FC Gold Pride folds, WPS now regional league

i-9b903fab84ab4a5363af217d14f87fe6-20080117_wps_medium.jpgThat means there is no chance of resurrecting the Sol in Southern California.

More details after the AP story:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The defending champion FC Gold Pride of Women’s Professional Soccer have folded after two years of operation.

The Bay Area team says it is disbanding because of slow ticket sales and costly cross-country travel. Its players become free agents Wednesday.

WPS chief executive Anne-Marie Eileraas says it is “disappointing” the club “did not find the level of support it aimed for in its market.”

The league will have six teams next season in Atlanta, Boston, New Jersey, Philadelphia,
Washington and Western New York. A Chicago franchise is seeking investors and hopes to join the league for 2011. The deadline is Dec. 15.

A group of investors I had heard second hand were being headed up by former Sol Coach Abner Rogers – he didn’t return a call today – and trying to relocate FC Gold Pride to Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton were apparently unsuccessful in putting a deal together.

That’s not surprising given the state of the financial market, although the strategy was one way of avoiding an expansion fee, I suppose.

But it means WPS is little more than a 21st century version of the old six-team NHL – a Northeast league, with the exception of Atlanta.

“It doesn’t mean we’re abandoning that market,” said WPS spokesman Rob Penner of Southern California.

But it also means that for logistical reasons the Sol won’t return unless there’s at least one other West Coast team because of the traveling involved.

And don’t hold your breath for that to happen.

Abner called. He’s due to talk with the investors who were attempting to bring the Gold Pride/Sol to the OC later this week.

However, it doesn’t look good after the folding of the Gold Pride.

The WPS has significantly scaled back operations. It’s giving all the signs of an organization on life support complete with disconnected telephone lines.

The Sol isn’t a priority. Survival is.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes 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!