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USSF Approves Conditional Division 1 Sanctioning For WPS

Conditions of Division 1 sanctioning still unknown, but USSF has at least allowed WPS a chance to continue to make their case.

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Women's Professional Soccer appears to have lived to fight another day. The fledgling league, which is currently down to just five teams, had its Division 1 sanctioning conditionally approved by USSF on Monday, according to ESPN. Assuming the league agrees to the undisclosed terms, that would mean the league should be able to move forward and attract top-level players such as Brazil's Marta and United States stars like Abby Wamback and Ashley Morgan.

"After a positive discussion, the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors approved a plan to sanction WPS as a Division 1 professional league in 2012, subject to certain conditions," said U.S. Soccer, through spokesperson Neil Buethe, in a written statement Monday. "Once the Board receives confirmation from WPS that all five teams agree to those conditions, U.S. Soccer will issue a formal announcement."

WPS's sanctioning was very much in doubt as USSF has set guidelines that a Division 1 league is to have at least eight teams. Last year, the league was allowed to play with six. That number was diminished by one after MagicJack was disbanded. The league's remaining teams are the Atlanta Beat, Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence, Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash. All of those teams are located along the Eastern seaboard with only the Beat being outside of New England