When the National Women’s Soccer League launched in 2013, most fans couldn’t have predicted the twists and turns that got the league to where it is now. Sure, we all talked about the general path of the league in terms of increasing salary cap and expanding teams, TV deals and sponsorships.
But given its modest beginnings, would we have called a new policy in year eight allowing hundreds of thousands of dollars for, essentially, designated players? DP talk emerged fairly quickly, but for a while it just seemed like something for the vague future. But now here we are. Would anyone have called the Lifetime deal? Or the rotating door of commissioners? The ups and downs of national sponsors? The emergence of the Courage? The cultural ripples in the United States caused by the 2019 Women’s World Cup?
With NWSL poised to expand (one team in 2020, maybe, and one team in 2021, definitely), broadcast deal chatter, allocation money now in play, and a several head coach slots open, so much is in the air for the league. So let’s do what we do best in the offseason: speculate wildly. If a new team does join for 2020 (please announce...even if it’s announce there’s no team, the suspense is killing us, guys), then that’s also a whole new factor in the college draft, as well as a team that may end up taking some federation players. There may also be an expansion draft, where each team has to make a select number of players available to be picked for a new team.
What do you want to see from our two (potential) new expansion teams? Where do you hope the league is by 2024 in terms of money, fans, broadcast deals, personnel, cultural presence, ...? At that time we’ll have also gone through another World Cup. Are there things about the state of the game overall that you hope will have improved things in NWSL, or things in NWSL that will have spread to other aspects of the game outside of the US? It’s getting cold out there - leave your spiciest NWSL takes and get warm.