UPDATE: Sounders Women will be holding a press conference on Tuesday "regarding women's professional soccer in the United States, the Sounders Women stance and situation within that process, and organizational developments within the Sounders Women."
The future of professional women's soccer in Seattle has taken an interesting turn, as Amy Carnell sent out an email confirming that she is no longer the general manager of the Sounders Women and that she is working with a different ownership group to bring a team here. Carnell, who continues to work in a separate capacity with Seattle Sounders FC, was a key figure in helping bring the likes of Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux and Megan Rapinoe to the Sounders Women last year.
"I am no longer with the Sounders Women," Carnell wrote on Friday. "I am however a true believer, and as passionate as ever about growing the women's game in this country. I am currently working with an owner here in Seattle that believes in the game as much as I do."
That email was sent out the same day that USsoccer.com published an Q&A with U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati about the future of the women's game.
Among the revelations were that there were currently 11 ownership groups representing 10 cities in the latest attempt to make a viable top flight professional league in this country.
"We’ve got a unique situation in one market where there are a couple of different possibilities, and we are talking about the possibility for sure of a launch next year," Gulati said. "That’s the goal, and that’s what we’re seeing if we can work toward."
Although Gulati did not say which market had two potential ownership groups, we do know that Bill Predmore has previously stated that he intends to bring a team to Seattle. There are also rumblings that the Sounders Women could be interested, which would set up an interesting situation.
Details are still very thin on what this new league will look like or even what it will be called. The expectation is that they would kick off sometime in spring with teams scattered throughout the country but with at least two in each of the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast.
Gulati also revealed that U.S. Soccer will take a more active role in the governance of this league than they have previously and he also suggested the federation may actually help underwrite the payment of national team players. That would likely preclude the possibility of a collection of players such as the one the Sounders Women had last year from being on one team as they would likely be allocated around the league.