The pro-am United Women’s Soccer (UWS) league is teaming up with National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) to launch a new pro women’s soccer league for the 2022 season.
The new league is positioned as more advanced than the pro-am UWS and below NWSL. UWS puts an emphasis on facilities, and that should continue with this league, per the press release: “UWS focuses on professionally run operations, requiring teams to adhere to minimum standards that are overlooked by other pro-am leagues. Female players deserve the same facilities and amenities as their male counterparts, and fans deserve the best game day experience possible.”
“This is a game changer for women’s professional soccer, and I’m thrilled for young players and aspiring pros,” said UWS Executive Director Stephanie Cleaves via press statement. “Two professional women’s soccer leagues have never co-existed before in the United States. More professional opportunities will lead to the advancement of the women’s game for organizations, players, their communities and supporters.”
“This alliance will provide women’s clubs, athletes, coaches, and staff a growth path to the highest levels of the game,” says NISA Commissioner John Prutch via press statement. “We are thrilled with how NISA is growing and finding allies like UWS in creating an open system based on merit. The need is critical, and the opportunity is evident to advance the men’s and women’s game together.”
NISA professional sides Detroit City FC and Michigan Stars FC already field UWS teams. Over 100 UWS alumnae have inked professional contracts both overseas and in the NWSL.
This is an interesting period for the business side of women’s pro soccer. With NWSL expanding and USL reportedly looking at a women’s league, pro players could have an abundance of opportunities not available before the last World Cup, which boosted the American game. We also expect many USL and NISA owners to launch women’s squads as well.