Published On: Mon, Jan 30th, 2012

Women's Professional Soccer suspends 2012 Season Amid Legal Dispute

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By: Pedro Heizer

Women’s Professional Soccer won’t play the 2012 season amid a legal dispute with ousted owner Dan Borislow.

The league’s Board of Governors voted Monday to suspend the season with hopes of resuming in 2013, the WPS announced.

In October, WPS terminated the magicJack, its South Florida franchise based in Boca Raton after clashing with owner Dan Borislow all season. Earlier this month, a Florida judge ruled that the league failed to follow its own dispute procedures when it terminated the franchise, and another court hearing is set for Wednesday.

WPS CEO Jennifer O’Sullivan said owners chose to cancel the season over possibly working with Borislow in the league again.

“We have diverted so many resources into litigation,” she said. “This is something that needs to be resolved before we can move forward with play.”

Borislow purchased the former Washington Freedom before last season and moved the club to South Florida, renaming it for a telephone call device he invented. The magicJack franchise was repeatedly disciplined during the season for not meeting league standards. In August, after Borislow filed suit against the WPS, the league released a statement accusing him of violations ranging from “unprofessional and disparaging treatment of his players to failure to pay his bills.”

Even amid all the legal problems, the magicJack finished the season with a 9-7-2 record and were the third seed in the playoffs. The magicJack had an all-star type team with players like Christie Rampone, Shannon Boxx, Abby Wambach, and Hope Solo.

WPS has played three season but has struggled to get the league to stay. Just last year, WPS needed a waiver from the U.S. Soccer Federation to be sanctioned as a first-division league in 2012 with only five teams, below the required eight. In the deal with the governing body in December, WPS agreed to increase the number of teams to a minimum of six for 2013 and at least eight for 2014.

 

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