WPS has officially announced that it is moving forward with at least six teams and has given the Chicago Red Stars until Dec. 15 to find investors.
FC Gold Pride, the reigning champions, have officially been folded. All of their players will become free agents at the same time as the rest of the league on Wednesday.
"While it is disappointing to the league and its many enthusiastic fans, players, and partners that FC Gold Pride did not find the level of support it aimed for in its market, the continuing WPS teams have fully committed to the 2011 WPS season," WPS CEO Anne-Marie Eileraas said in a statement. "These past few weeks have been critical to ensuring the long-term health of the league, and we are pleased to be moving forward today with these six committed teams for the 2011 Season. We are hopeful that Chicago will also join those teams for 2011.
The new Western New York team will select six players from the unprotected list later today.
There had been speculation that the Washington Freedom were in danger of closing shop, which would have put other teams' participation into question. The Freedom, the longest operating women's professional team in the United States, were able to secure funding for this season.