of a fourth season. The shutdown was made permanent a few months later, to the surprise of no one.
Four former WPS franchises – the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash – remain active in the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013.
|Franchise||Years Active||Home Page||Tagged Posts|
|Atlanta Beat||2010-2011||Beat Home||Tagged Posts|
|Boston Breakers||2009-2011||Breakers Home||Tagged Posts|
|Chicago Red Stars||2009-2010||Red Stars Home||Tagged Posts|
|FC Gold Pride||2009-2010||Gold Pride Home||Tagged Posts|
|Los Angeles Sol||2009||Sol Home||Tagged Posts|
|MagicJack||2011||MagicJack Home||Tagged Posts|
|Philadelphia Independence||2010-2011||Independence Home||Tagged Posts|
|Sky Blue FC||2009-2011||Sky Blue Home||Tagged Posts|
|St. Louis Athletica||2009-2010||Athletica Home||Tagged Posts|
|Washington Freedom||2009-2010||Freedom Home||Tagged Posts|
|Western New York Flash||2011||Flash Home||Tagged Posts|
- Brandi Chastain (FC Gold Pride 2009)
- Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers 2009-2010)
- Marta (Los Angeles Sol, FC Gold Pride, Western New York Flash 2009-2011)
- Tiffeny Milbrett (FC Gold Pride 2009-2010)
- Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash 2011)
- Kelly Smith (Boston Breakers 2009-2011)
- Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica, Atlanta Beat, MagicJack 2009-2011)
- Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom, MagicJack 2009-2011)