Women’s United Soccer Association (2001-2003)
Born: April 2000 – WUSA founding franchise
Folded: September 15, 2003
Stadium: Mitchel Athletic Complex (10,102)
Team Colors: Violet, Gold & Black
Investor-Operator: Time-Warner Cable
Founders Cup Championships: None
The Power were the New York entry in the Women’s United Soccer Association, the first attempt at a pro soccer league for women in the United States. The club played on Long Island at the Mitchell Athletic Complex in Uniondale.
The Power fared well in the WUSA’s debut season of 2001. U.S. National Team striker Tiffeny Milbrett led the league in scoring and took home MVP and Offensive Player-of-the-Year honors for the league. Her 16 goals established a league record that was never equalled. Other key players included Milbrett’s USWNT teammates Christie Pearce and Sara Whalen, Norwegian international defender Gro Espeseth and Chinese National Team keeper Gao Hong. The Power finished in 3rd place with a 9-7-5 record. They lost to the eventual champion Bay Area CyberRays in the playoff semi-final.
The club fell apart during an cursed 2002 campaign. Espeseth retired. Hong and Pearce missed time with injuries. Worst of all, Whalen suffered a career-ending knee injury and nearly died from post-surgery complications. The Power crashed to a last place finish. Their 3-17-1 record was the worst in the three-year history of the WUSA. New York also finished last in the league in attendance with announced figures of 5,575 per game.
The Power hobbled into the WUSA’s third and final season in 2003. Behind the scenes, WUSA officials quietly asked senior management of the league’s Boston Breakers franchise to oversee operations of the Power front office. On the field, the club bounced back somewhat under new Head Coach Tom Sermanni, finishing 5th with a 7-9-5 record. Match attendance dipped further to a league-worst 4,249 per game.
Shortly after the conclusion of the 2003 WUSA season, the league’s cable company backers pulled their support. The Power and the rest of the WUSA went out of business on September 15, 2003.
New York Power Memorabilia
New York Power Video
2001 WUSA playoff semi-final. Power visit the Bay Area CyberRays at Spartan Stadium. August 18, 2001