Hopes fade for WPS expansion team in Southern California in 2011

i-9b903fab84ab4a5363af217d14f87fe6-20080117_wps_medium.jpgWhen the Los Angeles Sol folded in January, Women’s Professional Soccer officials immediately voiced hope a new team would play in the region in 2011.

But despite discussions with “multiple groups” the league has held this year, no firm financial commitment has been forthcoming.

The most recent discussions have been with an unnamed group to locate a team in Orange County, – Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium is said to be a potential home ground for any franchise – but time is running out.

And the WPS has established a self-imposed deadline of getting new ownership in place within the next month or abandoning the effort until the following year.

“We should know in the next month whether that timing is feasible, and if it doesn’t work out, we will target 2012,” said league spokesman Robert Penner. “We have not completely shut the door yet on 2011 as we could still finish the season and have an expansion draft in October if the diligence process moved quickly.

“In summary, we’re giving it one more month until we shift focus to 2012 expansion.”

Still, that doesn’t sound particularly optimistic.

If discussions haven’t gone anywhere for the last seven or eight months, there’s little reason to believe things are likely to change significantly over the next 30 days and that professional women’s soccer will return to the area next year.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!