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Women's League Status Report

According to Tonya Antonucci, commissioner of the new women's national pro league that will launch next spring, each of the seven clubs will be allocated three U.S. national team players in the second or third week of July.

It is not a draft; rather, the players have selected their preferences and the league investors, general managers and coaches will determine who goes where. Players' hometowns, college alma maters, former pro affiliations and marketing and parity considerations will also influence the decisions.

"There is a lot of variability going into it and then, at the end of the day, it's the GMs sitting in a room hammering it out," Antonucci said.

The seven inaugural teams are Washington (Maryland SoccerPlex), Boston (Harvard), New Jersey (Rutgers), Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles.

After the Olympics, a draft comprising four to six rounds will determine the destination of other U.S. players and some international players. A supplemental draft is planned for later in the year.

As for Brazilian superstar Marta, "She is a league-changing, game-changing player," Antonucci said. "I have not had any conversations with Marta. Marta is under contract right now. She is available as of July 1, so that is when we can really can start to move -- and we will -- to see where Marta is in her interest. But what we are hearing is that she is going to be interested in talking to us."

On the issue of expansion, Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco-San Jose and Cary-Raleigh, N.C., are in the running for teams in the near future. Philadelphia has signed a letter of intent to start play in 2010.

By Steve Goff  |  June 9, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Women  
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