Featured / WPS

Philly team in WPSL Elite League

A Paul Riley-led New York Fury will not be participating in the new WPSL Elite League but a Philadelphia Fever will be.

And no, they aren’t the old indoor team from the late 1970s, early 1980s.

On Friday, Atlantic Soccer Factory announced that a new Philadelphia Fever women’s team would be joining the WPSL Elite League for the 2012 season.

A press release from the Philadelphia Independence said that the WPS team was not connected in any way to the Fever.

The ASF announcement says “the Fever will be built around local talent and will provide New Jersey and Pennsylvania’s best collegiate players the opportunity to play in a professional atmosphere.”

The Fever will play some of its home games in South Jersey and some in Eastern Pennsylvania. Most games will be played as double-headers in conjunction with fellow ASF clubs and men’s teams AC  Crusaders of the National Premier Soccer League and Philadelphia Fury of US Club Soccer’s National Adult League. Specific match locations will become available at a later date.

Team owner and ASF president Matt Driver says, “This is a tremendous opportunity for local players to gain exposure and it gives them the chance to play at the highest level of women’s professional soccer, without forfeiting their NCAA eligibility.”

The ASF-owned Arch Angels, the sister team to the AC Crusaders, began WPSL play in 2011.

ASF is described as a ” a vertically integrated player development program” that is “a club-neutral company dedicated to training and educating the next generation of soccer players.” Thus, players can participate on ASF teams regardless of their club or college affiliation.

The press release describes ASF as “the largest privately owned soccer education company in the Delaware Valley.”

A press release from the Philadelphia Independence following the Fever announcement said in part, “The Independence did have ample opportunity to be involved in WPSL and decided not to participate in the league at this time. Instead, the Independence and owner David Halstead will be focusing on improving the WPS business model and working to build the WPS league to come back better and stronger in 2013. The Philadelphia Independence is not in any way involved with the Philadelphia Fever, a team that announced its participation in the 2012 WPSL Elite Division earlier today.”

One Comment

  1. Of course, Driver was actually the founder of the Independence and then he was forced out by Halstead after Driver had done all the leg work.

    Good for Driver. I still think the WPS is not coming back though, and Riley is a better coach. Oh well.

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