WPS terminates Florida franchise
28 Oct 2011
Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) has been reduced to five teams after the league elected to terminate its South Florida franchise following repeated clashes with its owner.
The Boca Raton based magicJack franchise is the fifth the WPS, widely regarded as the world’s leading women’s league, has lost since it began operations in 2009. The Los Angeles Sol, St. Louis Athletica, Bay Area FC Gold Pride and Chicago Red Stars all dropped out of the league because of financial difficulties. The magicJack franchise, which featured U.S. national team stars such as Abby Wambach and Hope Solo, finished in third place in the league standings last season, advancing to the WPS semi-finals before losing to the Philadelphia Independence.
However, owner Dan Borislow has proved a constant thorn in the side of the league, which was initially angered by his decision to buy the Washington Freedom franchise last year and move it to Florida without its permission. Since then, magicJack was deducted a single point and a draft pick in May for not meeting league standards. In August, Borislow sued the WPS over what he claimed was a threat to immediately terminate the franchise. The league responded by issuing a statement claiming he was damaging the reputation of the WPS, accusing him of a range of violations ranging from “unprofessional and disparaging treatment of his players to failure to pay his bills.”
The WPS on Thursday confirmed it had terminated the franchise following a board meeting earlier this week. A league statement read: “After careful consideration, the Board of Governors of Women’s Professional Soccer 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.”