U.S. Soccer meeting could determine WPS' future

Will Women's Professional Soccer play a fourth season?

That question may be completely or partially answered Monday night after an early-evening conference call of U.S. Soccer's Board of Directors, which will discuss whether to give WPS a Division I sanction for next season.

That decision, in turn, will affect owners, sponsors and, not least of all, players, who must choose whether to stick with the league.

WPS stated its case last week to the Professional League Task Force, which is comprised of U.S. Soccer board members Dan Flynn, Mike Edwards and Carlos Cordeiro. Monday night, that trio takes its findings to the full board, which has 17 members, including former national team players Danielle Fotopoulos and Jeff Agoos, MLS commissioner Don Garber and regional youth director Bob Palmeiro, and soccer backers such as former Clinton cabinet member Donna Shalala.

The board decided Nov. 20 to delay a decision on granting WPS the Division I status it has had for its first three years, instead giving the league 15 days to expand from its five returning teams to six. WPS was not able to close an expansion deal in that time and made its case based on growth after the Women's World Cup last season and several expansion prospects for 2013.

U.S. Soccer's pro league standards call for eight teams, but WPS has operated with a waiver for most of its existence. The league launched in 2009 with seven teams and ambitions that had been scaled back from the days of the WUSA, which collapsed in 2003 after three seasons.

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